Civil Religion In America Summary

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Like most things that are society based, religion has evolved alongside our own culture. America is a melting pot of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures making it a perfect place for religion to adapt and flourish. For this analysis, I am drawing from “Civil Religion in America” by Robert N. Bellah (1967) on his ideas of American civil religion. In the text Bellah (1967) argues that civil religion is an important dimension that needs to be recognized in sociology. While Bellah focuses specifically on the United States of America, he still gives a valuable perspective on civil religion and how it plays a part in religion as a whole. The connections of cultures and ideas through religion can be best explained by using Robert Bellah’s interpretation of civil religion. …show more content…

While most studies and theories are concerned with the differences between religion and culture, Bellah (1967) spent a lot of time examining the similarities of religion specifically in America. While Rousseau is credited as the one who coined the term “civil religion”, Bellah provided an in-depth study (2007:167). Based in presidential inaugurations, he continuously recites that people in authority often cite a generalized god, one that does not belong to any set religion (Bellah 1967). He goes on to explain that in America, there are “certain common elements of religious orientation that the great majority of Americans share” (Bellah 1967:166). This is important to understand in the sociology of religion because it shows how cultures and ideas can combine to create something the majority of society agrees on, even if it’s something as strongly held as

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