a commonplace book
Something called Christianity has become entangled in exactly the strain of nationalism that is militaristic…and that can only understand dissent from its views as a threat or a defection, a heresy in the most alienating and stigmatizing sense of the word.
Marilynne Robinson, “Fear,” The New York Review of Books, Sept. 2015
This state of affairs creates a difficult if predictable atmosphere at the intersection of faith, scholarship and criticality. When nationalism becomes a religious asset (the reverse is a different matter, I’d argue), criticality becomes suspect and systematically eliminated. The normative of nationalism meets the normative of religiosity. The militarism here not only refers to physical violence (that is, what the essayist is principally concerned with) but also to ideological violence.