In order to understand American and British civil religion and its link to Christianity, one must focus on the history and what brought about the changes in these regions historically and their impact on the Christian world in these two most influential regions. In my research efforts, I would like to discuss Gerald Parsons book “Perspectives on Civil Religion and Sydney Ahlstrom's book on the religious history of these two countries.
There are different levels of the definition civil religion and the two most influential authorities on civil religion's definition from Robert Bellah the American sociologist and later Pierard and Linder have in turn served to actually link the concept of civil religion with Christianity (Parsons,2002, p.6).
According to Bellah, American civil religion has two aspects :priestly and conservative, liberal and prohetic (Parsons, 2002, p.3). He goes on to explain the Americans on the one hand see themselves as divinely appointed by God to lead the world in a particular direction. “..For some among the new Christian Right within recent and contemporary American politics, the concept of an American civil religion has been deployed as part of a campaign to create and sustain a distinctively 'Christian America' (Parsons, 2002, p.4).” According to the author, the move in this direction advertises America's ideologies in a Christian context- the ideologies of peace and justice and mingle them in the context of Christian religion. Richard Pierard and Robert Linder have actually defined certain characteristics of civil religion where a nation and its vision are somehow intertwined with each other (Parsons, 2002). ...Show more