This study examines the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. It first articulates several sociological theories of religion, namely, those put forth by Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Robert Bellah, and Peter Berger. Upon developing a basic understanding of these theories, the various approaches are applied to a contemporary context. George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, two recent U.S. presidents are compared in terms of their use of religion in inaugural addresses and foreign policy formulations. Important themes which prevail throughout this work include the distinctions priestly and prophetic, cognitive and emotive, and intentional and unintentional uses of religion. This study concludes by claiming that religion does in fact playa decisive role in American politics, as demonstrated by the comprehensive theoretical analysis ofthe examples provided by President Bush and President Carter


Kammer, III, Charles L.


Religious Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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