Civil Religion and the Sources of Legitimacy


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.[1]

The deep cleavage between the religiosity of Europeans and Americans attracted considerable attention from sociologists of religion. A landmark comparative study by José Casanova challenged the dogmatic status of the secularization thesis, while Grace Davie showed it is Europe, not America, that is exceptional in its religious decline.[2] These, and many other scholars, however, have focused on traditional “parameters of faith” like church attendance and self-identification. Few studies have dealt with the reasons for the simultaneous persistence of civil religion in the US and lack thereof in Europe. The philosopher Gertrude Himmelfarb and the theologian George Weigel offered some interesting insights here, but neither of them paid sufficient attention to the sociological dimension of the civil religion concept.[3]

Literature on the American civil religion is abundant. The discussion initiated by the publication of a now-classic essay by Robert N. Bellah continues unabated.[4] Many of these works focus on the American presidency in its civil religious function.[5] However, the notion of civil religion – understood as a set of religious references in the political sphere – rarely provides a framework for the European perceptions of American religion.

In Europe the religious rhetoric of US presidents tends to be presented as an imposition of their private world-view on their fellow citizens and, in certain cases, on the whole world. The aim of this paper, firstly, is to identify institutional patterns which shape this kind of religious rhetoric in America. I try to put this rhetoric in the larger context of the American civil religion, emphasizing its continuity rather then its exceptional character. The valid question, I think, should be: is civil religion merely an instrument of political power, or does it also provide the elected officials with a high ethical standard of conduct, and the nation with a set of shared values? Hence, secondly, I discuss the problem of civil religion from the point of view of the sources of legitimacy.

I. The U.S.

Robert N. Bellah famously defined civil religion as “that religious dimension, found […] in the life of every people, through which it interprets its historical experience in the light of transcendent reality.”[6] He was referring to America in the first place. Bellah claimed that thus understood civil religion in America is a complete system of symbols and ideas, with its s acred texts (like the Declaration of Independence or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address); s acred places (the Lincoln Memorial or Arlington War Cemetery); s acred people (the Founding Fathers and some deceased Presidents (most notably Abraham Lincoln); and s acred objects – the national flag and h oly days (Memorial Day or Independence Day). Other well known examples include the national motto, “In God We Trust,” which in 1956 replaced the previous secular one: E Pluribus Unum. The appearance of the same words on US currency and the new version of the Pledge of Allegiance, which now includes the famous phrase describing America as “one nation, under God,” are two more examples.

Although civil religion is part of a long-standing tradition in America, there seems to be a double standard for how much religion is to be allowed in a political discourse. A careful analysis of public speeches of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush Jr. reveals that the former would quote or paraphrase the Bible nearly four times as frequently as the latter. Clinton was also much more straightforward in manipulating religion for political gain, mainly while speaking to black audiences before elections. Just days before the mid-term elections to Congress in 1998 he is noted as saying, “You have helped each other walk in dignity. You have fulfilled the admonition of the Scripture to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. And on Tuesday you will once again have the chance to be doers.”[7] This not-so-subtle allusion to a passage from the Letter of St. James (1:22) served to encourage the black voters to cast their ballot while presenting a political right as a divine commandment. Similar religious rhetoric helped Clinton to frame his response to the Lewinsky scandal. His talk of “sin” and “forgiveness” were meant to present a serious misdemeanor of the highest officer of the country (including not only sexual misbehavior in the workplace but also lying to the court) as a personal and spiritual failure, crying for God’s forgiveness rather than impeachment. This manipulation provoked protests of almost two hundred religious scholars who issued a “D eclaration Concerning Religion, Ethics, and the Crisis in the Clinton Presidency,” wherein they insisted that “serious misunderstandings of repentance and forgiveness are being exploited for political advantage.”[8]

Of course, religious rhetoric was also crucial for the framing of George W. Bush’s response to 9/11. In the address to the nation on the evening of September 11, 2001 Bush used a powerful biblical metaphor to describe the conflict between the terrorists and America. He said: “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.”[9]

This metaphor, which comes from the Prologue to the Gospel of St. John, and which refers to the coming of Christ (who is the light) was used to present America as the light and her enemies as darkness. This frame was successful in shaping the public opinion’s stance on the right response to the attacks. While most Americans eagerly accepted this kind of rhetoric, as in the Clinton case many scholars protested against the theology of war coming from the White House.

Despite their different religious and political background, Clinton and Bush did not differ significantly in their civil religious rhetoric. Both the Southern Baptist Democrat from Arkansas and the Presbyterian-turned-Methodist Republican from Texas followed in the footsteps of their predecessors in this respect. Neither of them departed from the tradition, started by George Washington, to conclude their presidential oath with the words “So help me God”. Both of them, on numerous occasions echoed John Adams, the second US president, when he said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[10]

Neglecting the long-standing tradition of an institutionalized civil religion in the public sphere while simultaneously over-emphasizing the influence of president’s private religiosity on the country’s politics may well be part of a larger trend to view religion as exclusively a private matter, rather than a collective enterprise. It is assumed that religion should not be concerned with public issues, since that may and inevitably will lead to value judgments. In effect, when religious perspective is manifested in the public pronouncement, it is assumed to be just a private view of a given politician, and not an expression of a collective belief or tradition.

II. Europe

Whether the United States remains the most religious country in the world may be debatable; what seems to be beyond reasonable doubt is the fact that religion in America continues to inform political discourse to a degree not known in most European countries. While the 1755 devastating earthquake in Lisbon led Voltaire to abandon his faith in God and turned him not only against the clergy but against religion in general, Americans reacted to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 with an even firmer belief that their country needs more religion rather than less. An atheist has less chances of becoming US president that a woman, a black person, or a homosexual.[11]

In some European countries (Poland, Italy) a dominant (though not officially established) church performs vital public functions (for example, Catholic religious ceremonies accompany national holidays). Great Britain comes closest to the US model: the Anglican church has long ceased to be just a denomination, but serves as a unifying force in an ethnically and religiously diverse country, being more of an adornment, a decoration, providing a setting for important national events (coronations, funerals, etc.) than a real influence on national politics. In other countries (especially those in Scandinavia), the religious establishment has until recently played a similar role.

For these reasons, in most European countries we cannot talk about civil religion(s); we can however talk about the presence of religion (or religious references) in the public sphere, or, more specifically, in political discourse. Here, although the diversity is equally great, religiosity does not come close to the American model. Tony Blair could be an exception, but a closer look at the rhetoric of his speeches makes evident that religious references are very rare. In Poland, often perceived as close to America under many circumstances, self-proclaimed agnostic, Aleksander Kwasniewski, was able to easily secure a re-election in presidential elections in 2001, something that would not be possible in the US. Similarly, in his 2005 inaugural address, the new conservative President Lech Kaczynski mentioned God and religious issues only in passing.

Although no single model for the presence of religious references and language can be found among the European countries, in most of them the situation seems to be fundamentally different from the American. The 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam prevents the EU’s institutions from interfering with the particular arrangements of their church-state relations. Occasionally, however, one gets a glimpse of what the EU’s policy towards the churches, or religion in general, could be like. The French model of laïcité is predominant, as the 2004 Buttiglione affair made clear. Rocco Buttiglione, a scholar, philosopher and writer, as well as Christian-Democratic politician was nominated by the Italian government for the post of European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security. During the hearings held by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice And Home Affairs, he was virtually forced to confess that – as an orthodox Catholic – he thinks homosexuality is a sin. Some of the reviewers worried that some of Buttiglione’s opinions “are in direct contradiction to the European law. For example, the discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is prohibited and you have said that homosexuality is a sin and the sign of moral disorder.”[12] Although, drawing on Kant, he was careful to distinguish between a private religious conviction and a political stance, and although he pledged to protect the equal rights of homosexual citizens, the committee thought his views were dangerous and intolerant and after a prolonged debacle his candidacy was withdrawn by his government. Thus a precedent was set that seemed to exclude all conservative Christians from European politics.

The Buttiglione affair was all the more perplexing if one considers the origins of the European integration. Many of the Founding Fathers were orthodox believers. Alcide de Gasperi, the Italian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, and Konrad Adenauer, the German chancellor, were both orthodox Catholics. Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Affairs Minister who was instrumental in the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, and subsequently of two other communities which formed the institutional basis of the today’s EU, was an intensely religious man, strongly influenced by Christian Personalism of Jacques Maritain. His beatification process started in 2004. Although none of these men were ostentatious about their religiosity, their faith has shaped their political views and, consequently, their vision of a united Europe.

There are other examples of the European Union’s “problem” with religion. A particularly telling one was the case of the Orthodox monastic community on Mount Athos, a Greek peninsula that has retained an unlikely autonomy for centuries. According to a thousand-year long tradition, no women are allowed to enter the territory of the monastic republic. This tradition was challenged in a 2003 European Parliament report on fundamental rights in the EU. The report called for the lifting of the ban, calling it a violation of the international conventions on gender equality, non-discrimination, and the EU principle of the free movement of persons.[13] Although the Greek government strongly objected, and although the practice continues unabated, the EU’s intrusion was widely taken as an ominous sign of its general negative stance towards the churches and religion as such.

While there clearly is no single European civil religion as I defined it in the introduction, some have claimed that other value systems function as its alternative. For some, both positively and negatively, secular humanism, glorifying the rational heritage of Enlightenment and the idea of laïcité, is an example. The term “ secular humanism” needs some explanation here. In the United States it is often a catch-all phrase used by conservatives to describe their opponents, while very few liberals actually identify themselves this way. In Europe, however, humanism was indicated as the dominant source of identity in the draft of the EU Constitution prepared in 2004 by a Constitutional Convention headed by the French ex-President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Rather than unite the EU, however, it seems to be a bone of contention: both sides of the European version of the culture war differ as to their evaluation of virtually all major developments in the continent’s history, including the French Revolution. Apart from the Second World War, which was the cornerstone of the European community, no single event or idea can serve as a unifying factor. This factor is most clear in the debates over the preamble to the European constitution.

The European Union’s inability to adopt a constitution is partially due to the lack of a set of common values; no single civil religion binds the now 28 member states. This disagreement became especially visible during discussions over the preamble to the constitution: whether to include a reference to God or not, and whether Christianity should be explicitly mentioned as a major source of European values, together with ancient Greek philosophy, Roman law, and the Enlightenment. Proponents of an invocatio Dei were relatively few (they included the Vatican and Malta), while many Christian Democratic parties all over Europe (and many states, like Austria, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain) insisted on a reference to Europe’s Christian heritage. The opponents of this seemingly historically objective acknowledgment of Christianity’s role in shaping European civilization either claimed such a reference would have an exclusionary character or denied Christianity a formative influence.

At the same time, a series of political challenges forced the European establishment as well as the public to face the issue of religion. The prospects of Turkey’s joining EU (and more recently, the seeming end to the domination of secularism in this country’s politics), the religious motivation of terrorists responsible for the Madrid (2004) and London (2005) bombings, and finally, the EU enlargement which confronted the thoroughly secular ‘old Europe’ with such staunchly Catholic countries as Poland all required a new look at this issue.

III. Reasons for the Gap

How, then, can we identify the philosophical, theological, historical, and social reasons for the presence of religious rhetoric and symbolism (civil religion) in American political discourse, and the absence thereof in the European political discourse (with particular emphasis on the political discourse within the EU institutions)?

Part of the answer may be found in the general vitality of religious life in America, which has always puzzled sociologists of religion. It has usually been explained by the lack of a nationwide religious establishment, which has fostered religious pluralism and competition between churches, denominations and sects. Rodney Stark and William S. Bainbridge developed this argument into the economic theory of religion. Others have pointed to the religious awakenings and revivals, which have regularly swept the country and each time lasted for decades, that have acted as powerful revitalizations of religiosity.[14]

These reasons can help to explain the general vitality of religious sentiment and behavior in the US, but do not necessarily explain why religion informs the public life and provides vocabulary and imagery to the political discourse. Here, it is crucial to stress the distinct character of Anglo-American Enlightenment, which views religion as a major source of public morality. The European Enlightenment, dominated by the French philosophes, was not only anti-clerical, but in some notable instances, like Voltaire’s, even anti-religious, whereas the English and Scottish thinkers, as well as Americans who put their ideas into political practice, generally subscribed to the idea best expressed by George Washington in his Farewell Address (1796). He said: “ Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”[15]

Consequently, hypothetical reasons for the absence of religious references in the European public sphere include: (a) a legacy of religion-based conflicts, (b) alliances between the altar and the throne, (c) the churches’ quest for religious monopoly, and (d) the anti-clericalism of the French Enlightenment, which view religion as both a political and an intellectual foe. For centuries, religion was a factor crucial in securing citizens’ deep loyalty to the nation state. Until the post-war period, European states rarely lacked people’s zeal for their country. Maybe, the expanding EU simply does not need or even does not want to create any strong commitment to any political structure, even if it is a supranational one?

However, the transatlantic gap is far from complete. Civil religion may suffuse the political language of US presidents, but when it comes to real decision-making on other levels another philosophy, which Michael Sandel called “procedural liberalism,” seems to be at play. While the republican tradition acknowledges the importance of virtue and moral deliberation in political discourse, procedural liberalism assumes that “(…) since people disagree about the best way to live, government should not affirm in law any particular vision of the good life. Instead, it should provide a framework of rights that respects persons as free and independent (unencumbered) selves, capable of choosing their own values and ends.”[16]

It is the latter that seems to inform the decisions of the US Supreme Court: in most cases individual human rights take precedence over any consideration of the common good. Judges seem to agree with a notion that the government should abstain from embracing any concept of a “good life” or “virtue,” as to do so could offend those who may not share it. If civil religion in presidential rhetoric still reflects the republican tradition of the Declaration of Independence and performs some important tasks for the state (those of integration, legitimization, consolation, and the mobilization of loyalty), it no longer necessarily shapes policy. Furthermore, Americans themselves are deeply divided over a range of crucial issues in what is called a “culture war.” What is important, however, is that there is more understanding that both the orthodox and the progressive side of this conflict is “rooted in a sense of ultimate truth,” and that their claims are “by their very nature religious in character if not in content.”[17]

Also on the European side there appear signs of a new understanding of the right relationship between religion and the public sphere. Jürgen Habermas, self-proclaimed agnostic and supporter of a secular state, has recently advocated a more accommodating approach towards religious voices in the public sphere.

In a 2001 speech on „Faith and Knowledge” he called secularization a „ forced transference of Church properties to the authority of the secular State, ” which created a false assumption that religious faith will wane as modernity progresses.[18]

In 2004 he met and debated Card. Ratzinger, future Pope Benedict XVI, in Munich in a seminar titled “Pre-political moral foundations in the construction of a free civil society. ” Habermas talked respectully about religious communities, claiming that they “preserved intact something which has elsewhere been lost, ” while Card. Ratzinger stressed the role of the “divine light of reason ” in checking pathologies in religion.[19] In a book that appeared the same year, Habermas admitted that Christianity was an indispensable element of European identity:

“Christianity has functioned for the normative self-understanding of modernity as more then a mere precursor or a catalyst. Egalitarian universalism, from which sprang the ideas of freedom and social solidarity, of an autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, of the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct heir to the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.”[20]

In a 2006 article on Religion in Public Life (that forms the initial chapter of his latest book Between Naturalism and Religion) Habermas wrote, “The liberal state must not transform the requisite institutional separation of the religion and politics into an undue mental and psychological burden for those of its citizens who follow a faith.”[21] Citizens “should therefore be allowed to express and justify their convictions in a religious language if they cannot find secular ‘translations’ for them.”[22] Those who do not share these religious convictions, “must open their minds to the possible truth content” in religious argumentation and “enter dialogues from which religious reasons then might well emerge in the transformed guise of generally accessible arguments.”[23]

IV. Civil religion and the problem of legitimacy

According to Max Weber, we can distinguish three main ways to legitimize a political order: traditional, charismatic and legal-rational. Traditional model is based on “an established belief in the sanctity of immemorial traditions and the legitimacy of those exercising authority under them.”[24] Charismatic authority derives its legitimization from the unique features of the ruler: his physical strength, wisdom, healing abilities, or persuasiveness. Legal-rational authority, finally, rests on the consent of the governed, so that the authorities keep their power as long as they follow certain universally accepted procedures.

That American presidents reach for religious language in some of their most important speeches, especially in times of crisis when their political mandate needs to be reasserted, seems to show that democracy needs other sources of legitimacy than purely the legal-rational sources envisioned by Weber. That their European counterparts do not require such sources is equally ominous.

Ernst Wolfgang Böckenförde observed that all power relies on transcendent sources of legitimization, although only some would acknowledge this fact. American civil religion is not the source of legitimacy for the political order, but it is precisely the acknowledgment that “the people” who adopted the constitution, and Americans today, do rely on “self-evident truths” that are not an outcome of a social contract but derive from pre-democratic (religious and philosophical) sources. Transcendent ideas are the foundation of democratic values, which themselves were not accepted democratically by means of a social contract, but are the legacy of older, to a large extent religious, traditions. Ralf Dahrendorf calls this the “ Böckenförde paradox”: democracy is based on values, which were not produced democratically; democracy cannot create itself.[25] Consequently, every society, even the most secularized one, which officially renounces all religious references, is really based on some religious or at least philosophical concept of the good life. Even if there is no discernible civil religion, the foundations of society lie outside of society itself. Hence, civil religion, when it exists, seems to be not the source of legitimacy, but an official acknowledgment of the fact that political authority does not produce its own legitimacy but derives it from traditional, pre-political sources.

Democracy is a mechanism of changing who holds power in society – it is not a set of values. As Ralf Dahrendorf observed, democracy is “cold” and has difficulty with inspiring people’s loyalty to the state or to democratic arrangements themselves.[26] Civil religion, he notes, helps to warm up these purely technical procedures, inject them with life and meaning. In this way, democratic processes are used to protect values which do not derive from an abstract ‘social contract’.

V. Conclusion

The aim of paper was to re-frame the debate over the transatlantic “God gap” to include the civil religion concept. The analysis of the functions of religious rhetoric in presidential speeches reveals, among other things, that all legitimization rests on transcendent sources – it’s just that some (scholars, societies, nations?) do acknowledge that, while others do not. The clearest example was the quasi-religious character of Marxism-Leninism, which possessed its Holy Writ (i.e. the Collected Works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin), it’s Saints, it’s Sanctuaries (Lenin’s Mausoleum), as well as a complete “theology” centered on a specific, secularized concept of (earthly and collective) salvation – becoming perversa imitatio of Christianity.

Democracy, too, rests on presumptions that are pre-democratic. Civil religion – visible in religious references in the public speeches of politicians – can testify to that simple fact without entering the debate over theological subtleties likely to divide the society. Occasionally, this transcendent standard can even help politicians, as well as citizens, to view their actions with greater criticism and to reach beyond the next election or poll. American history, where both the abolitionist and civil rights movement were religiously inspired, provides ample evidence to this thesis. On the other hand, however, politicians can use religion for political gain by manipulating public opinion and preventing any criticism by identifying their actions with divine purpose. The Bush administration’s reaction to 9/11, as well as Clinton’s interpretation of his affair with a White House staff member are clear examples here. Such misuse of civil religion corrupts both politics and religion.

In searching for legitimacy of political order Europe and America chose different paths for historical reasons. The future of democracy on both continents will tell us which model is better – the American extrapolation of a religious covenant into the political sphere or the European fiction of a social contract.


[1] See B. C. Anderson. “ Secular Europe, religious America”, Public Interest , Spring 2004, pp. 143-158; R. J. Neuhaus, The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America, Gran Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986; J. Derrida, J. Habermas, “Unsere Erneuerung. Nach dem Krieg: Die Wiedergeburt Europas”, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 31 May 2003; A. K ohut et al. God and Foreign Policy: The Religious Divide Between the U.S. and Europe . Washington, D.C., The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2003; G. Weigel. The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God. New York: Basic Books, 2005.

[2] G. Davie. Europe, the Exceptional Case: Parameters of Faith in the Modern World. London: Darton, Longman, and Todd, 2002; J. Casanova. Public Religions in the Modern World, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994 .

[3] G. Himmelfarb. The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments. New York: Alfred Knopf, 2004; Weigel, The Cube.

[4] R. N. Bellah. “Civil Religion in America”, Dædalus, , Vol. 96, No. 1 Winter 1967, pp. 1-21; idem. The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in Time of Trial . New York: Seabury Press, 1975 ; 1998; idem. “ Religion and the Legitimation in the American Republic”,Society Vol. 35, No. 2, ( January-February 1 998), pp. 193-202; M. Cristi. From Civil to Political Religion: The Intersection of Culture, Religion and Politics. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2001; R. E. Richey, D. G. Jones (eds.). American Civil Religion. New York: Harper & Row, 1974; J. F. Wilson. Public Religion in American Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1979 .

[5] R. V. Pierard, R. Linder. Civil Religion and the Presidency. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988

[6] Bellah. The Broken Covenant , p. 3.

[7] Bill Clinton. Remarks at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, November 1l, 1998.

[8] “ Declaration concerning religion, ethics, and the crisis in the Clinton presidency”, November 13, 1998, (viewed 2007-12-17).

[9] G. W. Bush. Ad dress to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks, September 11, 2001.

[10] Quoted after: Himmelfarb, The Roads to Modernity, p. 211.

[11] 1999 Gallup poll, quoted in: P. Edgell, J. Gerteis and D. Hartman. “ Atheists As „Other”: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society”. American Sociological Review 71 (April 2006), p. 215.

[12] “ What Buttiglione actually said”. (viewed 2007-12-17).

[13] J. Couretas. “ Trespassers on the Holy Mountain – The EU’s rights watchdogs launch an assault on Mt. Athos”, 2003, (2007-10-31)

[14] R. Stark, W. S. Bainbridge. A theory of religion. New York: Lang , 1987; W. McLoughlin, Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform: An Essay on Religion and Social Change in America, 1776-1977. Chicago: Chicago University Press , 1978 .

[15] G. Washington . Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination. Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge, pp. 22-23, quoted after: (viewed 2007-12-17).

[16] M. J. Sandel, Democracy’s Discontents: America in Search of a Public Philosophy, Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 1996, p. 4.

[17] J. D. Hunter, Culture Wars: The Struggle To Define America . New York: BasicBooks, 1991, p. 58, 59.

[18] J. Habermas. Glauben und Wissen. Rede zum Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels 2001 . Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2004.

[19] See: J. Habermas and J. Ratzinger. The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion, B. McNeil (trans.). San Francisco: Ignatius, 2006.

[20] J. Habermas. Time of Transitions. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006 , pp. 150-151.

[21] J. Habermas, “Religion in the Public Sphere,” trans. Jeremy Gaines, European Journal of Philosophy Vol. 14, No. 1, (2006), p. 9.

[22] Habermas, “Religion in the Public Sphere”, p. 10.

[23] Ibidem, p. 11.

[24] M. Weber, Economy and Society, ed. by G. Roth and C. Wittich, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978, p. 215.

[25] R. Dahrendorf. “Co zagraza spoleczenstwu obywatelskiemu”. In: K. Michalski (ed.). Europa i spoleczenstwo obywatelskie. Rozmowy w Castel Gandolfo. Krakow-Warszawa. Znak, Fundacja im. S. Batorego, 1994, pp. 9-18.

[26] Dahrendorf, “ Co zagraza”, p. 11.


IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. XXIII

Human Ends and the Ends of Politics

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Preferred citation: Burdziej, Stanislaw. 2009. Civil Religion and the Sources of Legitimacy. In Human Ends and the Ends of Politics, eds. M. Black and K. McKillop, Vienna:
IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. 23.