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Civil Religion for a Diverse Polity

Rethinking Obama

ISBN: 978-0-85724-911-1, eISBN: 978-0-85724-912-8

Publication date: 30 November 2011


Philip S. Gorski's “Barack Obama and Civil Religion” offers a number of important contributions to the study of American culture generally, and American Civil Religion (ACR) more specifically. Gorski's appreciation of the deep diversity in contemporary American society is a welcome development in ACR analysis. I ask whether the term “civil religion” remains most adequate for describing the sort of cultural phenomenon that Gorski, following Bellah, attempts to capture, and offer some methodological and interpretive comments on the promise and challenge of studying ACR in the twenty-first century United States. I close with some more particular remarks on Barack Obama and the contours of ACR as sketched by Gorski.


Murphy, A.R. (2011), "Civil Religion for a Diverse Polity", Go, J. (Ed.) Rethinking Obama (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 225-236.



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