Welcome to the web pages dedicated to the work of Robert N. Bellah

Robert Neelly Bellah, (February 23, 1927 - July 30, 2013) Harvard B.A. ’48, Harvard Ph.D. ’55, American sociologist and educator, served for 30 years as professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley.

One of the most influential sociologists, Bellah's books, Beyond Belief, The Broken Covenant, Habits of the Heart and The Good Society, shaped the discipline. His recent book, Religion in Human Evolution, continued that tradition.
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Bellah began his vocation as a scholar of Japan. Tokugawa Religion and a more recent collection of essays, Imagining Japan, focus on this society’s cultural roots in relation to modernity.

A large slice of his work – including his most influential essays “Religious Evolution” and “Civil Religion in America”– is found in The Robert Bellah Reader (2006), which Bellah co-edited with Emory University Professor Steven M. Tipton. Centering on the effort to understand the modern world with the United States as exhibit A – and critical of modernity’s cognitive-evaluative and faith-knowledge divides – Bellah says that this Reader is, “a collection that reflects my work and my life: my scholarship in sociological theory and in a variety of cultures and societies; my engagement, not only in the life of the university, but also in ethics, politics, and religion.”

Robert N. Bellah

Robert N. Bellah

In 2000, President Clinton awarded Bellah the National Humanities Medal and, in 2007, he received the American Academy of Religion Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.

Robert Bellah died July 30, 2013 of complications following heart surgery. He was 86.

This site contains Bellah's biography, publications, and a complete bibliography, as well as several of his articles, lectures and interviews. We will continue to add material to the site into the future as it becomes available from his archive.

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Hartford Seminary, 2013