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Topic: Civil religion

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In the News (Fri 26 Apr 19)

  Civil religion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the sociology of religion, civil religion is the folk religion of a nation or a political culture.
Civil religion stands somewhat above folk religion in its social and political status, since by definition it suffuses an entire society, or at least a segment of a society; and is often practised by leaders within that society.
Rousseau defined "civil religion" as a group of religious beliefs he believed to be universal, and which he believed governments had a right to uphold and maintain: belief in a deity, belief in an afterlife in which virtue is rewarded and vice punished; and belief in religious tolerance.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Civil_religion   (1376 words)

 Sociology of religion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The sociology of religion is – among other elements – the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society.
Sociologists of religion attempt to explain the effects that society has on religion and the effects that religion has on society; in other words, their dialectical relationship.
According to the Normal Revelations model, religions are founded when the founder interprets ordinary natural phenomena as supernatural; for instance, ascribing his or her own creativity in inventing the religion to that of the deity.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Sociology_of_religion   (2682 words)

 Israeli Civil Religion   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
A state's civil religion has to be equally applied to all those of its citizens who see themselves as patriots to that state, and who maintain all the ideas connected with that patriotism and with the attributes of that state.
Practitioners of the American Civil Religion who fiercely uphold the principles of the American Constitution, and who by virtue thereof are liberal, will cling to America's national history and its founding fathers and will create for themselves an image of the American nation, as evidenced by their ritualistic celebration of Thanksgiving Day.
A distinguishing feature of civil religion in states whose populations originate from many different lands (like the USA, Canada and Israel), is the members' total severing of emotional ties with the history of the countries or people that they originated from before arriving in their new country.
www.whyreligion.com /titles/i28.htm   (5592 words)

 Civil Religion   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Religion is the most organised and sophisticated form of the Totem institution- and it should be added-the Totem institution predates the institution of idol worship, from which Theistic religion originated.
As a matter of principle then, civil religion does not disapprove the existence of a Theistic religion within its borders, neither does it automatically seek to disenfranchise Theistic religions of their political status, nonetheless civil religion does have a strong tendency to seek exclusivity in the political realm.
Civil religion as a concept is mentioned in the writings of Rousseau which he associated with the religion that predominated during the French Revolution, a time when the Catholic religion lost its control over the day to day life of the state and on the laws that had prevailed in France.
www.whyreligion.com /titles/c13.htm   (2197 words)

 American Civil Religion (Page 1)
Sherrill defines it this way: "American civil religion is a form of devotion, outlook and commitment that deeply and widely binds the citizens of the nation together with ideas they possess and express about the sacred nature, the sacred ideals, the sacred character, and sacred meanings of their country."
Civil religion does involve patriotism - when it is taken to mean the love and commitment to one's country.
The term "civil religion" was coined by Jean Jacques Rousseau in his treatise, "On the Social Contract" (1762), which was widely influential among America's founders.
www.facsnet.org /issues/faith/civil_religion1.htm   (2155 words)

 Civil Religion in America (Title Page)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Civil religion is an often unstudied and unacknowledged topic.
Some call it civil religion; some explain it in the terms of a "social contract"; some call it a "creed"; others say there's no such thing as any of it.
Civil religion is more easily understood though its direct expression than a dictionary-type definition.
www.facsnet.org /issues/faith/sherrill_indy.php   (578 words)

 Journal of Church and State - Winter 1997   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Civil religion was the device that he hit upon to solve the dilemma by circumventing the problem of religious diversity, yet cementing man's religious allegiance to civil society.
As civil religion, however, has become an American cultural reality in the twentieth century, and since some writers have begun to insist that civil religion should be given constitutional protection, it is appropriate here to give both a basic description of American civil religion in its present form as well as its current constitutional status.
If the religion clauses do not allow for the enshrinement of a civil religion to explain their meaning, then we are essentially left to choose between the opposing paradigms of separationism and accommodationism, or some mix of the two.
www3.baylor.edu /Church_State/Journ98W.html   (11766 words)

 Civil Religion   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Bellah suggested that Kennedy was doing exactly what his predecessors had done—referring to the unifying god of American civil religion, not any specific narrow denominational god or even the god organized religion like the Christian god, or Roman Catholic understanding of God.
Civil religion is not a state religion, but rather an expression that religionizes national values, national heroes, national history, and national ideals.
Civil religion is a cosmopolitan faith that is unifying, tolerant, and provides a banner under which all of us can pray.
www.indwes.edu /tuesday/1civil.htm   (1823 words)

 TKR Spring 1999 - American Civil Religion   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Nevertheless, this idea of a natural religion of all religious institutions provides a bridge for us between the institutional religions, whether traditional or modern, and the "civil religion" that all Americans share whether they are formally religious or not.
In Beyond Belief 1 Bellah argues that the themes of American civil religion are derived from the Judeo-Christian tradition.
American civil religion is that transcendent loyalty to the values and purposes of American civilization that makes a community out of an individualistic and culturally diverse people.
www.pbk.org /pubs/Keyreporter/Spring99/rouner2.htm   (702 words)

 Biblical Religion and Civil Religion in America by Robert N. Bellah
I think it should be clear from the text that I conceive of the central tradition of the American civil religion not as a form of national self-worship but as the subordination of the nation to ethical principles that transcend it in terms of which it should be judged.
While the phrase “civil religion” was not used, to the best of my knowledge, by the founding fathers, and I am certainly not arguing for the particular influence of Rousseau, it is clear that similar ideas, as part of the cultural climate of the late eighteenth century, were to be found among the Americans.
Fortunately, since the American civil religion is not the worship of the American nation but an understanding of the American experience in the light of ultimate and universal reality, the reorganization entailed by such a new situation need not disrupt the American civil religion’s continuity.
www.robertbellah.com /articles_5.htm   (7993 words)

 Issues in Brief - Religion and Civil Society   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Religion should not be barred from the public square, nor should religious organizations be barred from participating in government programs to provide social services.
This should include further investigation into the relationship between the practice of religion and the life of the nation, on the health of America's families and the content of its culture.
Studies show that religion is related to levels of paternal involvement in "one-on-one engagement, dinner with one's family, and volunteering for youth-related activities." In fact, "religion appears to make a unique contribution to paternal involvement" in the "specific attention that religious institutions dedicate to family life."
www.heritage.org /Research/Features/Issues2004/Religion.cfm   (1254 words)

 William Imboden Article
Civil religion instead often holds that God’s people are those who dwell in a particular nation-state and faithfully uphold their civic duties.
When the distinction between civil religion and biblical Christianity is kept clear, the former can at times serve as a helpful and even necessary source of civic virtue.
Civil religion is inseparable from history, particularly because it often bases itself on a distinctive view of the past.
www.modernreformation.org /wi04onecheer.htm   (2979 words)

 american civil religion
It was "the religion of the republic," a vague but complex public myth whose symbolism was rooted explicitly in the biblical tradition-derivative of all biblical faiths but embodying none in particular-that served to legitimate national life.
In this sense, American civil religion is the glue, the transcendent loyalty to the values and purposes of American civilization, in an association of individualistic and culturally diverse people, that ties us into a community.
The liberal version of American civil religion, it should be noted, taps into a relatively deep reservoir of sentiment in the popular culture about the desirability of peace and justice.
www.gseis.ucla.edu /courses/ed253a/american_civil_religion.html   (4576 words)

 Intellectual Capital: Michael McGough / Catholicizing civil religion   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
"Civil religion" -- also known as "civic religion" or "ceremonial deism" -- figured prominently in the debate that swirled around a California atheist's challenge to the constitutionality of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance recited in his daughter's public school classroom.
Souter could just as easily have used the term "civil religion," which was defined by the sociologist Robert N. Bellah in an influential 1967 essay as "a genuine apprehension of universal and transcendent religious reality as seen in or, one could almost say, as revealed through the experience of the American people."
One of the most provocative sessions at the seminar was devoted to the meaning of "civil religion" in today's religiously diverse America.
www.post-gazette.com /pg/04271/385931.stm   (692 words)

 JOLLYBLOGGER: Civil Religion in America and Canada   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Though we don't have a governmentally enforced "civil religion" here in America, according to some, Rousseau's calls for a civil religion were instrumental in our founding era.
Religion is important in our lives, but it can become a danger to society when people claim that the unalterable will of God is the basis for their opinions and actions.
Yes religion can be a comfort and a guide, but we cannot take rules from our holy books and apply them to the modern world without democratic debate and due regard for the law.
jollyblogger.typepad.com /jollyblogger/2005/07/civil_religion_.html   (1809 words)

 Randall M. Miller, Harry S. Stout, and Charles Reagan Wilson, eds., Religion and the American Civil War. Reviewed by ...
Stout and Grasso demonstrate that religion constituted “the only terms out of which a national identity could be constructed and a violent war pursued.” (318-9) Religion, in other words, was not merely a rationalization, not merely ideology, but the very core of the Confederate nation.
Religion lay at the heart of who Americans were even as they killed one another in unthinkable numbers.
But if religion lies at the heart of everything from despair to exultation, from faith to doubt, from slavery to freedom, a sense of proportion may be hard to find.
jsr.as.wvu.edu /ayers.htm   (1059 words)

 Civil Religion [Free Republic]
Religion, considered in relation to society, which is either general or particular, may also be divided into two kinds: the religion of man, and that of the citizen.
There is a third sort of religion of a more singular kind, which gives men two codes of legislation, two rulers, and two countries, renders them subject to contradictory duties, and makes it impossible for them to be faithful both to religion and to citizenship.
Such are the religions of the Lamas and of the Japanese, and such is Roman Christianity, which may be called the religion of the priest.
www.freerepublic.com /forum/a38c00e0f31a8.htm   (4014 words)

 Civil Religion and Political Theology
The historical pitfalls which have attended the mixing of religion and politics is one of the reasons why many have sought a language for the public square that transcends religious categories.
It is left to Rouner to defend the view that American civil religion is an essential common bond which evokes people’s loyalty and provides them with a sense of being at home in a diverse, democratic society.
Though careful to distinguish it from religion, civil or otherwise, Neuhaus clearly affirms the need for this public philosophy to be attuned to the religious character of the American people.
www.acton.org /publicat/randl/review.php?id=162   (1063 words)

 Clarifying Civil Religion (Lecture 4)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Bellah’s response clarifies what he meant by “civil religion,” a term he no longer uses to avoid semantic hassles and for the sake of substance.
Inevitably, civil religion was understood by many people to mean the idolatrous worship of the state….
There is a tradition of religion in our public life, which I described and called civil religion, that does assert—and the central texts of that tra-dition do assert—both the higher authority of God over the nation and the fact that the nation is not absolute.
darkwing.uoregon.edu /~sporter/civilreligion.html   (426 words)

 Rousseau's Civil Religion: the Idolatry of Tolerance
That religion, however, according to Rousseau, cannot be Christianity, for if it is "gospel" (pietistic) Christianity it is counterproductive to state interests, and if it is "pagan" (virile) Christianity it is subversive of the state.
Although all states are inescapably religious, at least the religion of the state depicted in Orwell's 1984 is obvious; by contrast, under the guise of civil religion, states can with impunity systematically subvert Christianity and rob true freedom from their citizens.
A prime stated goal of civil religion, according to Rousseau, is to defang the exclusivity of robust faiths that may compete with and supersede the statist faith.
www.forerunner.com /puritan/PS.Rousseau.html   (1787 words)

 Jefferson on Politics & Government: Freedom of Religion
Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself.
Civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808.
"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind." --Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801.
etext.lib.virginia.edu /jefferson/quotations/jeff1650.htm   (2397 words)

 TKR Spring 1999 - American Civil Religion   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
The "civic religion" of the Athenian Stranger differs from American "civil religion" in a crucial respect.
The basic notions of American civil religion--"sacrifice" "loyalty," "brotherhood" and "sisterhood," "freedom," "the American Dream"--are not clear and distinct ideas; they are all vague and cloudy.
He went on to argue that establishment of religion would violate the liberties of citizens; unbalance the equality among them; make civil magistrates judges of religious truth, which they are not competent to judge; corrupt the churches themselves; and jeopardize the multiculturalism that is fundamental to the American adventure.
www.pbk.org /pubs/Keyreporter/Spring99/Rouner3.htm   (1143 words)

 Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Revisiting Civil Religion*
By "religion" we mean a system of cosmological propositions grounded in a belief in a transcendant power expressed through a cult of divine being and giving rise to a set of ethical prescriptions.
This is true both for religions that aggressively kill the Other in the name of a deity or deities and those that pledge their devotees to self-sacrifice when confronted with violence.
Wherever religion is fervently embraced, it follows in the minds of many believers that it is entitled to glory in missions of conquest that reflect God's will.
www.asc.upenn.edu /USR/fcm/jaar.htm   (5110 words)

 Sociology of Religion: Global civil religion: A European perspective
A further preliminary is, however, important before turning to the central arguments of this article; it echoes very immediately the discussion of the term 'global civil religion' in the Plenary Session of the Association for the Sociology of Religion from which these papers emerge, more especially the contribution of George Thomas.
The paramount role of the state church in the evolution of European history is recognized by scholars of all disciplines, not least by sociologists of religion.
Incidental to this, but crucial to the argument, is the non-existence of forms of religion in Europe (not least a New Christian Right) which challenge the assumptions of the status quo.
www.findarticles.com /p/articles/mi_m0SOR/is_4_62/ai_82477976   (1202 words)

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