Journal Article

Manifest Destiny Adapted for 1990s' War Discourse: Mission and Destiny Intertwined

Roberta L. Coles

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 63, issue 4, pages 403-426
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3712300
Manifest Destiny Adapted for 1990s' War Discourse: Mission and Destiny Intertwined

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Civil religious themes have long been integral to public discourse in America. Specifically the themes of mission and destiny, best known in the form of Manifest Destiny, still carry the country through periods of foreign conflict. This paper analyzes the discourses of President George Bush during the Persian Gulf War and President Bill Clinton during the Kosovo conflict. I identify the themes of mission by example and mission by intervention and argue that these forms of mission are intertwined. The use of these themes by presidents of different political parties indicates that while they remain useful, they are adapting for a changing political and economic world system.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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