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O'Donnell, S. Jonathon (2018) 'Unipolar Dispensations: Exceptionalism, Empire, and the End of One America.' Political Theology, 20 (1). pp. 66-84.

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Public and political discourse around the 2016 US Presidential election constructed it as a time of crisis for America. Yet, while over 80% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, religion’s role in this crisis has been marginalized. Analyzing Trump’s support among premillennial dispensationalists, this article explores connections between dispensationalist discourses of divine providence and constructions of Trump’s election as a “turning point” for America. Charting links between conflicts over domestic cultural homogeneity and attempted impositions of US power over global “deviants” (terrorists, rogue states), it argues that the crisis of American identity figured by Trump’s election is tied to religious and secularized soteriologies emerging from notions of American exceptionalism and empire inaugurated by the end of the Cold War.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: dispensationalism; United States; imperialism; soteriology; culture wars; globalism
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
ISSN: 1462317X
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 10:43
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 7X.2018.1484986 (Publisher URL)
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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