This issue is devoted to a long article on social movements. All of them are engaged in developing one strand or another of a tripart paradox which can be traced to the three central heresies of Christianity: Manacheism, Donatism, and Arianism. In the first case, the world is seen as a war between absolute good and evil and the social movement is out to defeat the enemy, as was the case with Abolitionism. In the second case, the world is seen as subject to numerous and different social interventions, as is the case with school reformers who think that a thousand different versions of a successful school can bloom. And in the third case, the world is not that much different from what it will be when it is reformed, and so gentle chiding should be enough, as when preachers engage in encouraging positive thinking. It may also be the case that the Christianity which gave rise to these heresies also thereby gave rise to the phenomenon of social movements itself.
The purpose of this e-journal is to use in tandem the techniques of literary criticism and social structural analysis to illuminate American politics and the various institutions in American society and sometimes matters more global, like religion or war, by turning an eye on the events and objects and performances that are considered art and entertainment, those defined broadly enough to include whatever is covered in newspapers and other media. Another concern is to pick up the texture of social life, both in the United States and in general, through the analysis of those events, objects and performances that are to be found in everyday life.