Why “Civil Religion”?

Over the past 500 years, the rise of the nation-state has resulted in one of the most potent cultural forces in history.  This force, which has much in common with religion in terms of both structure and influence, is nationalism.  The sociologist Robert Bellah coined the term “civil religion” and has written much on the topic.  The parallels (and links) between religion and nationalism may, however, be much deeper than Bellah has suggested.  This Category will examine the idea of a civil or secular religion in the context of nationalism.

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