The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty by Erin RunionsThe Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty by Erin Runions

The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty

byErin Runions

Paperback | April 3, 2014

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Babylon is a surprisingly multivalent symbol in U.S. culture and politics. Political citations of Babylon range widely, from torture at Abu Ghraib to depictions of Hollywood glamour and decadence. In political discourse, Babylon appears in conservative ruminations on democratic law, liberalappeals to unity, Tea Party warnings about equality, and religious advocacy for family values. A composite biblical figure, Babylon is used to celebrate diversity and also to condemn it, to sell sexuality and to regulate it, to galvanize war and to worry about imperialism.Erin Runions explores the significance of these shifts and contradictions, arguing that together they reveal a theopolitics that tries to balance the drive for U.S. dominance with the countervailing ideals and subjectivities of economic globalization. Examining the confluence of cultural formations,biblical interpretations, and (bio)political philosophies, The Babylon Complex shows how theopolitical arguments for war, sexual regulation, and political control both assuage and contribute to anxieties about waning national sovereignty. Theoretically sophisticated and engaging, this remarkablebook complicates our understanding of how the Bible affects U.S. political ideals and subjectivities.
Erin Runions is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at Pomona College. Her previous books are Changing Subjects: Gender, Nation, Future in Micah and How Hysterical: Identification and Resistance in the Bible and Film.
Title:The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and SovereigntyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.08 inPublished:April 3, 2014Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823257347

ISBN - 13:9780823257348


Editorial Reviews

"With fearless insight and incisive prose, Erin Runions offers a breathtaking tour de force of astute biblical-political-philosophical analysis that persistently reframes the intertwining of biblical interpretation and biopolitics through the figure of Babel/Babylon. As she shows, thepervasive theopolitics of American discourse, right and left, is informed by an eschatological fantasy sanctioned by the twin edifices of bible and law. This engrossing account of biblically inflected defenses of US sovereignty places biblical interpretation at the center of critical theory andcritical theory at the center of biblical interpretation. A must read for anyone interested in the current state of theodemocratic exceptionalism, in the unpredictable and shifting meanings of biblical texts, and in the possibility of listening, finally, to an other." --Jennifer Knust, Boston University