The Beatles' Impact On American Civil Religion

An Analysis of the Beatles and Their Impact on American Civil Religion


In 1967, Robert Bellah introduced the term "American civil religion" into scholarly debate, drawing his evidence from presidential addresses with their references to God, the nation's mission, and the transcendent standards to which the American people are held accountable (Semonche 1998). According to Carolyn Marvin and David W. Ingle's essay, the religiosity of the American culture, and many others, is not so much a single God-centered concept, but is rather the product of various belief systems that are represented within a nation. It was in 1966 that John Lennon uttered those infamous words, ...

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by Marvin and Ingle. This paper examines this impact of the Beatles on American Civil Religion, and vice versa, according to Marvin and Ingle's essay, "Blood Sacrifice and the Nation" (1996), as well as other contemporary and scholarly analysts. A summary of the research is provided in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

Background and Overview. During the 1960s, the Beats helped to set the stage for the drug and sexual experimentation that would follow, particularly among white people in their teens and twenties (Isserman & Kazin 2000). According to these authors, "One was a desire for sexual adventure, untethered to the values of monogamy and heterosexuality that had reigned supreme in the Western world since the dawn of Christianity" (150). Another desire cited by Isserman and Kazin was the glorification of the so-called "outlaw spirit," as embodied in men and women who equated conventional jobs and puritanical entertainment with a living death. As a result, ...

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in the U.S. and around the world in response to their appealing music, as well as their, at least for the time, bold and anti-authoritarian appearances. This appeal was based in large part, on media portrayals of the Beatles and how their fans were typically expected to react (fainting, crying, screaming and so forth were virtually universal). Marvin and Ingle (1996) point out that the media is largely responsible for how such phenomenon are presented to the public. This point is reiterated by Palladino (1996), who reports, "The tidal wave of Beatlemania that was sweeping the nation had more to do with hysteria and publicity agents than hard work and determination, the older ...

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The Beatles' Impact On American Civil Religion. (2016, September 13). Retrieved October 22, 2021, from
"The Beatles' Impact On American Civil Religion.", 13 Sep. 2016. Web. 22 Oct. 2021. <>
"The Beatles' Impact On American Civil Religion." September 13, 2016. Accessed October 22, 2021.
"The Beatles' Impact On American Civil Religion." September 13, 2016. Accessed October 22, 2021.
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Added: 9/13/2016 03:48:16 AM
Category: Music & Musicians
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2469
Pages: 9

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