Prelude: Myth and the Planetary
1. Mitchell, The Book of Job. I explored this story earlier in Connolly, The Augustin-
ian Imperative, chapter 1. The two engagements doubtless overlap, but there and
then the point was to pose a contrast between the conceptions of divinity, sin,
morality, and grace of Augustine and corollary images in Job.
2. Mitchell, The Book of Job, 19.
3. Mitchell, The Book of Job, 22.
4. For a reflective pre sentation of the vision of a complex moral order see
Gordis, The Book of God and Man. In Job: The Victim of His People, Rene Girard
argues that Job’s suﬀering is necessary to promote the artiﬁcial unity of the
community; Job is a scapegoat. Perhaps he is, in part, but Girard reads all
myths, except the sacriﬁce of Jesus on the Cross, through the lens of the
scapegoat. He seems to believe that a deﬁnitive resolution of this strug gle
is available only within Chris tianity. And he does not ask whether the cosmic
commitments— including our relation to nature— Job embraces may in fact be
worthy of endorsement by others.
5. Mitchell, The Book of Job, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84.
6. For an account of the “evangelical/cap i talist resonance machine” in the United
States, see Connolly, Capitalism and Chris tianity, American Style. That study
attempts to grasp how so many remain positively bonded to neoliberalism, even
with its volatility. The book came out several months before the 2008 meltdown.
I continue to think that it helps us to understand how the subjective grip of
neoliberalism can intensify after it spawns a crisis. It also may help to explain one
con temporary feature of American exceptionalism: why, in a world with several
neoliberal regimes, and other modes of po litical economy too, the United States
is the place where climate denialism is the most intense and most extensive.
7. Mitchell, The Book of Job, 85.