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American EnchantmentRituals of the People in the Post-Revolutionary World$
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Michelle Sizemore

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190627539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190627539.001.0001

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Enchanted Subjectivity in Wieland and the Post-Revolutionary World

(p.75) 3 Vox Populi, Vox Dei
American Enchantment

Michelle Sizemore

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents enchanted subjectivity as a model of political subjectivity in which individuals claim to speak for God, not for themselves, as commonly assumed for a democratic society. This phenomenon occurred in both the political and religious realms, as demonstrated in the popular republican expression “Vox populi, vox dei” (The voice of the people is the voice of God) and in the prophecies of the Second Great Awakening. Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland (1798) brings together the political and religious culture of prophecy in his novel about ventriloquism, an early exploration of political theology, that is, a study of the ways in which theological principles infuse republican political arrangements.

Keywords:   Charles Brockden Brown, prophecy, ventriloquism, political theology, Second Great Awakening, subjectivity, Vox populi, vox dei

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