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Robert Bellah, Preeminent American Sociologist of Religion, Dies at 86

posted on August 2, 2013

Yasmin Anwar, of the University of California-Berkeley media relations staff, writes on the July 30 death of Robert Bellah, “one of the world’s most influential sociologists” and scholars of religion. Bellah coined the term “civil religion” in a famous essay in which he “examined how U.S. political figures use religious symbolism.” Anwar writes, “Best known for his scholarship on how religion shapes ethical, cultural and political practices, his literary legacy includes ‘Religion in Human Evolution’ (2011), ‘Tokugawa Religion’ (1957), ‘The Broken Covenant’ (1975) and ‘Beyond Belief’ (1970). His writings were said to have irked both the religious right and the secular left at various times. He was profoundly loved and respected by many of his students and peers.”

Read at University of California-Berkeley