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Religious Rhetoric and American Politics – The Endurance of Civil Religion in Electoral Campaigns - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Religious Rhetoric and American Politics: The Endurance of Civil Religion in Electoral Campaigns

Christopher B. Chapp


From Ronald Reagan's regular invocation of America as “a city on a hill” to Barack Obama's use of spiritual language in describing social policy, religious rhetoric is a regular part of how candidates communicate with voters. Although the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test as a qualification to public office, many citizens base their decisions about candidates on their expressed religious beliefs and values. This book shows that Americans often make political choices because they identify with a “civil religion.” The book examines the role of religious political rhetoric in U.S. ... More

Keywords: religious rhetoric, U.S. Constitution, religious political rhetoric, U.S. elections, collective identity, political representation, American civic religion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780801451263
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451263.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher B. Chapp, author
Assistant Professor of Political Science, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater