480 word review Essay Example

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The Prince of This World

The book The Prince of This World by Adam Kotsko looks at how religion has shaped the western politics and legal system. The book revolves around the concept of the devil in the Christian theology. He says theology has contributed to the racial interpretation of crime where innocent blacks are viewed as demons that are naturally to commit crimes while it offers a more plausible explanation for white perpetrators. There have been increased cases of police shooting dead unnamed blacks then using all manner of excuses to justify their actions. On the other hand, whites who commit crimes such as mass shootings are termed as depressed. Adam says that theology has always been a victim-blaming discourse (3). He gives the example of the long-suffering Job who was blamed by his friends for sinning thus paying for his actions. When something bad happens to someone, there is the belief that he is being punished for past mistakes.

Just like demons who are destined for external damnation, blacks are born criminals. Basically, this is according to racist public discourse. This exposes blacks to police brutality. Police usually react with excess force whenever they come across a black offender in their line of duty. The author asserts that this should not be the case since police are trained and bound by the oath to protect the public (4). Additionally, the mainstream media discourse combined with the theology discourse paints cops are right even in obvious cases where they acted outside the law.

To understand a problem, the root must be found. Adam traces the Genealogy of the devil” then how the Christian tradition develops the demonic figure (4). He says that the results show that the Biblical God changed from being a vindicator and a liberator of the oppressed to being a cruel ruler who rejoices in causing suffering to his friends and enemies. The author writes that God takes credit for causing pain to Egyptians while trying to rescue the Israelites from captivity (10). He keeps on maximizing the suffering of Egyptians by sending them one severe plague after the other. The modern world is filled with enemies that need to be destroyed.

Punishment was invented to deter criminals. This could mean sending an offender to jail. However, the Adam argues that prisons serve the opposite of what they should (10). They help churn more criminals instead of rehabilitating them. He bases his argument on Giorgio Agamben who argued that theological concepts convert into political ideas across time (14). Therefore, the present political environment in the U.S. where the legal system does not protect blacks can be traced to theology. The bad between blacks and the police is a result of a power struggle.

Works Cited

Kotsko, Adam. The Prince Of This World. Standford, Standford University Press, 2016,.