Uncertain Empire

American History and the Idea of the Cold War

Uncertain Empire

Historians have long understood that the notion of "the cold war" is richly metaphorical, if not paradoxical. The conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union was a war that fell ambiguously short of war, an armed truce that produced considerable bloodshed. Yet scholars in the rapidly expanding field of Cold War studies have seldom paused to consider the conceptual and chronological foundations of the idea of the Cold War itself. In Uncertain Empire, a group of leading scholars takes up the challenge of making sense of the idea of the Cold War and its application to the writing of American history. They interrogate the concept from a wide range of disciplinary vantage points--diplomatic history, the history of science, literary criticism, cultural history, and the history of religion--highlighting the diversity of methods and approaches in contemporary Cold War studies. Animating the volume as a whole is a question about the extent to which the Cold War was an American invention. Uncertain Empire brings debates over national, global, and transnational history into focus and offers students of the Cold War a new framework for considering recent developments in the field.

Writing the Rapture

Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America

Writing the Rapture

For the past twenty years, evangelical prophecy novels have been a powerful presence on American bestseller lists. Emerging from a growing conservative culture industry, the genre dramatizes events that many believers expect to occur at the end of the age - the rapture of the saved, the rise of the Antichrist, and the fearful tribulation faced by those who are "left behind." Seeking the forces that drove the unexpected success of the Left Behind novels, Crawford Gribben traces the gradual development of the prophecy fiction genre from its eclectic roots among early twentieth-century fundamentalists. The first rapture novels came onto the scene at the high water mark of Protestant America. From there, the genre would both witness the defeat of conservative Protestantism and participate in its eventual reconstruction and return, providing for the renaissance of the evangelical imagination that would culminate in the Left Behind novels. Yet, as Gribben shows, the rapture genre, while vividly expressing some prototypically American themes, also serves to greatly complicate the idea of American modernity-assaulting some of its most cherished tenets. Gribben concludes with a look at "post-Left Behind" rapture fiction, noting some works that were written specifically to counter the claims of the best-selling series. Along the way, he gives attention not just to literary fictions, but to rapture films and apocalyptic themes in Christian music. Writing the Rapture is an indispensable guide to this flourishing yet little understood body of literature.

Apocalyptic Fever

End-Time Prophecies in Modern America

Apocalyptic Fever

How will the world end? Doomsday ideas in Western history have been both persistent and adaptable, peaking at various times, including in modern America. Public opinion polls indicate that a substantial number of Americans look for the return of Christ or some catastrophic event. The views expressed in these polls have been reinforced by the market process. Whether through purchasing paperbacks or watching television programs, millions of Americans have expressed an interest in end-time events. Americans have a tremendous appetite for prophecy, more than nearly any other people in the modern world. Why do Americans love doomsday?In Apocalyptic Fever, Richard Kyle attempts to answer this question, showing how dispensational premillennialism has been the driving force behind doomsday ideas. Yet while several chapters are devoted to this topic, this book covers much more. It surveys end-time views in modern America from a wide range of perspectives--dispensationalism, Catholicism, science, fringe religions, the occult, fiction, the year 2000, Islam, politics, the Mayan calendar, and more.

Heidegger and Theology

Heidegger and Theology

Martin Heidegger is the 20th century theology philosopher with the greatest importance to theology. A cradle Catholic originally intended for the priesthood, Heidegger's studies in philosophy led him to turn first to Protestantism and then to an atheistic philosophical method. Nevertheless, his writings remained deeply indebted to theological themes and sources, and the question of the nature of his relationship with theology has been a subject of discussion ever since. This book offers theologians and philosophers alike a clear account of the directions and the potential of this debate. It explains Heidegger's key ideas, describes their development and analyses the role of theology in his major writings, including his lectures during the National Socialist era. It reviews the reception of Heidegger's thought both by theologians in his own day (particularly in Barth and his school as well as neo-Scholasticism) and more recently (particularly in French phenomenology), and concludes by offering directions for theology's possible future engagement with Heidegger's work.

New Outlook

New Outlook


The Present Age and Inner Life

Ancient and Modern Spirit Mysteries Classified and Explained ; a Sequel to Spiritual Intercourse, Revised and Enlarged

The Present Age and Inner Life