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King among the eschatologists: The political eschatologies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, security state violence and the Civil Rights movement.

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The dissertation hypothesizes the U.S. War on Terror reflects elective affinities (Loewy) between an Apocalyptic Security Discourse ("ASD") and apocalyptic Christianity (Premillennial Dispensationalism, "PD"), by using security state violence to defend the Christian Bible, which PD contends must be read literally in order to achieve "liturgical (salvific) repentance." Conv The dissertation hypothesizes the U.S. War on Terror reflects elective affinities (Loewy) between an Apocalyptic Security Discourse ("ASD") and apocalyptic Christianity (Premillennial Dispensationalism, "PD"), by using security state violence to defend the Christian Bible, which PD contends must be read literally in order to achieve "liturgical (salvific) repentance." Conversely, an alternative messianic Christian eschatology ("ME") depicts repentance as the "poetic" actualization of a transcendent Biblical justice, enabling it to entertain affinities with a nonviolent politics that contradicts ASDs. One of the pivotal differences between apocalyptic and messianic Christian eschatologies depends therefore on the meaning ascribed to Biblical "obedience." Chapter 1 reads Scholem, Levinas and Marion to argue PD's liturgical repentance is a scriptural idolatry; whereas ME's poetic repentance reflects an iconoclastic style of obeying scriptural mandates. Iconoclasts grapple with scriptural ambiguity (the "spirit in the letter") by formulating unique responses to the actual meaning of obeying the revelation's inspiration to responsibility for the other. Scriptural idolaters refuse this subjective "invocation" and obey the law to the letter. Chapter 2 argues Luther's strict application of "grammatical-historical" hermeneutics was a scriptural idolatry whose liturgical repentance was later fully "apocalypticized" by PD. For both, repentance entails an "apocalyptic security dilemma" whereby the subject is first terrified by literal scriptural readings, following which he achieves faith through grace (salvation) via repentance as liturgical repetition (Greek: "homologein "). In Chapter 3 I read Agamben to establish that ME contradicts this apocalyptic terror by inspiring subjects to achieve salvific grace via a poetic homologein, which actualizes the spirit of agape (other-love) that may be heard as "still-saying" in the scriptural letter. In Chapter 4 I read Carl Schmitt and Agamben to argue the US War on Terror reflects elective affinities between PD and an ASD: each of three primary structuring principles of apocalyptic eschatology (O'Leary) is mirrored in the political style of neoconservatives. Conversely I read Gandhi, King, Niebuhr and Chappell to argue the civil rights movement's Satyagraha political praxis was structured by a Christian ME. King's nonviolent politics pursued an actualization of the spirit of agape he heard as still saying in the biblical letter.


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The dissertation hypothesizes the U.S. War on Terror reflects elective affinities (Loewy) between an Apocalyptic Security Discourse ("ASD") and apocalyptic Christianity (Premillennial Dispensationalism, "PD"), by using security state violence to defend the Christian Bible, which PD contends must be read literally in order to achieve "liturgical (salvific) repentance." Conv The dissertation hypothesizes the U.S. War on Terror reflects elective affinities (Loewy) between an Apocalyptic Security Discourse ("ASD") and apocalyptic Christianity (Premillennial Dispensationalism, "PD"), by using security state violence to defend the Christian Bible, which PD contends must be read literally in order to achieve "liturgical (salvific) repentance." Conversely, an alternative messianic Christian eschatology ("ME") depicts repentance as the "poetic" actualization of a transcendent Biblical justice, enabling it to entertain affinities with a nonviolent politics that contradicts ASDs. One of the pivotal differences between apocalyptic and messianic Christian eschatologies depends therefore on the meaning ascribed to Biblical "obedience." Chapter 1 reads Scholem, Levinas and Marion to argue PD's liturgical repentance is a scriptural idolatry; whereas ME's poetic repentance reflects an iconoclastic style of obeying scriptural mandates. Iconoclasts grapple with scriptural ambiguity (the "spirit in the letter") by formulating unique responses to the actual meaning of obeying the revelation's inspiration to responsibility for the other. Scriptural idolaters refuse this subjective "invocation" and obey the law to the letter. Chapter 2 argues Luther's strict application of "grammatical-historical" hermeneutics was a scriptural idolatry whose liturgical repentance was later fully "apocalypticized" by PD. For both, repentance entails an "apocalyptic security dilemma" whereby the subject is first terrified by literal scriptural readings, following which he achieves faith through grace (salvation) via repentance as liturgical repetition (Greek: "homologein "). In Chapter 3 I read Agamben to establish that ME contradicts this apocalyptic terror by inspiring subjects to achieve salvific grace via a poetic homologein, which actualizes the spirit of agape (other-love) that may be heard as "still-saying" in the scriptural letter. In Chapter 4 I read Carl Schmitt and Agamben to argue the US War on Terror reflects elective affinities between PD and an ASD: each of three primary structuring principles of apocalyptic eschatology (O'Leary) is mirrored in the political style of neoconservatives. Conversely I read Gandhi, King, Niebuhr and Chappell to argue the civil rights movement's Satyagraha political praxis was structured by a Christian ME. King's nonviolent politics pursued an actualization of the spirit of agape he heard as still saying in the biblical letter.

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