Shuddering Dawn, A

Religious Studies and the Nuclear Age

Edited by Ira Chernus & Edward T. Linenthal

Paperback : 9780791400852, 210 pages, August 1989
Hardcover : 9780791400845, 210 pages, August 1989

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Table of contents

Foreword Ninian Smart



Ira Chernus and Edward Tabor Linenthal
Part I. History of Religions

Nuclear Images in the Popular Press: The Age of Apocalypse
Ira Chernus
War and Sacrifice in the Nuclear Age: The Committee on the Present Danger and the Renewal of Martial Enthusiasm
Edward Tabor Linenthal

Nuclear Images in the Popular Press: From Apocalypse to Static Balance
Ira Chernus

Part II. Sociology of Religion

"I Am Death . .. Who Shatters Worlds": The Emerging Nuclear Death Cult
James A. Aho

Performing the Nuclear Ceremony: The Arms Race as a
Ritual Robert D. Benford and Lester R. Kurtz

Part III. Psychology of Religion

Growing Up in the Nuclear Age: Psychological Challenges and Spiritual Possibilities
John McDargh
The Nuclear Horror and the Hounding of Nature: Listening to Images
Daniel C. Noel

Part IV. Reflective Religious Thought

Approaching Nuclearism as a Heresy
G. Clarke Chapman

God and Her Survival in a Nuclear Age
Susan B. Thistlethwaite

Doing the Truth: Peacemaking as Hopeful Activity
Walter J. Noyalis

Part V. Conclusion

The Religious Dimensions of the Nuclear Age
Ira Chernus and Edward Tabor Linenthal




Exploring the symbolic meanings of the Bomb, this book excavates the "depth dimension" of the nuclear age. Rather than adding to the many ethical commentaries asking whether or not there should be nuclear weapons, the authors ask why there are nuclear weapons and a continuing arms race. They also address the kinds of symbolic changes that must occur in order to reverse the build-up of nuclear weapons.

The authors approach these questions from the perspective of academic research, not from particular faith commitments, asking the reader to envision different human responses to this technology, human stances that can be illuminated by the creative insight of religious studies.

Ira Chernus is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Edward Tabor Linenthal is Professor of Religion and American Culture at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.


"Not much like this is available—work that examines the symbolic function of nuclearism. It stimulates fresh thinking in very important areas. I found myself, even while disagreeing with some viewpoints, thinking more deeply about many issues. Authors should be thanked when they achieve this. " — Bernare Adeney, New College, Berkeley