Civil Religion In America Summary

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Robert Neelly Bellah was a well-known and respectable scholar of religion in America. He was known pretty widely as one of the world’s most influential sociologists. He was a social theorist and he taught for about 20 years. His writings stated both sides of the argument, so that a more larger view was known. He was loved by many people and he was respected by many of his students and peers. He is best recognized for his essay “Civil Religion in America,” which was about how the US uses capitalism as a religion and U.S. political figures use religious symbolism. Americans practice a variety of all of the world’s major religions, and a few that are homegrown as well. The word religion is difficult to define because if we define religion it…show more content…
He makes sure to say that he is not claiming that we worship our country. Instead, he says most Americans believe in “a set of beliefs, symbols, and rituals that I am calling American civil religion.” The next argument that of Bellah is that the civil religion actually came from the ideas of the Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers did not usually make any reference to Jesus Christ, nor Christianity. This was at a time when practically every American was Christian. Despite this, they talked about God. Although, they did not talk about a certain aspect or conception of God, rather, just about the idea that there was a God and he controlled the universe and who had a certain set of goals that he wanted people to pursue. Bellah argues that the civil religion of this time was kind of more of an Old Testament religion. As mentioned before, it referred to a unitary God, not to the Trinity. Bellah goes on to say that the God of that civil religion was “also on the austere side, much more related to order, law, and right than to salvation and love.” At that time, the main idea of the civil religion was that America was a chosen country. In this way, America was seen as similar to Israel, which had been God’s chosen country in the Old Testament. God had chosen America to do his will in the…show more content…
A kind of national religion that even active members of Jewish synagogues Christian churches and Islamic mosques believe and practice, without being fully conscious that they are doing so? Many sociologists, scholars that study our social life, claim that the answer is that patriotism on steroids. The Miriam Webster dictionary says that “loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational

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