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Prodigal NationMoral Decline and Divine Punishment from New England to 9/11$
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Andrew R. Murphy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195321289

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321289.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 July 2021

The American Jeremiad

The American Jeremiad

(p.3) One The American Jeremiad
Prodigal Nation

Andrew R. Murphy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the jeremiad, a form of political rhetoric that laments a degenerate present as compared to a virtuous past and calls the nation to reform and renewal. The chapter more specifically focuses on the American jeremiad, which nests the story of decline within a larger sacred story of an American “Chosen Nation” occupying a singular role in God's plans for human history. Thus the power of the jeremiad lies in its simultaneous lament over the present and the deep sense of hope in the nation's ultimate promise. The chapter lays out the scope and focus of the book's attention to the jeremiad, its special attention to early New England, the Civil War, and the Christian Right as especially significant in the history of the jeremiad in America.

Keywords:   Jeremiad, American jeremiad, Chosen Nation, New England, Civil War, Christian Right

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