Complete 5 pages APA formatted article: American vs European Jeremiad in Society. For example, speaking through the book of Jeremiah and lamentations, prophet Jeremiah brings out a lament because Jerusalem had ignored God. He gives a prophecy of a consequential downfall that actually came to pass.
The main aim of these Jeremiads is to invoke the values cherished by their audiences while prophesying dire consequences for society if its people do not act upon the stated values. Coming to American society, its Jeremiad traces its genesis to the writing of the Puritan Jeremiad. This Jeremiad contained Puritan’s expressions of contempt and desired reformations in American society. The Puritans sought to bring the nation to a state of purity similar to the type of Christianity that existed in the time of Jesus. Later versions of the Jeremiad owe their socio-political origin and functions to the sermons of America’s early immigrant fathers.
Though American Jeremiad traces its origin to the rhetoric in the first generation of European Puritans, it came to be a ritual renewal of the concept of New England in American History. According to Bercovitch, the American Jeremiad was not just a tool for condemning a wayward/prodigal society but also a call for the society to return to its Covenantal obligations. The American Jeremiad was also called for a reclamation of the society’s mission as a chosen people whose purpose was to play a distinct role in the divine economy.
Therefore, the American Jeremiad did not just express a lamentation of the existing society, and neither did it predict its downfall. Instead, the American Jeremiad was a lamentation over the society’s present state conjoined with a celebration of an expected glorious future for the society. As a result of this, the American Jeremiad had a distinct power to forge an ideological consensus among the people. The effect of this quality is that the Jeremiad was able to transform all emergent crises in the long, turbulent American history.
The European Jeremiad was derived from the Old Testament writings of prophet Jeremiah in the Bible. According to Bercovitch, the European Jeremiad gives a prophecy of disaster coming upon society without offering a lot of hope that salvation and reform can actually be realized.