Michael Graziano’s intriguing book fuses two landmark titles in American history: Perry Miller’s Errand into the Wilderness (1956), about the religious worldview of the early Massachusetts colonists, and David Martin’s Wilderness of Mirrors (1980), about the dangers and delusions inherent to the Central Intelligence Agency. Fittingly, Errand into the Wilderness of Mirrors investigates the dangers and delusions that ensued from the religious worldview of the early molders of the Central Intelligence Agency. Graziano argues that the religious approach to intelligence by key OSS and CIA figures like “Wild” Bill Donovan and Edward Lansdale was an essential, and overlooked, factor in establishing the agency’s concerns, methods, and understandings of the world. In a practical sense, this was because the Roman Catholic Church already had global networks of people and safe places that American agents could use to their advantage. But more tellingly, Graziano shows, American intelligence officers were overly inclined to view powerful religions and religious figures through the frameworks of Catholicism. As Graziano makes clear, these misconceptions often led to tragedy and disaster on an international scale. By braiding the development of the modern intelligence agency with the story of postwar American religion, Errand into the Wilderness of Mirrors delivers a provocative new look at a secret driver of one of the major engines of American power.
Martha J. Reineke, David M. Goodman, Ana Maria Rizzuto, John McDargh, Mario Aletti, Arne Austad, Leif Gunnar Engedal, Anthony Stern, Jacob Waldenmaier, and Gry Stalsett
Ana-María Rizzuto’s groundbreaking explorations of the formation of God representations in early childhood and their elaboration throughout the life cycle have made their mark, enriching the practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, as well as scholarship within the psychoanalytic study of religion. Accompanied by illuminating commentaries by Rizzuto, the authors of this edited collections essays in this volume underscore Rizzuto’s most important contribution to clinical practice: rather than assert that psychoanalysis is incompatible with religious beliefs and practices or with spiritual concerns that patients may bring to a therapeutic context, Rizzuto makes room for the coexistence of psychoanalysis and religion in the therapeutic setting. Demonstrating how Rizzuto’s work has enhanced connections within and among psychoanalytic theories of religion, established pathways for new developments in psychotherapy, and facilitated interdisciplinary conversations, this volume showcases the compelling power of Rizzuto’s work and its ongoing influence. -- Provided by publisher
Cara Lea Burnidge
A century after his presidency, Woodrow Wilson remains one of the most compelling and complicated figures ever to occupy the Oval Office. A political outsider, Wilson brought to the presidency a distinctive, strongly held worldview, built on powerful religious traditions that informed his idea of America and its place in the world.
With A Peaceful Conquest, Cara Lea Burnidge presents the most detailed analysis yet of how Wilson’s religious beliefs affected his vision of American foreign policy, with repercussions that lasted into the Cold War and beyond. Framing Wilson’s intellectual development in relationship to the national religious landscape, and paying greater attention to the role of religion than in previous scholarship, Burnidge shows how Wilson’s blend of Southern evangelicalism and social Christianity became a central part of how America saw itself in the world, influencing seemingly secular policy decisions in subtle, lasting ways. Ultimately, Burnidge makes a case for Wilson’s religiosity as one of the key drivers of the emergence of the public conception of America’s unique, indispensable role in international relations.
As the presidential election cycle once again raises questions of America’s place in the world, A Peaceful Conquest offers a fascinating excavation of its little-known roots. -- Provided by Amazon.com
Martha J. Reineke
For René Girard, human life revolves around mimetic desire, which regularly manifests itself in acquisitive rivalry when we find ourselves wanting an object because another wants it also. Noting that mimetic desire is driven by our sense of inadequacy or insufficiency, Girard arrives at a profound insight: our desire is not fundamentally directed toward the other’s object but toward the other’s being. We perceive the other to possess a fullness of being we lack. Mimetic desire devolves into violence when our quest after the being of the other remains unfulfilled. So pervasive is mimetic desire that Girard describes it as an ontological illness. In Intimate Domain, Reineke argues that it is necessary to augment Girard’s mimetic theory if we are to give a full account of the sickness he describes. Attending to familial dynamics Girard has overlooked and reclaiming aspects of his early theorizing on sensory experience, Reineke utilizes psychoanalytic theory to place Girard’s mimetic theory on firmer ground. Drawing on three exemplary narratives—Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Sophocles' Antigone, and Julia Kristeva’s The Old Man and the Wolves—the author explores familial relationships. Together, these narratives demonstrate that a corporeal hermeneutics founded in psychoanalytic theory can usefully augment Girard’s insights, thereby ensuring that mimetic theory remains a definitive resource for all who seek to understand humanity’s ontological illness and identify a potential cure. -- Provided by publisher
A Central European Synthesis of Radical and Magisterial Reform: The Sacramental Theology of Balthasar Hubmaier
Kirk R. MacGregor
Challenging the widespread classification of evangelical theologian Balthasar Hubmaier (1480-1528) as a Schleitheim-adhering Anabaptist, this book argues that Hubmaier should instead be understood as a bridge between the Radical and Magisterial branches of the Reformation. Paramount among this book's new discoveries is the overarching three-tiered structure of Hubmaier's theological system, consisting of a libertarian anthropology, sacramental theology, and ecclesiology. While recent studies have demonstrated the favorable reception of Bernard of Clairvaux by Luther and Calvin, this book reveals that Bernard also exerted a profound impact upon Hubmaier's anthropology. Consequently, Hubmaier crafted highly philosophically realist doctrines of believers' baptism and the Eucharist as grace-imparting sacraments instead of ordinances without salvific power. In Hubmaier's baptism, God not only regenerated neophytes, but also predestined them to final salvation. By partaking of the Eucharist, Hubmaier insisted that believers themselves (not the bread and wine) were literally consubstantiated with the physical body of Christ. Intertwining church discipline with sacramental reception, Hubmaier devised a strikingly progressive ecclesiology in which free churches were administered by local governments. This book provides for a deeper understanding of one of the 16th century's most creative and sophisticated thinkers. -- Provided by publisher
James Burnell Robinson
Although the polytheistic religion of India has had a limited influence outside its native nation, it has none-the-less always been a subject of interest to both scholars and lay people alike. With its controversial caste system and its pantheon of unusual deities, Hinduism is very different from most faiths common in the West. -- Provided by publisher
Martha J. Reineke
Why did medieval women mystics starve themselves? Why were “witches” hunted, tortured, and killed? Why has the Christian West found maternal figures threatening? To answer these questions, Reineke advances a theory of sacrifice, inspired by Julia Kristeva and René Girard, that attempts to account for women’s special vulnerability to violence in Western culture. -- Provided by publisher