Robert Bellah, RIP

Word comes that sociologist Robert Bellah (left) has passed away at the age of 86. Bellah was famous for his work on American civil religion–indeed, he reintroduced that concept to American law in the 1960s–and the magisterial Habits of the Heart, a book he co-authored in 1985. Habits remains remarkably relevant today, particularly in its famous discussion of “Sheilaism,” the thoroughly individualist spirituality that appeals to so many Americans, particularly the growing number of “Nones.” When he died, he was working on a new book, Religion in Human Evolution. Matt Schmitz has a tribute on the First Things site. RIP.

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