2020 Regional Meetings

Open Registration:

All remaining regional meetings for 2020 have been canceled

In Memoriam: Robert N. Bellah, 1927-2013

Longtime AAR member Robert N. Bellah, sociologist, moralist, communitarian, and Episcopal deacon, passed away on July 30, 2013, at the age of 86. Bellah was the recipient of the 2007 AAR Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion. 
Bellah was the Elliot Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught sociology of religion. Educated at Harvard where he taught for 10 years, Bellah moved to Berkeley in 1967 and served there until 1997. He did cross-cultural work on religion in Japan and in American society. Bellah is best known for his seminal essays “Civil Religion in America” (1967) — where he coined the term "American civil religion" — and “Religious Evolution” (1964). He won the Sorokin Award from the American Sociological Association for Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in a Time of Trial (1975) and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (1985). A prolific author, Bellah published his latest book, Religion in Human Evolution, in 2011.
A celebrated scholar and teacher, Bellah also won the Harbison Award for Gifted Teaching from the Danforth Foundation. In 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Bellah the National Humanities Medal for raising “our awareness of the values that are at the core of democratic institutions and of the dangers of individualism unchecked by social responsibility.”
Bellah's presentation on Religion in Human Evolution at the 2011 AAR Annual Meeting is available on the AAR website.
For an advanced look at a review essay by Jack Miles on two of Professor Bellah’s recent publications, please see here. The essay is also available for free on the home page of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Coming in the December issue of the JAAR, an obituary by Mark Juergensmeyer and a roundtable on the sociology of religion to which Professor Bellah was a contributor.