Civil Religion and the Sources of Legitimacy

JVF Conference Papers

The presidency of George W. Bush in the United States and the first draft of the EU Constitution in Europe provoked substantial public interest in the complicated relationship between religion and politics on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, the proponents of what Richard J. Neuhaus called “the naked public square” – the public forum without any reference to transcendent values – were most vocal. In America, George Weigel lamented the spiritual collapse of Europe, leading to its demographic decline.