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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Civil Religion: The Revival of a Slippery Term

I recently received the first copy of my new book, God and War: American Civil Religion Since 1945 (Rutgers UP) and in an attempt both to shamelessly promote it and to place it in some context, I am going to write a few posts related to the resurgence of civil religion in recent books. While the touchstone for most discussions of *American* civil religion is Robert Bellah’s famous 1967 essay in Daedelus entitled, “Civil Religion in America,” the foundation for the philosophical understanding of civil religion is Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract Book IV, chapter 8.  Recently, the political theorist Ronald Read more