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Harnessing Chaos: The Bible in English Political Discourse since 1968 (Scriptural Traces)

Harnessing Chaos: The Bible in English Political Discourse since 1968 (Scriptural Traces)

Regular price $39.68
  • ISBN-13: 9780567669599
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark
  • Release Date: May 19, 2016
  • Edition: Rev Rep
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 1.08 x 9.31 x 6.2 inches


Harnessing Chaos: The Bible in English Political Discourse Since 1968 (2014) looked at the shifts in political understandings of the Bible in the aftermath of the social and economic changes of the 1960s. The book examined the decline of the Radical bible (i.e. the Bible roughly equated with socialism) in parliamentary politics and the victory of (a modified form of) Thatcher's re-reading of the Liberal Bible tradition, which equated the Bible with rule of law, democracy and tolerance. This showed how Thatcher's Bible was developed by politicians and the significance of Tony Blair's socially liberal qualifications, as well as the Radical Bible's survival outside Parliament and against the backdrop of emerging Thatcherism.

The new, revised edition of Harnessing Chaos includes an additional chapter/postscript on some of the remarkable and unexpected uses of the Bible that happened since 2014. These include David Cameron giving a number of key speeches which intensified Thatcher's Bible, particularly in his justification of his most controversial policy decisions surrounding foodbanks, austerity and ISIS, Ed Miliband engaging with Russell Brand's Radical Bible, and the unpredicted emergence of Jeremy Corbyn, which has seen him and his close allies explicitly use the Radical Bible, in direct disagreement with Thatcher, in his first major speeches. These developments have been, in varying degrees, unpredictable but also vital to understanding the fate of the Bible in contemporary English politics.

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