Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Religion, MA


School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Daniel Ramirez

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Tyler Reny

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2023 José Andrés Serrano


Civil religion, Conservative, American Democracy, Liberal, Polarization, Theoretical

Subject Categories

Political Science | Religion


This thesis seeks to build upon and provide a new interpretation of civil religion in the United States. In it, the history of civil religion from the 1960s, starting with Bellah, to the 2010s will be analyzed for any themes still used in the 2020s. Similarly, understanding what a religion is within this time frame will be broken apart and examined to see how it paralleled the evolution of political understanding. Building upon its history, the paper will break into four prominent chapters: Is American Democracy Like a Civil Religion?, Religious Characteristics in the American Government, American Democracy as a Civil Religion, and The Darkness of Civil Religion. Through this analysis, this thesis will definitively answer that the United States’ government is a civil religion.