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Of Crusades and Culture Wars: “Messianic” Militarism and Political Conflict in the United States

Barker, David C ; Hurwitz, Jon ; Nelson, Traci L

The Journal of Politics, 2008, Vol.70(2), pp.307-322 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Of Crusades and Culture Wars: “Messianic” Militarism and Political Conflict in the United States
  • Author: Barker, David C ; Hurwitz, Jon ; Nelson, Traci L
  • Description: In this paper, we explore the manner and extent to which differences in militaristic orientations occupy an important front in the much ballyhooed American “culture war.” In particular, we posit that belief in biblical inerrancy engenders a “messianic” militarism. We further suggest that this relationship occurs not only directly but also indirectly, through a heightened sense of nationalism. We compare the predictive capacity of such traditionalistic Christian “believing” to other elements associated with it: (1) cognitive dogmatism, (2) hierarchical visions of authority, (3) devotionalism, and (3) immersion within the traditionalistic Christian culture. Finally, we demonstrate the relevance of these dynamics to understanding “red/blue” cleavage structures in the United States, by showing that as belief in the authority of the Bible increases, so does the perceived electoral salience of foreign policy issues, relative to domestic issues.
  • Is Part Of: The Journal of Politics, 2008, Vol.70(2), pp.307-322
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0022-3816 ; E-ISSN: 1468-2508 ; DOI: 10.1017/S0022381608080328
  • Subjects: Militarism ; Political Conflicts ; Cultural Studies ; Nationalism ; Foreign Policy ; National Security ; U.S.A. ; Political Science

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