Author (Your Name)

Mathew J. Huse, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Religious Studies Dept.


Debra Campbell

Second Advisor

Carleen Mandolfo


Most American citizens consider themselves to be "religious" in some capacity. This does not mean that they all go to church or share the same beliefs. What it means, more or less, is that the predominant belief in America is that there is a God. But who, exactly, is this God? Who is the God of the American Civil Religion? Above, I use the term "enigmatic" to describe this God. The mystery of this God is that every member of society must be able to relate to him/her. We must have a deity that is general enough to be accepted by those of varying religious opinions, but specific enough to encapsulate the ideals of America as a country. In a land of such great diversity, where tolerance and pluralism have considerable meaning, God must be as accessible to the agnostic urbanite as s/he is to the religiously conservative rural dweller. In Part I, we will see the characteristics that make this deity completely American. Suffice it to say that there is not enough room in this introduction, and barely enough in this whole project, to paint a clear picture of the role of God in the American Civil Religion.


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American Civil Religion