Editor’s Pick. Written by Adam Blacksburg.
The concept of Civil Religion is relatively new on the scale of human history, as are many of its features. It is most frequently applied to the 20th century communist regimes in China and the Soviet Union, but it can apply to any modern secular State. With the rise of secularism the ages old union of religion and politics was broken. This presented a problem to the philosophical legitimacy of the State, suddenly lacking a divine mandate, or otherwise theological justification for maintaining its power. Civil religion was simply the replacement of an outdated tool of oppression by governing elites.