American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present, 1st Edition

  • Philip Gorski
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 069119386X
  • ISBN-13: 9780691193861
  • DDC: 306.60973
  • 336 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released November 2019
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

  • Price:  Sign in for price



This title discusses the long battle between exclusionary and inclusive versions of the American story and argues that America was neither founded as a Christian nation nor a secular democracy. What the founders envisioned was a prophetic republic that would weave together the ethical vision of the Hebrew prophets and the Western political heritage of civic republicanism. In this eye-opening book, the author shows why this civil religious tradition is now in peril—and with it the American experiment. It traces the history of prophetic republicanism from the Puritan era to today, providing insightful portraits of figures ranging from John Winthrop and W.E.B. Du Bois to Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama. This incisive book demonstrates how half a century of culture war has drowned out the quieter voices of the vital center, and demonstrates that if we are to rebuild that center, we must recover the civil religious tradition on which the republic was founded.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Preface to the Paperback Edition.
Preface: Three Trips to Philadelphia.
Introduction: Prophetic Republicanism as Vital Center.
1: The Civil Religious Tradition and Its Rivals.
2: The Hebraic Moment: The New England Puritans.
3: Hebraic Republicanis: The American Revolution.
4: Democratic Republicanism: The Civil War.
5: The Progressive Era: Empire and The Republic.
6: The Post–World War II Period: Jew, Protestant, Catholic.
7: From Reagan to Obama: Tradition Corrupted and (Almost) Recovered.
8: The Civil Religion: Critics and Allies.
Conclusion: The Righteous Republic.