Civil Religion In America by Robert H. Bellah
Robert N. Bellah "Civil Religion In America" was written in the winter of 1967 and is
copyrighted by the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences from the issue
entitled "religion in America". In his writings Bellah Explains the idea and workings of Civil
Religion in the United States; this chapter was written for a Dædalus conference on American
Religion in May 1966. It was reprinted with comments and a rejoined in The Religious Situation.
Civil Religion is the idea that our own government has its own Devine right of worship and is
parallel to the writings of the Bible. It's the concept that the United States is its own religion as
a form of Christianity complete with its own form of life beyond, rewards of virtue, and the
punishment of vice, and the exclusion of religious intolerance. But in order for a religion to be
plausible and become a success it needs a number if pivotal points that juxtapose some form of
existing religion. Abraham Lincoln was our Jesus messiah sacrificing himself for freedom and
new beginnings wail Washington is the Moses leading the people out of captivity; our sacred
documents like the old and new testaments are the constitution and bill of rights, The ritual
dates are the fourth of July and labor day. Civil religion even has it's own monuments,
Commandments, guideline and followers.
Civil religion is a highly discussed topic in American history with many sides and many
views. One of the most dominant for civil religion is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, arguably the most
influential political philosopher of the last three centuries and whom Bellah bases much of...
... middle of paper ...
...the history of the US. Bellah's tone is not one of harsh overzealous words
but a positive and punctual tone, it's a piece that's simple and informative and simply states the
facts without to much bias.
My Evaluation of Robert Bellah's "Civil Religion In America" is that is a well written
piece that applies well to the audience that it is intended for threw it's historical and biblical
references that will appeal to some of the more well read readers, but also in the validity of his
presentation of the facts that he argues. The idea of Civil Religion is one that is not easily
accepted and an ideal that people can not be forced or pushed into believing. Bellah does a good
job of just presenting what he has discovered and why the idea of Civil Religion is valid threw
the easily connect able dots that Bellah has laid out to his readers.
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