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An examination of evidence of civil religion in America with attention to the works of Robert N. Bellah and John F. Wilson

Author: Donald F Hawkins
Publisher: 1994.
Dissertation: M.A. Rel. School of Theology, Anderson University 1994
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript   Archival Material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This thesis addresses issues fomented by the civil religion proposals of Robert N. Bellah and by the countervailing positions of John F. Wilson. The thesis identifies distinct approaches to the issues: that of Bellah, focusing on a religious dimension based on national covenant; and that of Wilson, being more closely allied with Rousseau's structured political religion of the sovereign. While Bellah employs the  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Academic theses
Named Person: Robert N Bellah; John Frederick Wilson; Robert N Bellah; John Frederick Wilson
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Donald F Hawkins
OCLC Number: 30888079
Notes: Typewritten manuscript.
Abstract.
Description: xiv, 165 leaves ; 29 cm
Responsibility: by Donald F. Hawkins.
More information:

Abstract:

This thesis addresses issues fomented by the civil religion proposals of Robert N. Bellah and by the countervailing positions of John F. Wilson. The thesis identifies distinct approaches to the issues: that of Bellah, focusing on a religious dimension based on national covenant; and that of Wilson, being more closely allied with Rousseau's structured political religion of the sovereign. While Bellah employs the terms "well-institutionalized" and "differentiated," these seem only to indicate a religious dimension, though firmly embedded in the structures of American government. Calling for evidence of a highly developed and relatively static form of political religion, Wilson concludes that such is not currently identifiable in the American system. Bellah's understanding of covenant is largely derived from the abstract principles first enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. From Bellah's perspective, the nation's "primal crime" was in the breach of this covenant, through disenfranchisement of native Americans and enslavement of Africans. While Wilson speaks of a national covenant, he does not demonstrate close alliance with materials from the founding document. He is more attuned to Rousseau's formulation. Following differentiation of the two positions, the thesis tests the theories against the evidence of official government materials.

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Primary Entity

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