Civil religion

Civil religion

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The intended meaning of the term civil religion often varies according to whether one is a sociologist of religion or a professional political commentator. The following discussion includes both perspectives followed by a brief history of the concept.

Origin of term


Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

 coined the term in chapter 8, book 4 of The Social Contract, to describe what he regarded as the moral and spiritual foundation essential for any modern society. For Rousseau, civil religion was intended simply as a form of social cement, helping to unify the state by providing it with sacred authority. In his book, Rousseau outlines the simple dogmas of the civil religion:
  1. Deity
  2. life to come,
  3. the reward of virtue and the punishment of vice, and
  4. the exclusion of religious intolerance.

Italian Historian Emilio Gentile
Emilio Gentile
Emilio Gentile is an Italian historian specializing in the ideology and culture of fascism. Gentile is considered one of Italy's foremost cultural historians of fascist ideology. He is a student of Renzo De Felice....

 has studied the roots and development of the concept and proposed a division of two types of religions of politics: a civil religion and a Political religion
Political religion
The theory of political religion concerns governmental ideologies whose cultural and spiritual aspect is so strong that it takes an overwhelming hold of peoples lives that can be only considered as religious...

.

Sociology of religion



In the sociology of religion
Sociology of religion
The sociology of religion concerns the role of religion in society: practices, historical backgrounds, developments and universal themes. There is particular emphasis on the recurring role of religion in all societies and throughout recorded history...

, civil religion is the folk religion
Folk religion
Folk religion consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of an organized religion, but outside of official doctrine and practices...

 of a nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

 or a political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

.

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 practiced by leader
Leadership
Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.-Theories:...

s within that society. On the other hand, it is somewhat less than an establishment of religion, since established churches have official clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 and a relatively fixed and formal relationship with the government that establishes them. Civil religion is usually practiced by political leaders who are laypeople and whose leadership is not specifically spiritual.

Examples


Such civil religion encompasses such things as:
  • the invocation of God
    God
    God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

     in political speeches and public monument
    Monument
    A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, or simply as an example of historic architecture...

    s;
  • the quotation of religious text
    Religious text
    Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition...

    s on public occasions by political leaders;
  • the veneration
    Veneration
    Veneration , or veneration of saints, is a special act of honoring a saint: an angel, or a dead person who has been identified by a church committee as singular in the traditions of the religion. It is practiced by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic, and Eastern Catholic Churches...

     of past political leaders;
  • the use of the lives of these leaders to teach moral
    Moral
    A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim...

     ideals;
  • the veneration of veterans and casualties of a nation's war
    War
    War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

    s;
  • religious gatherings called by political leaders;
  • the use of religious symbol
    Symbol
    A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

    s on public buildings;
  • the use of public buildings for worship
    Worship
    Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

    ;
  • founding myth
    Founding myth
    A national myth is an inspiring narrative or anecdote about a nation's past. Such myths often serve as an important national symbol and affirm a set of national values. A national myth may sometimes take the form of a national epic...

    s and other national myths

and similar religious or quasi-religious practices.

Practical political philosophy


Professional commentators on political and social matters writing in newspapers and magazines sometimes use the term civil religion or civic religion to refer to ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

 expressions of patriotism
Patriotism
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

 of a sort practiced in all countries, not always including religion in the conventional sense of the word.

Among such practices are the following:

Examples

  • crowds singing the national anthem at certain public gatherings;
  • parades or display of the national flag on certain patriotic holidays
    National Day
    The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler . Often the day is not called "National Day"...

    ;
  • oaths of allegiance
    Oath of allegiance
    An oath of allegiance is an oath whereby a subject or citizen acknowledges a duty of allegiance and swears loyalty to monarch or country. In republics, modern oaths specify allegiance to the country's constitution. For example, officials in the United States, a republic, take an oath of office that...

    , such as the Pledge of Allegiance
    Pledge of Allegiance
    The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

     of the United States;
  • ceremonies concomitant to the inauguration of a president or the coronation of a king;
  • retelling exaggerated, one-sided, and simplified mythologized
    Mythology
    The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

     tales of Founding Fathers and other great leaders or great events (e.g., battles, mass migrations) in the past (in this connection, see also romantic nationalism
    Romantic nationalism
    Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

    );
  • monument
    Monument
    A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, or simply as an example of historic architecture...

    s commemorating great leaders of the past or historic events;
  • monuments to dead soldiers or annual ceremonies to remember them;
  • expressions of reverence
    Reverence
    Reverence may refer to:* Reverence a subjective response to something excellent in a personal way* Reverence , the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the power of one's superior or superiors...

     for the country or the Constitution or the King;
  • public display of the coffin of a recently deceased political leader.

Relation between the two conceptions


These two conceptions (sociological and political) of civil religion substantially overlap. In Britain, where church and state are constitutionally joined, the monarch's coronation is an elaborate religious rite celebrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

. In France, secular ceremonies are separated from religious observances to a greater degree than in most countries. In the United States of America, a president being inaugurated is told by the Constitution to choose between saying "I do solemnly swear..."
Oath of office
An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations...

 (customarily followed by "so help me God", although those words are not Constitutionally required) and saying "I do solemnly affirm..." (in which latter case no mention of God would be expected).

Prehistory & Classical antiquity


Practically all the ancient and prehistoric reigns suffused politics with religion. Often the leaders, such as the Farao or the Chinese Emperor were considered manifestations of a Divinity
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

. Tribal world-view was often Pantheistic
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

, the tribe being an extension of its surrounding nature and the leaders having roles and symbols derived from the animal hierarchy and significant natural phenomena (such as storm).

The religion of the Athenian polis
Polis
Polis , plural poleis , literally means city in Greek. It could also mean citizenship and body of citizens. In modern historiography "polis" is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, like Classical Athens and its contemporaries, so polis is often translated as "city-state."The...

 was a secular polytheism focused on the Olympian Gods and was celebrated in the civic festivals. Religion was a matter of state and the Athenian Ecclesia
Ecclesia
-Ecclesia:* the Christian Church**See Church militant and church triumphant for ecclesia militans, ecclesia penitens, ecclesia triumphans* Congregation among many English-speaking Christadelphians....

 deliberated on matters of religion. Atheism and the introduction of foreign gods were forbidden in Athens and punishable by death. Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

 was charged, tried, found guilty and condemned to death by drinking hemlock
Hemlock
The word hemlock may refer to:*Hemlock, several poisonous plants in the Apiaceae family :**Hemlock , two species, one formerly used as a method of execution**Water Hemlock...

 by the Athenian ecclesia. The charge was that he worshipped gods other than those sanctioned by the polis.

Rome also had a civil religion, whose first Emperor Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 officially attempted to revive the dutiful practice of Classical paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

. Greek and Roman religion
Religion in ancient Rome
Religion in ancient Rome encompassed the religious beliefs and cult practices regarded by the Romans as indigenous and central to their identity as a people, as well as the various and many cults imported from other peoples brought under Roman rule. Romans thus offered cult to innumerable deities...

 were essentially local in character; the Roman Empire attempted to unite its disparate territories by inculcating an ideal of Roman piety, and by a syncretistic
Syncretism
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means "combining", but see below for the origin of the word...

 identifying of the gods of conquered territories with the Greek and Roman pantheon
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

. In this campaign, Augustus erected monuments such as the Ara Pacis
Ara Pacis
The Ara Pacis Augustae is an altar to Peace, envisioned as a Roman goddess...

, the Altar of Peace, showing the Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 and his family worshiping the gods. He also encouraged the publication of works such as Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

's Æneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

, which depicted "pious Æneas
Aeneas
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

", the legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

ary ancestor of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, as a role model for Roman religiosity. Roman historians such as Livy
Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

 told tales of early Romans as morally improving stories of military prowess and civic virtue. The Roman civil religion later became centered on the person of the Emperor through the imperial cult
Imperial cult (Ancient Rome)
The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority of the Roman State...

, the worship of the genius
Genius (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion, the genius was the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place or thing.-Nature of the genius:...

 of the Emperor.

Modern era


The phrase "civil religion" was first discussed extensively by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

 in his 1762 treatise The Social Contract (although this is a translation since Rousseau wrote in French). As typically interpreted, 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
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

; belief in an afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

 in which virtue
Virtue
Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being....

 is rewarded and vice punished; and belief in religious tolerance
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

. Beyond that, Rousseau affirmed that individuals' religious opinions should be beyond the reach of governments.

In the 1960s and 1970s, scholars such as Robert N. Bellah
Robert N. Bellah
Robert Neelly Bellah is an American sociologist, now the Elliott Professor of Sociology, Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Bellah is best known for his work related to "American civil religion"...

 and Martin E. Marty
Martin E. Marty
Martin Emil Marty is an American Lutheran religious scholar who has written extensively on 19th century and 20th century American religion. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1956, and served as a Lutheran pastor from 1952 to 1962 in the suburbs of Chicago...

 studied civil religion as a cultural phenomenon, attempting to identify the actual tenets of civil religion in the United States of America, or to study civil religion as a phenomenon of cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

. Within this U.S. context, Marty wrote that Americans approved of "religion in general" without being particularly concerned about the content of that faith, and attempted to distinguish "priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

ly" and "prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

ic" roles within the practice of American civil religion, which he preferred to call the public theology. In "Civil Religion in America," a 1967 essay, Bellah wrote that civil religion in its priestly sense is "an institutionalized collection of sacred beliefs about the American nation." Bellah describes the prophetic role of civil religion as challenging "national self-worship" and calling for "the subordination of the nation to ethical principles that transcend it in terms of which it should be judged." Bellah identified the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, and the Civil Rights Movement as three decisive historical events that impacted the content and imagery of civil religion in the United States.

Issues



Within the contexts of the monotheistic
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

ic, revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 faiths, civil religion can be problematic from a theological
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 perspective. Being identified with a political culture and a leadership hierarchy
Hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

 of an existing society, civil religion's priestly role, can interfere with the prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

ic mission of a religious faith. This has been the challenge religion faces upon entering the public sphere throughout all ages and cultures. At times of national crisis civil religion commonly renews itself by becoming a platform for rebuking the sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

s of a people or its institutions, and by calling on citizens to be true to the nation's deeper values.

The United States of America, while originally developing out of a group of British colonies
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

, was settled in part by religious dissenter
Dissenter
The term dissenter , labels one who disagrees in matters of opinion, belief, etc. In the social and religious history of England and Wales, however, it refers particularly to a member of a religious body who has, for one reason or another, separated from the Established Church.Originally, the term...

s from the established Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, who desired a civil society founded on a different religious vision. Other religious traditions were strongly represented in areas eventually incorporated into the US (such as former Spanish, French, and Russian colonies and Mexican territory), through significant immigration of diverse populations, and the continual presence of indigenous Native American groups. Consequently, there has never been a national church in the United States and individual state churches have not existed in the United States since the early nineteenth century. Religious denominations compete with one another for allegiance in the public sphere. Secularism and agnosticism are also publicly legitimated and widespread. These facts have made public displays of religious piety by political leaders important to a large sector of the population; lacking an established church, they may seek public assurance of those leaders' religious beliefs or general sense of moral conviction.

This assertive civil religion of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is an occasional cause of political friction between the U.S. and its allies in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, where (the literally religious form of) civil religion is less extreme. In the United States, civil religion is often invoked under the name of "Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 tradition", a phrase originally intended to be maximally inclusive of the several monotheism
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

s practiced in the United States, assuming that these faiths all worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 the same God and share the same values. This assumption tends to dilute the essence of both Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

; recognition of this fact, and the increasing religious diversity of the United States, make this phrase less heard now than it once was, though it is far from extinct. Some scholars have argued that the American flag
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

 can be seen as a main totem
Totem
A totem is a stipulated ancestor of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe.Totems support larger groups than the individual person. In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem...

 of a national cult. Arguing against mob violence and lynching, Abraham Lincoln declared in his 1838 Lyceum speech that the Constitution and the laws of the United States ought to become the ‘political religion’ of each American.

See also

  • American civil religion
    American civil religion
    American civil religion is a term coined by sociologist Robert Bellah in 1967. The article in which the term is coined, "Civil Religion in America", sparked one of the most controversial debates in United States sociology. Soon after the paper was published, the topic became the major focus at...

  • Ceremonial deism
    Ceremonial deism
    Ceremonial deism is a legal term used in the United States for nominally religious statements and practices deemed to be merely ritual and non-religious through long customary usage. Proposed examples of ceremonial deism include the reference to God introduced into the Pledge of Allegiance in...

  • Civic virtue
    Civic virtue
    Civic virtue is the cultivation of habits of personal living that are claimed to be important for the success of the community. The identification of the character traits that constitute civic virtue have been a major concern of political philosophy...

  • Deep England
  • Ecclesia
  • Flag desecration
    Flag desecration
    Flag desecration is a term applied to various acts that intentionally destroy, damage or mutilate a flag in public, most often a national flag. Often, such action is intended to make a political point against a country or its policies...

  • Juche
    Juche
    Juche or Chuch'e is a Korean word usually translated as "self-reliance." In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea , "Juche" refers specifically to a political thesis of Kim Il-sung, the Juche Idea, that identifies the Korean masses as the masters of the country's development...

     — the official ideology of North Korea
  • Marianne
    Marianne
    Marianne is a national emblem of France and an allegory of Liberty and Reason. She represents the state and values of France, differently from another French cultural symbol, the "Coq Gaulois" which represents France as a nation and its history, land, culture, and variety of sport disciplines in...

     — the national emblem of France
  • Political religion
    Political religion
    The theory of political religion concerns governmental ideologies whose cultural and spiritual aspect is so strong that it takes an overwhelming hold of peoples lives that can be only considered as religious...

  • Sociology of religion
    Sociology of religion
    The sociology of religion concerns the role of religion in society: practices, historical backgrounds, developments and universal themes. There is particular emphasis on the recurring role of religion in all societies and throughout recorded history...

  • Secular state
    Secular state
    A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

  • Secularism
    Secularism
    Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...


External links