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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Albatross Concept

I have had a brief exchange with sociologist Robert Bellah about my characterization in God and War of his 1967 essay, “Civil Religion in America.”  The gist of the exchange would not surprise any one who has even a passing understanding of Bellah’s relationship to the concept.  Almost from the moment his essay appeared he sought to distance himself from what became the popular implications of the term–that America had a collection of ideals that generations of its people could appeal to as a kind of normative faith.  Obviously, Bellah had good reason to disavow such a notion.  If we Read more