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Repentant Patriotism?

  • Donald W. ShriverJr.

Abstract

Perhaps the simplest definition of patriotism is “love of one’s country.” But there are empirical and moral-religious difficulties with this definition. Both “love” and “country” are deeply ambiguous. With or without a miserable childhood, associations with a home place are likely to endure for life. The smell of creosoted piles and salt water can still reduce me to a swirl of nostalgia about my port-city birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia. But then the leap from affection for birthplace to affection for the “rocks and rills, the woods and templed hills” of land bounded by the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is quite another stretch of geographical patriotism.1 Finally, beyond both oceans are all the other places on this planet where humans live. Is there such a thing as global patriotism? For that matter, is there a love for America, an immigrant nation, uncomplicated by first generation nostalgia for the “old country”?

Keywords

Moral Imagination Personal Correspondence Facing Terrorism American Troop American Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 5.
    Elazar Barkan, The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices (New York: W. W. Norton, 2000), xviii.Google Scholar
  2. 13.
    See Donald W. Shriver Jr., An Ethic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1995 ), 111.Google Scholar
  3. 32.
    Forrest Church, The American Creed: A Spiritual and Patiotic Primer ( New York: St. Martin’s, 2002 ), 55.Google Scholar
  4. 34.
    Martin E. Marty, “The Real Luther,” The Christian Century, November 1, 2003, p. 47.Google Scholar
  5. 45.
    Albert Beveridge, The Library of Oratory, ed. Chauncey M. Depew (New York: 1902 ), 448–49;Google Scholar
  6. and William Graham Sumner, War and Other Essays, ed. A. G. Keller (New Haven, CT: n.p., 1911), 325–26, 334.Google Scholar
  7. 51.
    Edward LeRoy Long Jr., Facing Terrorism: Responding as Christians ( Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 2004 ), 111.Google Scholar
  8. 54.
    Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History ( New York: Scribners and Sons, 1952 ), 148.Google Scholar
  9. 56.
    H. Richard Niebuhr, The Responsible Self: An Essay in Christian Moral Philosophy ( New York: Harper and Row, 1963 ), 64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael G. Long and Tracy Wenger Sadd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald W. ShriverJr.

There are no affiliations available

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