Civil religion

Civil religion


IntroductionOrigin and Concept of civil religion-

Civil religion is a concept to which dates its origin from the French political thoughts and eventually becoming a major topic for the American sociologists. Civil religion means the inherent religious values of a nation as they are expressed via the public rituals and symbols such as the national flag and the ceremonies on the sacred days as well as at sacred places that include the battlefield, monuments and national cemeteries.

Bellah’s contributions in civil religion

Sociologist Robert Bellah in his seminal 1967 essay, he argued that the United States had an elaborate and well and a well-instituted civil religion that existed alongside and was rather clearly differentiated from the religion conducted in the churches

Forms of civil religion in America

The American constitution

Max Lerner in his classic article, the constitution and court as symbols, he pointed out to the role of the United States Constitution to what later the analysts termed as the American civil religion

The hymn God bless America

The song is taught in the American schools, and it is regularly performed at the sporting events. The hymn ‘God bless America’ sheds light on the cultural tensions that are within the US that are both past and present offering a historical chronicle that is full of surprises, and that will both edify and delight readers from all walks of life

The American president as a prophet

Throughout the American history, the president has provided the leadership in the public faith. At sometimes, the president has primarily functioned as a political prophet just as the likes of Abraham Lincoln, at some occasions acting as the nation’s pastor like Dwight Eisenhower while at some times perform basically as the high priest of the civil religion like Ronald Reagan


The American civil religion has been in existence since the nation became a republic. The components of the American civil religion are the symbols that are used to show unity among the American citizens in the manner of conducting their daily activities.


Bellah, R. N., & Tipton, S. M. (Eds.). The Robert Bellah Reader. Duke University Press. (2006). 

Grinder, D., & Shaw, S. The Presidents & Their Faith: From George Washington to Barack Obama. Elevate Publishing. (2016). 

Kaskowitz, S. God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song. Oxford University Press. (2013). 

Levinson, S. “The Constitution” in American Civil Religion. The Supreme Court Review, 1979, 123-151. (1979).