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Varieties of Civil Religion by Robert Bellah and Phillip E. Hammond

Robert N. Bellah is Ford Professor of Sociology and Comparative Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Phillip E. Hammond is Professor of Religious Studies and Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara. Copyright by Robert N. Bellah and Phillip E. Hammond.

If the world is to survive, our civility needs vast improvement. American civil religion with its tradition of openness, tolerance, and ethical commitment might make a contribution to a world civil religion that would transcend and include the improvements in that lack of civility.

Chapter 1: Religion and the Legitimation of the American Republic
Dr. Bellah clarifies the term "civil religion" and how the principle has worked out in our history, and he discusses the confusion about the nature of the American republic.

Chapter 2: The Japanese and American Cases
Dr. Bellah holds that a healthy pursuit of moral values involves the importance of the individual and this is key to the survival of any people.

Chapter 3: The Conditions for Civil Religion: A Comparison of the United States and Mexico
Dr. Hammond compares civil religion in America with that in Mexico. There is more separation of church and state in civil religion in Mexico than in America.

Chapter 4: The Five Religions of Modern Italy
Dr. Bellah discusses civil in present day Italy: It has been an interweaving of strands of socialism, liberty and especially Christianity.

Chapter 5: The Rudimentary Forms of Civil Religion
Dr. Hammond suggests reasons that make plausible the development of civil religion.

Chapter 6: Pluralism and Law in the Formation of American Civil Religion
Dr. Hammond looks at the function played by religious pluralism and law in the development of America’s civil religion.

Chapter 7: New Religious Consciousness and the Crisis in Modernity
Dr. Bellah attempts to understand the cultural and political upheaval of the 1960s in terms of what he considers the deepest dimension of those events -- religious dimension.

Chapter 8: Civility and Civil Religion. The Emergence of Cults
Dr. Hammond is "bothered" by those who ask the question, "Are you a Christian?" Such questioners are inclined to be uncivil in the answers they seek. For them civil religion has become exhausted.

Epilogue: The Civil Religion Proposal
Dr. Hammond expresses a need to revitalize concern for civil religion, for the despair in the present it holds out hope for the future by renewing an understand of the past.

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