US War-culture, Sacrifice and Salvation
Kelly Denton-Borhaug
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US War-culture, Sacrifice and Salvation

Publisher: Acumen
Author: Kelly Denton-Borhaug
ISBN: 1845537114
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback

The military-industrial complex in the U.S. has grown exponentially in recent decades, yet the realities of war remain invisible to most Americans. A culture has been created where sacrificial rhetoric is the norm. U.S. War-culture, Sacrifice and Salvation explores how formulations of Christian redemption create a world and a time of necessary sacrifice. It reveals the links between Christian notions of salvation and sacrifice and the aims of the military-industrial complex.

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1. War-Culture and Sacrifice
2. Building and Maintaining the Drive to War: Victimage Rhetoric, Framing, and the Language of Sacrifice 
3. A Deadly Nexus: “Necessity,” Christian Salvation and War-Culture 
4. Rehabilitating Sacrifice? 
5. Detranscendentalizing War 
Appendix: ‘Just This Once’ by Coleman Barks

About the author: Rev. Kelly Denton-Borhaug, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA.

During the period of the First World War, with the experience of literally hundreds of thousands dying for the nation, scholars began to become aware of the connection between war and sacrifice. According to George Mosse: “Christian symbols, indeed, the very figure of Christ, were present in the cult of the fallen soldier.”

In her analysis of post 9/11 United states, Reverend Kelly Denton-Borhaug observes that while many scholars have explored the growth of today’s war-culture, less attention has been paid to the rhetoric of sacrifice that undergirds this culture, and that is tightly interwoven with Christian themes—forming a sacred canopy encompassing national self-identity.

Denton-Borhaug states that “blood sacrifice is at the heart of war culture’s and the warrior’s religiosity.” Yet—the human resort to sacrifice is so ubiquitous as to reside “largely off the radar screen of awareness and consciousness,” making the analysis of sacrifice more difficult, yet all the more important.

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