Prodigal Nation: Moral Decline and Divine Punishment from New England to 9/11

Prodigal Nation: Moral Decline and Divine Punishment from New England to 9/11

by Andrew Murphy

In this book, Murphy examines the way in which the America jeremiad ( a term meaning a long lamentation, taken from the lamentations of Jeremiah) has influenced national identity. He combines historical themes with scholarly research to help us understand the power of religious yearning in shaping both liberal and conservative thought.

He focuses on three periods: the Puritan era, the jeremiads at the time of the Civil War, and those of the Christian right through present day. His approach is both that of a historian and a political scientist.