Document Type




Format of Original

24 p.

Publication Date

Winter 2002


Oxford University Press

Source Publication

Sociology of Religion

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.2307/3712300


Civil religious themes have long been integral to public discourse in America. Specifically the themes of mission and destiny best known in the farm of Manifest Destiny, still carry the country through periods of foreign conflict. This paper analyzes the discourses of President George Bush during the Persian Gulf War and President Bill Clinton during the Kosovo conflict. I identify the themes of mission by example and mission by intervention and argue that these forms of mission are intertwined. The use of these themes by presidents of different political parties indicates that while they remain useful, they are adapting for a changing political and economic world system.


Accepted version. Sociology of Religion, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Winter 2002): 403-426. DOI.

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Sociology of Religion following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version (Coles, Roberta L. 2002. "Manifest Destiny Adapted for 1990s' War Discourse: Mission and Destiny Intertwined." Sociology of Religion, 63(4): 403-426) is available online here.