This book explores the role of religion, especially religious extremism, in American culture. In particular, it examines the development of the Judeo-Christian tradition, its impact on America's self-image, and the way it has influenced America's attitude to the Arab World. The Christian Right has become a very powerful force in American politics. Its basic belief in Christian Zionism has resulted in a steadfast commitment to the establishment of the state of Israel and to its aggressive expansion, and has made Zionism a central part of government policy, for both Republicans and Democrats. Fuad Sha'ban shows how this is not a new phenomenon: what he terms the 'Vision of Zion' in American life has its roots in literature, the arts and internal politics from colonial times until today. Looking in detail at a wealth of resources, including religious and literary texts, as well as official political statements, he pieces together a subtle account of how America's Puritan roots have fostered a specifically religious political culture that encourages hatred and suspicion of the Muslim World in domestic and foreign policy.
Fuad Sha'ban has held many senior academic posts and has lectured widely at universities in the Arab world, India and the USA. Born in Damascus, Syria, he received a Ph.D. in English Literature from Duke University, and has taught at the universities of Damascus, Riyadh, Duke and UAE. He is currently Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Petra in Jordan.
Foreword by Dr. Louis J. Budd Introductory Essay by Dr. Ralph Braibanti Introduction Acknowledgements Part I - In the Beginning: Christopher Columbus and the Quest for Zion Part II - Zion in America 1 - A Place for My People 2 - The Star in the West 3 - The Great Seal of the United States of America 4 - The Vision of Zion: The American Myth of the City on a Hill 5 - Zion and the African-American Experience Part III - The Promised Land: American Travelers in the Orient: The Quest for Zion Part IV - Religion in America 1 - The Judeo-Christian Tradition: Prelude 2 - The Role of Religion in American Life 3 - America and the Millennial Fever References Index