G.I. Messiahs: Soldiering, War, and American Civil Religion

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


G.I. Messiahs examines soldier veneration in twentieth- and twenty-first century America and argues that soldiers are the theological center of American civil religion. This book also recognizes that soldiers engage with and are shaped by the symbols, rituals, and mythologies of American civil religion and are thus its most committed, consistent practitioners. G.I. Messiahs builds this argument by examining episodes from the long American century in which the nation has interpreted itself through the bodies, words, and deeds of soldiers and by describing and analyzing soldiers’ struggles with the burdens placed on them. The aim of this book is to redirect conversations about American civil religion toward consideration of its contours as a lived tradition focused on the service, suffering, and sacrifice of the American soldier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherYale University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Print)9780300176704
StatePublished - Nov 24 2015


  • American civil religion
  • soldiers
  • military
  • war
  • Christianity
  • study of religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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