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Hierarchy And Covenant In The Formation Of Nations

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Chapter Summary

For many people, nation and nationalism are nineteenth century phenomena that have no place in a global era. This chapter starts with some preliminary observations about the phenomena of nationalism, nation and national identity. The ideal of a covenant between a deity and his people is most readily associated with the Judeo-Christian tradition. There is more than one version of the covenantal principle. In cases where it is combined with some form of hierarchical solidarity, the covenant is oft en effectuated through some agent of the community, usually the church. If the different traditions of public culture helped to shape the various kinds of national identities, processes of identification with specific historic territories powerfully under-girded the formation and persistence of national public cultures. The chapter focuses on the process of creating and disseminating different kinds of public cultures and their accompanying territorialisation.

Keywords: Judeo-Christian tradition; nation; national identity; nationalism; territorialisation



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