Civil religion in america robert n bellah 1927 2013

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Civil Religion in America Robert N. Bellah (1927-2013) According to Bellah, what constitutes a “Civil Religion”? There are components - God (a general acknowledgement of a Creator and Watchful God) o An invisible hand o Interested, involved and invested – with a special concern for America - Sanctifying a republican, democratic model of government - Providential agency – God’s intervention in American destiny - A heaven ordained experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people (echoes of City on a Hill, Errand into the wilderness) - Sacrifice (centralized through the Civil War – from which Memorial Day arose) - Annual rituals: Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, 4 th of July, Veterans Day, birthdays of Washington and Lincoln In what way/s does the concept of Manifest Destiny relate to American Civil Religion? God is invested with is happening in America, telling Americans to spread Americanism into the western territories. Page 8: “What we have, then, from the earliest years of the republic is a collection of beliefs, symbols, and rituals with respect to sacred things and institutionalized in a collectivity. This religion-there seems no other word for it-while not antithetical to and indeed sharing much in common with Christianity, was neither sectarian nor in any specific sense Christian” - Institutionalized à its everywhere, in our money, all around us. - Shares a lot of Christianity but is it really Christianity? o Using the Bible as a bases to to revoke laws such as abortion/birth control o During the President’s inauguration, Trump places his hand on the bible to saw a oath o Its tradition by using the bible and he wants to appeal to the people October 10, 2017 Native American Religions: Early Colonization and Erasure On the eve of colonization 140-160 different American Indian tribes No single language Farmed corn, potatoes, pumpkin, yams, and lima beans Used natural herbs for medicine Made salt Mined copper, lead, and coal Sometimes warring (not always peaceful) Statistics: Current Native American populations 5.2 million (about 2% of the U.S. population)
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325 federally recognized American Indian Reservations (2012) 566 federally recognized Indian tribes $36,252 median household income (compared with $52,176 nationally) only 22% of Native American live on reservations 7 out of 10 Native Americans live in urban areas poverty rate among Native Americans is higher than African Americans at 27% French colonization 1620-1640: France sent early missionaries to “converse” with inhabitants and to “dwell among them” they would “seek to attract” the natives to Christian living (learned native language) but the Frenchman who accompanied the missionaries were gleaned from the nations prisons (murders, thieves, prostitutes) – they were terrible ambassadors and models Native converts were told that they can become French citizens (different than other early colonial settlements) 3 main missionary organizations in France: Recollects Jesuits, and Ursulines
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