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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The article examines how liberal discourses and practices become central to modern European empire. Liberalism as a discourse of uplift and progress resonates with the goals of Christian evangelism to make the world a better place. This article explores two different poles of the Bible in the midst of empire—the polarities of justification and resistance. The first part of the article examines how race and capital form strong motivations for empire that set the stage for the second section, which describes how the Bible provides justification for empire. At the heart of the article is the notion of the Bible’s function as a mechanism for the manufacturing of consent to empire at home and abroad. The final section of the article offers a treatment of Rastafari textual traditions that function as an overt rejection of the Bible as an example of the disruption of the logic of empire.

Keywords: empire, liberalism, race, capitalism, Rastafari, evangelization

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