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Operationalising The Concept Of Civil Religion: Cross-Cultural Findings From Bosnia And Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia And The United States Of America

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to operationalise the concept more clearly by linking political authority, the state, the "destiny" of the state and nationality to transcendence, or at least to a higher, supra-human principle. It presents an attempt to operationalise civil religion and test this operationalisation cross culturally. The chapter addresses this issue in an empirical way, with intentions of examining limited trans-cultural validity. This is done by comparing civil religion in four countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and the US. The chapter observes civil religion by administering a survey with scalable questions in a predominantly Roman Catholic environment, a predominantly Muslim environment, a predominantly Serbian Orthodox environment, and a predominantly Protestant, but denominationally varied, environment. It demonstrates the existence of civil religion as a distinct phenomenon, discernable from confessional religion as well as political ideologies and the structure of civil religion and its link to some other expectedly kin phenomena.

Keywords: Bosnia; civil religion; Herzegovina; Muslim environment; Roman Catholic environment; Serbia; Serbian Orthodox environment; Slovenia; United States of America



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