Sacred Sources of National Identity
By (author) Professor Anthony D. Smith
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Chosen Peoples by Professor Anthony D. Smith
Book Description'Unto thy seed I have given this land.' From the moment of God's covenant with Abraham in the Old Testament, the idea that a people are chosen by God has had a central role in shaping national identity. Chosen Peoples argues powerfully that sacred belief remains central to national identity, even in an increasingly secular, globalized modern world. In this important new study, Anthony D. Smith goes in search of the deep Judeo-Christian roots of the many manifestations of national identity. This rich and timely contribution to current debates about nationalism explains the complex historical reasons behind often violent modern conflicts around issues of land, culture, religion, and politics. Tracing the development of individual nations over many centuries, it offers fascinating insights into the religious and cultural foundations of countries such as Great Britain, the United States, Israel, France, and Germany. The argument draws on a wide range of examples from historic landscapes in Ireland, Switzerland and Egypt, myths of Arthurian Britain, Holy Russia, and Byzantium, through memories of a 'Golden Age', to the modern commemoration of the 'Glorious Dead', and of victims of war.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780192100177
(242mm x 164mm x 29mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 13-Nov-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Professor Anthony D. Smith
Concept of Social Change, Paperback (October 2010)
Anthony Smith's important work on the concept of social change puts forward the paradigm of historical change as an alternative to the functionalist theory of evolutionary change. He shows that, in attempting to provide a theory of social change, functionalism reveals itself as a species of 'frozen' evolutionism.
Nationalism, Hardback (October 2010)
For the last two centuries, nationalism has been a central feature of society and politics. Few ideologies can match its power and resonance, and no other political movement and symbolic language has such worldwide appeal and resilience.
Ethno-symbolism and Nationalism, Paperback (February 2009)
Offers a statement of an ethno-symbolic approach to the study of nations and nationalism and at the same time, embodies a general statement of Anthony Smith's contribution to this approach and its application to the central issues of nations and nationalism.
Cultural Foundations of Nations, Hardback (February 2008)» View all books by Professor Anthony D. Smith
This major new work by Professor Anthony D. Smith challenges the notion of nationalism as a product of modernity.
UK Kirkus Review » People as diverse as Moses and Adolf Hitler have believed they were leaders of the Chosen People, their followers blessed by God to outshine all others. But Moses and Hitler weren't on their own. Most nation states have a similar kind of faith in their destiny and often that faith overspills into religious warfare. Historian Anthony D. Smith, who in his previous book examined the ethnic origin of nations, now explores the religious beliefs that have driven society since humanity first developed self-awareness. Those who believe religion is dead, at least in the West, are given a lot of evidence to the contrary. Even in secular societies the influence of religious thinking and patterns from centuries ago still runs through the various cultures. Pit those cultures against each other and you find that intolerance can be traced back thousands of years to religious teachings. Smith shows in a meticulous and cogently-argued way that countries such as Britain, the US, France and Israel would not have evolved the way they have without that spark of religious fervour and a belief that the people of each was truly chosen by God. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Professor Anthony D. Smith
Anthony D. Smith is Professor of Ethnicity and Nationalism at the London School of Economics, vice-president of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism. He has spent over three decades exploring a variety of aspects of nationalism, and this book represents the culmination of a lifetime's work on the subject. His publications include Nationalism(1994) and Ethnicity (1996) (both co-edited with John Hutchinson) from the Oxford Readers series, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Blackwell, 1986), National Identity (Penguin, 1991), Nationalism and Modernism (Routledge, 1998), Myths and Memories of the Nation (OUP, 1999), The Nation in History (University Press of New England, 2000), and Nationalism (Polity, 2001).
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