and justifiably distressed by thenway amoral individuals and ansecular state have prosperednSatan’s cause by publicly denigratingnreligion, the family, and evennlife itself. Also disturbed by thenpassivity of millions of professingnChristians who have done so littlenin opposition, he forcefiilly urgesnbelievers to continue and intensifyntheir overdue counterattack.nUnfortunately, in trying to depictnvirtually all secularists asnprotonazi totalitarians, he indulgesnin overly simplistic, choppy, andnsometimes inconsistent reasoning.nTo suppose that the suavenPrince of Darkness knows onlynone way to turn a modem nationnaway from God is to underestimatenthe Father of Lies.nAndrew Oldenquist: NormativenBehavior; Univetslty Press ofnAmerica; Washington, D.C.nAndrew Oldenquist writes,n”moral belieis are dispositions tonbe for or gainst something andnnot truths in any exciting sensenWASTE OF MONEYnThe Exercise in TrivialitynMichael W. Hughey: Civil Religionnand Moral Order:nTheoretical and HistoricalnDimensions; Greenwood Press;nWestport, CT.n”yJ-Ja’l’son BarlownMr. Hughey’s title indicatesnthat he intends to examine thencomplex of beliefe and principlesnby which a nation becomes a na-nMr. Barlow is a doctoral candidatenin government at ClaremontnGraduate Schooln4()inChronicles of Culturenof ‘truth.'” By ruling out excitementnfrom the start, as he does, itnmight seem that his examinationnof how and why men do andnshould have moral beliefs wouldnbe dull. Nothing is further fromnthe truth. Although it would be ansubterflige to say that it’s exciting,nit is aboveboard to maintainnthat it is interesting.nRichard Grenler: The GandhinNobody Knows; Thomas Nelson;nNashville, TN.nLast sununer, Air-India ran annad with the following headline;nThe work of a single man cannbe more magnificent thannthe Taj Mahal. Our World ofnGandhi Tour gives you both.nThere is an illustration of BennKingsley—or is that the Mahatma?nHad the ad agency copywritersnread The Gandhi Nobody Knows,nthey would have more likelynmounted a Tour of the Untouchablesncampaign. Dntion. Unfortunately, he ofifersnnothing to improve our understandingnof this important theme.nPart of the problem is that Hu^eyndoes not wish to rock the boat ofnsociological respectability and sonhe is unable to point out thenshortcomings of the sociologicalnapproach to the study of civil religion.nFor sociology as Hugheynpractices it trivializes the problemnof morality and in doing so failsnto understand it.nThere are two main traditionsnin the sociology of religion, andnHughey uses one to criticize andnmodify the other. The first, originatednby Emile Durkheim andnapplied to American society bynLloyd Warner, Talcott Parsons,nand Robert Bellah, holds that ansociety’s beliefe are shared by everyone.nThe opposing traditionnstems from Max Weber; it assertsnthat certain groups or classes aren”carriers” of society’s values.nHughey proposes a modest goal;nhe concerns himself “with thenlunits of the conclusions reachednand not their falsity.’ He thus disclaims—without,nI think, realizingnit—any attempt to improve ournunderstanding of American civilnreligion. Hughey assumes thatnthe limits of sociology can bestnbe seen from within the sociologicalnhorizon, an assumptionnwhich is problematic. At best,nHughey straddles the fence betweennthe two sociological approaches,nand the result is thatnhe says nothing either new ornusefiil.nThe problem is less Hughey’snthan sociology’s. From its inceptionnsociology claimed that thenonly way to understand societynwas through the application ofnmethods adapted from the naturalnsciences. This implied that a participantnin society could notnunderstand it; society could benunderstood only by a detachednobserver. The observer, then, hadnto be indifferent to the things thenmembers of society thought important;n”wrong” became merelyn”taboo,” for example. The thingsnwhich members of society advancednas reasons for action werennnregarded by the observer as rationalizationsnor myths. Only thenobserver could understand thentrue reasons. In time it was realizednthat this indifference did notnoften advance imderstanding andnthat one did have to take the participants’nviews seriously. RobertnBellah, for example, sees the importancenof the theological questionnin the study of civil religion.nBut although Hughey has a chapternon Bellah, he does not includenany theological component in hisntreatment of civil religion, norndoes he justify this silent rejectionnThe explanation is to be found innthe works of Durkheim andnWeber, the foimders of sociology.nBy treating the principles andnbeliefe of civil religion as nothingnmore than rationalizations andnmyths, Hughey’s sociology becomesna trivial academic exercise.nYet his language betrays his convictionnthat his horizon is superior.nFor Hughey, American “valuesnand symbok”;nrepresent various lay and intellectualnexpressions of thencivic ideology of a oncedominantnold middle-classnstratum at various stages ofnits decline.nPut in these terms, civil religionnis scarcely a problem at all, andnthe decline of the old beliefe isncertainly no incentive for actionnor understanding. Some sociologists,nsuch as Bellah and EdwardnShils, have tried to think throughnthe crisis caused by the decay ofn”civil religion” in search of an answernto the question: What now?nThis question requires the orientationnof a citizen or a participantnin society, not that of a detachednobserver. Thus it is the first stepntoward recovering the perspectivenfrom which a genuine understandingnof society mightnbegin. Though perhaps not verynrespectable to sociologists likenMr. Hughey, this path is the routento maturity in sociology. Hughey’snpath leads not to matarity but tonsenescence. Dn