Show 402: “The Chosen People” w/ Todd Gitlin

“The Chosen People” w/ Todd Gitlin

Americans and Israelis have often thought that their nations were chosen, in perpetuity, to do God’s work. Through great adversity and despite serious challenges, Americans and Jews, leaders and followers, have repeatedly faced the world fortified by a sense that their nation has a providential destiny. As Todd Gitlin (w/ Liel Leibovitz), argue in this book, what unites the two allies in a “special friendship” is less common strategic interests than this deep-seated and lasting theological belief that they were chosen by God. The Chosen Peoples shows how deeply ingrained is the idea of a chosen people in both nations’ histories, and yet how complicated that idea really is. And it offers interpretations of chosenness that both nations dearly need in confronting their present-day quandaries.

Todd Gitlin is an American sociologist, political writer, novelist, and cultural commentator. He has written widely on the mass media, politics, intellectual life and the arts, for both popular and scholarly publications.

“My generation of the New Left – a generation that grew as the [Vietnam] war went on – relinquished any title to patriotism without much sense of loss. All that was left to the Left was to unearth righteous traditions and cultivate them in universities. The much-mocked political correctness of the next academic generations was a consolation prize. We lost – we squandered the politics – but won the textbooks.” -TG

Show 331: Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State

Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State

On Saturday, we will be airing a special one-hour program on the global rise in religious fundamentalism and in particular the political revolution and/or rebellion of groups who seemed defined by their religion against the industrial nations whether capitalistic or s0-called communistic.   What are the motives of these groups?  Why have they become so numerous over the last 4o years?  Does religion act as the catalyst, cause, or as a tool for these uprisings?  And, how do those nations best deal with the violence these groups target them with, while finding new ways to prevent these uprisings in the first place?

To speak to these questions and more, we will have on the line sociologist Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, from Christian Militias to Al Queda.  Juergensmeyer is an American scholar and writer best known for his studies of religious violence and global religion.  He also has written on conflict resolution and on South Asian religion and society, and has been a pioneer in the field of global studies.

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