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Prodigal NationMoral Decline and Divine Punishment from New England to 9/11$
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Andrew R. Murphy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195321289

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321289.001.0001

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The Past, Present and Future of the American Jeremiad

The Past, Present and Future of the American Jeremiad

Chapter:
(p.156) Eight The Past, Present and Future of the American Jeremiad
Source:
Prodigal Nation
Author(s):

Andrew R. Murphy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321289.003.0008

This chapter concludes the book by reflecting on the relationship between the American jeremiad and notions of American national identity, more particularly the idea of national chosenness. The chapter argues that the traditionalist jeremiad, while as deeply rooted in the American tradition as its progressive counterpart, is unable to do justice to the full citizenship of the broad and diverse American population of the 21st century, given its emphasis on concrete elements of the nation's past and its view of the past as model for the future. It concludes with a brief consideration of Sacvan Bercovitch's influential work on the American jeremiad, and a call for a reinvigorated progressive jeremiad as most compatible with an expanding notion of American promise as the nation moves into the 21st century.

Keywords:   Jeremiad, American jeremiad, national identity, chosen nation, chosenness, diversity, progressive, traditionalist, Bercovitch

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