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Civil Religion and Church and State

Ronald C. Wimberley and James A. Christenson
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Winter, 1980), pp. 35-40
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4106009
Page Count: 6
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Civil Religion and Church and State
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Abstract

Earlier conceptualizations suggest a socially integrative civil religion in the United States and define it as not infringing upon church and state separation. No published empirical evidence exists, however, of the alleged compatibility of these two beliefs in the minds of the citizenry. Because the idea of civil religion rests largely upon such an assumption, the relationship between civil religion and church-state separatism is tested in an analysis of data from over 3000 respondents to a state survey. The findings indicate no conflict between the two belief systems. Institutional and organizational implications of civil religion in relation to the legalistic notion of separatism are discussed.

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