In this Book

summary

This book examines the "constitutional faith" that has, since 1788, been a central component of American "civil religion." By taking seriously the parallel between wholehearted acceptance of the Constitution and religious faith, Sanford Levinson opens up a host of intriguing questions about what it means to be American. While some view the Constitution as the central component of an American religion that serves to unite the social order, Levinson maintains that its sacred role can result in conflict, fragmentation, and even war. To Levinson, the Constitution's value lies in the realm of the discourse it sustains: a uniquely American form of political rhetoric that allows citizens to grapple with every important public issue imaginable.

In a new afterword, Levinson looks at the deepening of constitutional worship and attributes the current widespread frustrations with the government to the static nature of the Constitution.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-2
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-8
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  1. Chapter One: The "Constitution" in American Civil Religion
  2. pp. 9-53
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  1. Chapter Two: The Moral Dimension of Constitutional Faith
  2. pp. 54-89
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  1. Chapter Three: Loyalty Oaths: The Creedal Affirmations of Constitutional Faith
  2. pp. 90-121
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  1. Chapter Four: Constitutional "Attachment": Identifying the Content of One's Commitment
  2. pp. 122-154
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  1. Chapter Five: The Law School, the Faith Community, and the Professing of Law
  2. pp. 155-179
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  1. Chapter Six: Conclusion: Adding One's Signature to the Constitution
  2. pp. 180-194
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 195-244
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  1. Afterword to the 2011 Edition
  2. pp. 245-256
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 257-262
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400839872
Related ISBN
9780691152400
MARC Record
OCLC
769187869
Pages
280
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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