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Passing OrdersDemonology and Sovereignty in American Spiritual Warfare$
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S. Jonathon O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823289677

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823289677.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Introduction: Paradise Has Walls

Introduction: Paradise Has Walls

(p.1) Introduction: Paradise Has Walls
Passing Orders

S. Jonathon O’Donnell

Fordham University Press

Taking point from a post-9/11 spiritual warfare narrative in which models of asymmetric war are used to reconceptualize the demonic, the Introduction argues that figures of the demonic are both consolidating and deconstructive of systems of power, particularly those tied to sovereignty, identity, and empire. Weaving together two definitions of demonology, by Bruce Lincoln and Marcella Althaus-Reid, respectively, it demonstrates that demonology operates as a rubric of knowledge aimed at the classification, comprehension, and control of nonhuman and dehumanized others—the demonized—who simultaneously unsettle those rubrics of knowledge by exposing their categories as constructed and not natural. Mobilizing queer and critical race theory, it then situates the demon’s deconstructive quality in its figuration of passing and counterfeiture, which unsettle territorial boundaries, stable identities, and linear models of temporality.

Keywords:   American empire, critical race theory, demonology, passing, queer theory, sovereignty, spiritual warfare, war on terror

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