Thu November 8, 2012
The Origins of "The City on a Hill"
With the election season finally over, you may have stumbled upon a few phrases a few (or a thousand) times. One of those is America being called or compared to “The City on a Hill.”
But where exactly does this phrase come from? And how has it woven itself so powerfully into our political rhetoric?
Dr. Richard Gamble of Hillsdale College sought to answer these new questions in his new book, “In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth.”
To really understand this issues requires returning to early biblical times, then jumping ahead to the Puritans, and finally seeing the phrase emerge in the words of Ronald Reagan.
“How in the world did a phrase from first century Palestine makes its way all the way down to 20th and 21st century America? That to me should be a central question about how we define ourselves as a people,” Gamble told WFPL.