SHARE: Civil Religion in America

“Civil Religion in America”

Robert N. Bellah’s provocative 1967 article on the peculiar religiosity of American society and politics.

“Behind the civil religion at every point lie biblical archetypes: Exodus, Chosen People, Promised Land, New Jersualem, and Sacrificial Death and Rebirth. But it is also genuinely American and genuinely new. It has its own prophets and its own martyrs, its own sacred events and sacred places, its own solemn rituals and symbols. It is concerned that America be a society as perfectly in accord with the will of God as men can make it, and a light to all the nations.”

As good a time as any to reflect on the rituals of American political life.