Koyzis – chapter 4

Nationalism is a community-tied ideology to which members devote allegiance and sacrifice. Despite the elusive criteria for a collective to be deemed a nation (a concept unique to the modern age), nationalism unites people to accomplishing a higher calling, transcendent of individual interests. Nationalism development commonly involves shared language, ethnicity, religion, culture, customs, ancestry, race, homeland, history, and constitutional order. However nationalism is triggered within a community, once members recognize their sentiment it becomes “a force to be reckoned with” on the world stage, regardless of their ability to find expression as a state (ex: the Arab-Israeli conflict). Nationalism “has engendered a cult of the nation,” having its own ceremonies, sacraments, icons and feasts, by which even Christians have been seduced. Idolatrous nationalism reveals itself in Christians when they misapply biblical promises to select geographical/political bodies, identify national-historical norms as God’s will for political or cultural life, pay homage that belongs to God to a nation, or grant power to a nation beyond the balance of created spheres.

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