inventing “the other” to create identity, all the rage

IF AMERICA did not exist, Russia would have to invent it. In a sense it already has: first as a dream, then as a nightmare. No other country looms so large in the Russian psyche. To Kremlin ideologists, the very concept of Russia’s sovereignty depends on being free of America’s influence.

via Russia and America: The dread of the other | The Economist.

I need to file this away for later use, but the idea of building your identity not just away from another, but in opposition to other is an old one, a real one, and one that needs to be explored in a wide range of sciences, including Biblical Studies.

Anyway, read the article. Good stuff.


Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

2 thoughts on “inventing “the other” to create identity, all the rage

  1. Lemche discusses the Canaanites in biblical literature as an invented “anti-people” meant to promote a specific view of Israelite identity (The Canaanites and Their Land: The Traditions of the Canaanites [Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991]).

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