Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, Vol 2, No 1 (2006)

Currency of a Calling: The American Exception, the American Dream

Bradley A. Johnson
Issued Date: 29 Jul 2007


One the most powerful evangelical Christian sentiments is that one is potentially imbued with the divine mandate and capacity to enact the will of God on earth. Since becoming president in 2000, George W. Bush’s sense of calling has encompassed the responsibility of the United States to bestow and/or protect freedom, which he has deemed “God’s gift to humanity.” The American president’s rhetoric, with regard to American exceptionality in its domestic and foreign policy, however, betrays a “sovereign” conception of time wherein nothing happens except the forestalling of its end. Following the philosophical inquiry of Philip Goodchild’s Capitalism and Religion and the political critique of Giorgio Agamben’s State of Exception, this article will examine the nature of American exceptionality, namely the degree to which President Bush’s rhetoric of the call co-opts its biblical precedents in a speculative maneuver that is unconcerned with the subsistence/lived level of reality, and whose aim is ultimately to perpetuate the creation of political capital.

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DOI: 10.1558/post.v2i1.87

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