poniedziałek, 1 października 2012

Contemporary Apocalyptic Movement Examined in New Book


LITTLE ROCK - Director Michael W. Wilson and producer Natalie Zimmerman, in their documentary film, Silhouette City, have dramatically revealed the contours of an apocalyptic movement that has achieved extraordinary influence over the past eight years - and whose current fragmentation threatens an even more radical retrenchment.?

Wilson and Zimmerman have expanded their efforts by publishing a new book entitled A Kingdom At Any Cost: Right-Wing Visions of Apocalypse in America, which has just been released by Parkhurst Brothers, Publishers, Inc., as part of its Our National Conversation series.

A Kingdom At Any Cost includes valuable interviews and writings not covered in the film that further reveal the impact of the ominous movement. The book serves as a powerful resource and may be used as a guide for studying the film and also as a reader for examining America's contemporary Christian extremes. The book explores a militant and apocalyptic Christianity that has traveled from the margins and is beginning to affect the mainstream of American life. "It is important to understand the raw force of its effect upon the minds of the parishioners, youth, politicians and soldiers who've been infected with such a terminal vision of (potentially) violent purification," Wilson said.

A Kingdom At Any Cost finds a parallel to the current moment in the Christian militia movement–specifically, a group of Christian survivalists who built a communal settlement on 224 acres in a remote part of Arkansas in the early 1970s. The commune later became known as "The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord" and gained national publicity in 1985 after a confrontation with more than 200 FBI agents.

In the current era, a similar form of Christian nationalism has become a decisive influence in the lives of millions of Americans. Many believe that Americans are waging the opening skirmishes of a cosmic war between Good and Evil that will usher in the Kingdom of God. These beliefs have gained a sense of urgency because of economic instability and the War on Terror, combined with perceived threats like secularism, homosexuality, and ethnic/religious differences.

Through original essays, interviews and captivating still imagery from the film, A Kingdom At Any Cost is meticulously researched and readers will be able to understand how religious yearning has been exploited to wage a political war that forms the background of the contemporary American landscape.

In the introduction to the book, Mark Juergensmeyer (Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara) writes:

"Here's what we find different about the recent rise of militant Christian activism in the United States: its aggressive populism tinged with violence, and its ability to imagine the great struggle of religious conflict taking place physically and politically in a contemporary social milieu. Christian soldiers, in this sense, are real warriors, not just symbols of an imaginary battle only in the soul."