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Beyond 9/11

Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Twenty-First Century U.S. American Culture


Edited By Christian Klöckner, Simone Knewitz and Sabine Sielke

Rather than turning backward and remembering 9/11, this book sets out to reflect on how the events of September 11, 2001, have shifted our perspectives on a whole series of political, economic, social, and cultural processes. Beyond 9/11 raises the question how the intense debates on the 2001 terrorist attacks and their aftermaths have come to shape our present moment and frame what lies ahead. At the same time, this collection acknowledges that the label «9/11» has often bracketed cultural complexities we have only begun to understand. In Beyond 9/11, contributors from the fields of American studies, political science, economics, history, theology, and the arts reappraise the cultural climate and the global impact of the United States in the second decade of the twenty-first century.


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The Spirit of 9/11


G er h a r d Sa u t e r 9/11 as a Spiritual Event How Does God Speak in Times o f Crisis? Soon after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City and on the Pentagon in Washington one could read, surprisingly, on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal'. For the ignorant, the superstitious and me (and maybe you), the face o f the Evil One was revealed, and died; for the ignorant, the superstitious and me (and m ay­ be you), the cross survived. This is how God speaks to us. He is saying, “I am.” He is saying, “I am here.” He is saying, “A nd the force o f all the evil o f all the world will not bury m e.” I believe this quite literally. But then I am experiencing Sept. 11 not as a political event but as a spiritual event. (Noonan) This statement may surprise indeed, especially in regard to the prevailing reli­ gious atmosphere of the United States of America. Unlike many other public commentaries and private reactions to 9/11, Peggy Noonan, the author of the editorial remark, did not refer to Providence, the deity of “God’s own country,” which guarantees the people of the United States, “his people,” special care and protection; if they are shaken by an unavoidable disaster, it will strengthen their capability to overcome the dangerous consequences. This was the main content of a ceremony - hardly a service -...

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