Wills - Under God

August 16, 2004

Garry Wills
Under God : religion and American politics
New York : Simon and Schuster, c1990.

I read this very quickly.

I got it because I had a brain fart and confused Robert Bellah, who wrote about civil religion in the 1950s, with Gary Wills, the journalist and political commentator.

This is a perfectly reasonable review of religion in the 1980s Presidential elections, of Jesse Jackson and Pat Robertson's different ways of deploying religiosity, and of the way that religious rhetoric continues to permeat the American discourse despite the formal separation of church and state.

He includes a brief review of the founding and the early republic, including a good look at Lincoln's use of God talk. I might do something with his section on Lincoln, the rest is not so useful.

I disagree with him on civil religion and the American religious settlement. Details of that disagreement will wait until I finish, if only because I am still thinking over my position.

So, I gutted this for work, but a book is a book.

Posted by Red Ted at August 16, 2004 10:38 AM | TrackBack
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