Crediting God: Sovereignty and Religion in the Age of Global Capitalism

By Miguel Vatter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
The Evangelical-Capitalist Resonance Machine

William E. Connolly

Resonance: to resound; a vibration of large amplitude caused by a
small periodic stimulus of the same or near the same period as the
natural vibration of the system; the intensification and enriching of a
musical tone by supplementary vibration; the enhancement of an
atomic, nuclear or particle reaction by excitation of internal motion
in the system.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary


I

What is the connection today between evangelical Christianity, cowboy capitalism, the electronic news media, and the Republican Party?1 Can these connections be understood through the terms of efficient causality, in which you first separate factors and then show how one is the basic cause, or how they cause each other, or how they together reflect a more basic cause? Does, say, a corporate-Republican elite manipulate the evangelical wing of this assemblage, leading the latter to subordinate its economic interests to spurious appeals to faith? Or are the leading parties to this coalition linked first and foremost by economic interests, in which evangelical and corporate leaders together manipulate their followers? Or, alternatively, do they share a general doctrine or creed that defines their common interests and allegiances? My sense is that none of these explanations, or others like them, quite fills the bill. If this is correct no political economy or religious practice is self-contained. Rather, in politics, diverse elements infiltrate into the others, metabolizing into a moving complex—causation as resonance between elements that become fused together to a considerable degree. Here causality, as relations of dependence between separate factors, morphs into energized complexities of mutual imbrication and interinvolvement, in which

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