This timely volume commemorates the 50-plus years since Robert Bellah’s ground-breaking 1967 essay “Civil Religion in America” was published in Daedalus. To say that his essay struck a chord is a huge understatement. Since then, it has been cited by scholars from various disciplines too many times to enumerate. And, as the co-editors and contributors to the volume note, the term has come to mean many things to different people. The meanings and applications themselves have evolved greatly from what Bellah seems to have meant by the expression.

The volume, which grew out of a conference on American Civil Religion (ACR) in 2017, begins with a meaty introduction by Raymond Haberski, Rhys Williams, and Philip Goff. They tie the debate about ACR into current political debates in a manner not at all complimentary of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, the two candidates for U.S. president in 2016. Neither offered,...

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