The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #38: Nationalism

We hope you enjoy our fight in the final segment!

General Introduction
– Nathan Gilmour does it all
– Where’s Grubbsy this week?
– Is there a difference between Iowa and Ohio?
– Listener feedback

Nationalism, Tribalism, and the Ancient World
– The Roman origin of the word tribe
– Cities and states
– Multiple identities
– Ancient Empires and national borders
– Statehood in ancient Northern Europe
– To what extent do we identify ourselves with regions?

Hebrew Nationalism
– And its influence on later civilizations
– Land, seed, and blessing
– Migrations to various Promised Lands

Jesus Throws Everything Off Balance
– With whom do Christians identify?
– Jesus’ early audience
– Where’s our citizenship? Who’s our Savior?

Grubbs Goes Medieval
– The city of God and the city of man
– Church and state
– The first martyr of the British Isles
– Ethnogenesis and mythology
– Those Manichaean Plantagenets!
– Elizabeth and James tie it together
– The Nationalist Imagination

Entering the Modern World
– Church and king as tired and out-of-date
– Enlightenment nation-building
– The rise of intense national identity
– Personal identity and place of birth
– Nationalism or ideology?
– Is patriotism nationalism?
– Religious privatization
– Atomic bombs, crossbows, and swords
– Did the Archimedean Death Ray exist?

American Nationalism After 9/11
– David educates us all on flag etiquette
– American vulnerability
– Our shock that someone doesn’t envy us
– Liberal vs. conservative reactions
– How honest should the president be?

The Tea Party and the Future of Nationalism
– The conservative cannibalization of George W. Bush
– A center-free party
– A new kind of populism
– Is there a leftist nationalism?
– Nathan and Michial come out against Big Business; David chuckles
– Fragmentation, not polarization
– Wonks and single-issue voters

A Very Long Takeaway
– Do Mormons believe the Constitution is inerrant?
– We fight about the Constitution
– (Listen closely to hear Michial’s cat, Dottie. We’re not sure whom she’s agreeing with.)
– And then we finally get to the point

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Augustine. City of God. Trans. Henry Bettenson. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Trans. Leo Sherley-Price. New York: Penguin, 1991.

Cavanaugh, William T. Theopolitical Imagination: Christian Practices of Space and Time. New York: T&T Clark, 2003.

Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. Seattle: CreateSpace, 2010.

Hastings, Adrian. The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion, and Nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997.

Lewis, C.S. The Four Loves. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960.

Wolfram, Herwig. History of the Goths. Trans. Thomas J. Dunlap. Berkeley, Cali.: U of California P, 1990.

2 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #38: Nationalism

  1. Hey guys,

    I just recently discovered your podcast and am working my way through the episodes. It’s so nice to hear a Christian appraisal of history and culture that is (on the whole) a pretty respectful dialogue.

    I enjoyed this week’s episode but wished you could have gone into the Christian response to nationalism a bit more. I would have loved to hear what you thought of historic Christian approaches to this kind of question (I think of Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms, for example). And it would have been nice to hear the dangers of Christians buying to deep into nationalism (eg, the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany). All in all, though an insightful look at nationalism. You can count this appropriately-patriotic Canadian among your listeners.

    Mathew Block

  2. Thanks, Cap’n! I wish we’d had more time to get into the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany and to talk about Two Kingdoms Theology; we may have to revisit this topic in the future (if we can talk David Grubbs into discussing politics again).

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