Chosen Peoples: Sacred Sources Of National Identity

Hardcover | March 17, 2004

byAnthony D. Smith

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'Unto thy seed I have given this land.' From the moment of God's covenant with Abraham in the Old Testament, the idea that a people are chosen by God has had a central role in shaping national identity. Chosen Peoples argues powerfully that sacred belief remains central to national identity, even in an increasingly secular, globalized modern world. In this important new study, Anthony D. Smith goes in search of the deep Judeo-Christian roots of the many manifestations of national identity.This rich and timely contribution to current debates about nationalism explains the complex historical reasons behind often violent modern conflicts around issues of land, culture, religion, and politics. Tracing the development of individual nations over many centuries, it offers fascinatinginsights into the religious and cultural foundations of countries such as Great Britain, the United States, Israel, France, and Germany. The argument draws on a wide range of examples from historic landscapes in Ireland, Switzerland and Egypt, myths of Arthurian Britain, Holy Russia, and Byzantium,through memories of a 'Golden Age', to the modern commemoration of the 'Glorious Dead', and of victims of war.

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'Unto thy seed I have given this land.' From the moment of God's covenant with Abraham in the Old Testament, the idea that a people are chosen by God has had a central role in shaping national identity. Chosen Peoples argues powerfully that sacred belief remains central to national identity, even in an increasingly secular, globalized ...

Anthony D. Smith is Professor of Ethnicity and Nationalism at the London School of Economics, vice-president of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism. He has spent over three decades exploring a variety of aspects of nationalism, and this book represents the culmination of a lifetime's work on the subject. His pub...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.17 inPublished:March 17, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192100173

ISBN - 13:9780192100177

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Nationalism and Religion2. The Nation as a Sacred Communion3. Election and Covenant4. Peoples of the Covenant5. Missionary Peoples6. Sacred Homelands7. Ethno history and the Golden Age8. Nationalism and Golden Ages9. The Glorious DeadConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is a big book: not in size, but in ideas. Anthony D. Smith reads history well and widely, reflects on it respectfully, and then produces a series of conclusions much bigger than most historians would dare to entertain.... This sort of study is apt to give hard work and common sense a good name."--American Historical Review