Does America Need a Civil Religion?

From the editor:

Gus diZerega is featured in Patheos’ new Public Square, a discussion space designed to bring people together at the intersection of ‘current concern’ and ‘ultimate concern.’

Our opening topic: Does America Need a Civil Religion? The late sociologist Robert Bellah argued that American civil religion had become an “empty and broken shell” by the turn of the twenty-first century. Is it a concept worth reviving? Would re-imagining it help us move beyond the culture wars toward greater national cohesion? How might faith communities contribute to a newly imagined civil religion that addresses the challenges we face today?

Read Gus’ response or the full discussion between our seven featured panelists.

About Christine Kraemer

Christine Hoff Kraemer is Managing Editor of the Pagan Channel at Christine holds a PhD in Religious and Theological Studies from Boston University. She has published widely on literature, popular culture, and Paganism and is the author of Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies (Patheos Press, 2012) as well as Eros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective (Routledge, 2013). Christine is also an instructor at Cherry Hill Seminary, where she served for two years as chair of the Theology and Religious History department.

  • Matthew Stuart

    We do not need any Religion at all, it has caused more tears and heartache and misery than it’s worth, people can choose what to believe or not to believe on their own.

  • billwald

    “Generic American Protestant” is the American civil religion and “Amazing Grace,” the official song, All pro forma. Sort of like “The Star Spangled Banner,” the official “Play Ball!” song.

  • Gregory Wonderwheel

    The USA already has a civil religion. It is called Capitalism and it worships money and wealth.

    • Bubububba Bubba

      amen, brother.

  • Brian Bowman

    My first thought in response to the question is the First Amendment prohibition of establishing a civil religion.

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