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 pre­sen­ta­tion of the vision of a complex moral order see
Gordis, The Book of God and Man. In Job: The Victim of His ­ P eople, Rene Girard
that Job’s suffering is necessary to promote the artificial unity of the ­argues
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 strug­gle
is available only within Chris­tian­ity. And he does not ask ­ w hether 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 ­ t al­ i st resonance machine” in the United
States, see Connolly, Capitalism and Chris­ t ian­ it y, 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 ­ a fter it spawns a crisis. It also may help to explain one
con­ t emporary feature of American exceptionalism: why, in a world with several
neoliberal regimes, and other modes of po­ l iti­ cal 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.
Previous Page Next Page