This Honors Thesis contributes to the theory of American Civil Religion proposed by sociologist Robert by exploring the commemoration of John Brown, the abolitionist, (d. 1859) at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Bellah In The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in Time of Trial, Bellah states, “Americans have interpreted their history as having religious meaning”. Like the children of Israel, Americans bind a covenant with their national identity. The American Civil Religion therefore is a religion that mobilizes a national identity. John Brown the abolitionist complicates the mobilization of the collective American identity as theorized by Bellah because his raid represented an attack on America and a distrust of the American constitution.
Tareen, Sher Afgan, "Re-thinking Bellah's Civil Religion: The Case Study of John Brown's Commemoration at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park" (2011). Anthropology Honors Projects. 13.
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