Up ] Index to Resources on Alexis de Tocqueville ] Biography and Political Career ] General Works ] Influences on and Origins of Tocqueville's Thought ] AlphabeticalList ] Political Philosophy ] [ Philosophy of Religion ] Historical Thought and Philosophy of History ] Writings on Democracy ] Writings on the United Kingdom ] Writings on the Old Regime ] Memoirs ] Writings on Slavery and Race Relations ] Social Thought (Including Penology and Education) ] Aesthetics ] Influence and Application of His Thought ] Assessments and Interpretations ] Tocqueville and His Circle ] Other Resources ] [Index of Authors]



Philosophy of Religion and the Role of Religion

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

Thus it is, that by respecting all democratic tendencies not absolutely contrary to herself, and by making use of several of them for her own purposes,

Religion sustains an advantageous struggle with that spirit of individual independence which is her most dangerous antagonist.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Part the Second, The Social Influence of Democracy 28 (Henry Reeve ed., J. & H. G. Langley Publishers 1840)



Last updated 03/09/2016

Allen, Barbara, Tocqueville, Covenant, and the Democratic Revolution: Harmonizing Earth With Heaven (Rowman and Littlefield: 2005).

Antoine, Agnès, L'impensé de la démocratie: Tocqueville, la citoyenneté et la religion (Paris: Fayard, 2003).

Antoine, Agnès, Politique et religion chez Tocqueville, 18 The Tocqueville Review 37-45 (1997).

Arroyo, Alberto, Religion in Tocqueville's social thought (Dissertation, University of Akron, 1994).

Bailey, Michael E., and Kristin Lindholm, Tocqueville and the Rhetoric of Civil Religion in the Presidential Inaugural Addresses, 32(3) Christian Scholar’s review 259-279 (Spring 2003).

Balitzer, Alfred, Politics and the "Arts of Peace": A Study of Religion in the Political Order Drawn From the Works of Alexis de Tocqueville (Dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, 1972).

Baron, Stephen, Morality & Politics in Modern Life: Tocqueville & Solzhenitsyn on the Importance of Religion to Liberty, 14(3) Polity 395-413 (1982).

Battista, Anna Maria, Lo spirito liberale e lo spirito religioso: Tocqueville nel dibattito sulla scuola (Milano: Jaca Book, 1976).

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Alexis de Tocqueville sobre las religiones, Cristianismo, hinduismo, e islam (Madrid, Ediciones Encuentro, 2013)(Coleccion Ensayo).

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Foi, Providence et religion chez Tocqueville, 18 Cahiers de philosophie politique et juridique de l’université de Caen 117-134 (May 1990).

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Lorsque Tocqueville écrit B son évLque: Considérations tocquevilliennes sur les liens de l’église et de l’état, Revue de la Manche 19-31 (April 2002).

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Présentation et notes, Alexis de Tocqueville: Notes sur le Coran et autres textes sur les religions (Paris: Bayard Centurion, 2007).

Benoît, Jean-Louis, “Société et religion: sécularisation, laïcité et politique. - Les élections américaines, la société musulmane et le déclin du catholicisme européen à la lumière du texte tocquevillien -.” (2008)

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Tocqueville: L'homme et la foi, le fait religieux et la société

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Tocqueville et l'Islam, Entrevue avec Abdelawhab Meddeb, Radio France, dimanche le 12 octobre 2008

Bloostein, Marc J., The role of dogmatic religion in politics: a critical examination of the thought of Alexis de Tocqueville and Karl Marx (Bachelor's thesis, Brandeis University, 1985).

Caplow, Theodore, Constrasting trends in European and American religion, 46(2) Sociological Analysis 101-108 (1985).

Caplow, Theodore, Response to Professor Wallis, 47(1) Sociological Analysis 53 (1986). Reply to Roy Wallis, The Caplow-de Tocqueville Account of Contrasts in European and American Religion: Confounding Considerations.

Cliteur, Paul, A Secular Reading of Alexis de Tocqueville, in Reading Tocqueville: From Oracle to Actor 112-132 (Raf Geenens and Annelien de Dijn eds.; Palgrave MacMillan, New York, 2007).

Dalton, Lisle, Phillip E. Hammond, Julie Ingersoll, and David Machacek, Bringing Tocqueville in: remedying a neglect in the sociology of religion, 31 Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 395-407 (December 1992).

Etkind, Aleksandr, Inaia svoboda: Pushkin, Tokvil' i demokratiia v Rossii, 6 Znamia: Literaturno-Khudozhestvennyi i Obshchestvenno-Politicheskii Zhurnal 179-203 (June 1999).

Fishman, Joel, Hidden in Plain Sight: Alexis de Tocqueville's Recognition of the Jewish Origin of the Idea of Equality, 17 Jewish Political Studies Review 3/4 (Fall 2005).

Galston, William A., Tocqueville on Liberalism and Religion, 54(3) Social Research 499-518 (1987).

Gauchet, Marcel, Tocqueville; primitive religion and the origins of the state, in New French Thought: Political Philosophy (Mark Lilla ed.; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994)(New French Thought).

Goldstein, Doris Silk, Church and Society: A Study of the Religious Outlook of Alexis de Tocqueville (Dissertation, Bryn Mawr College, 1955).

Goldstein, Doris Silk, The Religious Beliefs of Alexis de Tocqueville, 1 French Historical Studies 379-393 (Fall 1960).

Goldstein, Doris Silk, Trial of faith: religion and politics in Tocqueville's thought (NY: Elsevier, 1975).

Graebner, Norman, Christianity and Democracy: Tocqueville's Views of Religion in America, 65(3) The Journal of Religion 263-273 (July 1976).

Hansen, Klaus, The Changing Fortunes of Tocqueville's Democracy in America, 89 Queen's Quarterly 233-237 (Spring 1982).

Hashemi, Nader, Islam, Democracy and Alexis de Tocqueville, 110(1) Queen’s Quarterly 21-29 (Spring 2003).

Hidalgo, Oliver, Religion, Virtue and the Ennobling of Democracy: Tocqueville's Vision of Civic Society, in Tocquevillian Ideas:  Contemporary European Perspectives 99-110 (Zbigniew Rau and Marek Tracz-Tryniecki eds.; Lanham: University Press of America, 2014).

Hildago, Oliver, Unbehagliche Moderne : Tocqueville und die Frage der Religion in der  Politik (Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag, 2006).

Hinckley, Cynthia J., The Role of Religion in the Social and Political Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville (Dissertation, Michigan State University, 1986).

Hinckley, Cynthia J., Tocqueville on Religion and Modernity: Making Catholicism Safe for Liberal Democracy, 32 Journal of Church and State 325-341 (Spring 1990).

Hinckley, Cynthia J., Tocqueville on Religious Truth & Political Necessity, 23 Polity 39 (Fall 1990).

Johnston, William E. Jr., Finding the common good amidst democracy's strange melancholy: Tocqueville on religion and the American's "disgust with life", 75 Journal of Religion 44 (January 1995).

Kelly, C., Civil and uncivil religions: Tocqueville on Hinduism and Islam, in Nation or Integration?: Perspectives on Europe in the 90's 845-850 (NY: Pergamon Press, 1995).

Kelly, George Armstrong, Faith, Freedom and Disenchantment: Politics and the American Religious Consciousness, 111(1) Daedalus 127-148 (1982).

Kessler, Sanford, Tocqueville's civil religion: American Christianity and the prospects for freedom (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994)(SUNY Series in Religion, Culture, and Society).

Kessler, Sanford, Tocqueville on Civil Religion and Liberal Democracy, 39(1) Journal of Politics 119-146 (1977).

Kessler, Sanford, Tocqueville's Puritans: Christianity and the American Founding, 54(3) Journal of Politics 776-792 (1992).

Kissam, P. C., Alexis de Tocqueville and American Constitutional Law: On Democracy, the Majority Will, Individual Rights, Federalism, Religion, Civic Associations, and Originalist Constitutional Theory, 59 Maine Law Review 35-74 (2007).

Knee, Philip, Religion et souverainété du peuple: de Rousseau à Tocqueville, 23 Canadian Journal of Political Science 211 (June 1990). "Religion and the supremacy of the people: from Rousseau to Tocqueville."

Koritansky, John C., Civil Religion in Tocqueville's Democracy in America, 17(3) Interpretation 389 (Spring 1990).

Lawler, Peter Augustine, Tocqueville on Pantheism, Materialism, and Catholicism, 30(4) Perspectives on Political Science 218 (Fall 2001).

Lawyer, John E. Jr., Tocqueville on the Religious Foundations of Democracy, 42(4) American Benedictine Review 418-435 (December 1991).

Leroux, Georges, Tocqueville et les religions


This explains why religious nations have so often achieved such lasting results; for while they were thinking only of the other world,

they had found out the great secret of success in this.

Religions give men a general habit of conducting themselves with a view of futurity; in this respect t

hey are not less useful to happiness in this life than to felicity hereafter; and this is one of their chief political characteristics.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Part the Second, The Social Influence of Democracy 159 (Henry Reeve ed., J. & H. G. Langley Publishers 1840)


Mabee, Charles, Religion and Technology in America: A Generation after Tocqueville, in Perspectives on American Business 39-44 (Don Harkness ed.; Tampa, FL: American Studies Press, 1982).

Maguire, Matthew William, The Conversion of Enlightenment (Dissertation, Harvard University, 1999).

Mastrangelo, James Ellliot Fricker, City of Gods: The Rationalization of Spiritual Thought in America and the Erosion of the Foundation of Democrat Liberalism (Dissertation, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2009).

Matsumoto, Reiji, Kokuviru kenkyu: kazoku, shukyo, kokka to demokurashi (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1991). On Tocqueville and religion.

McLendon, Michael, Tocqueville, Jansenism, and the Psychology of Freedom, 50(3) American Journal of Political Science 664 (July 2006).

Melonio, Françoise, La Religion selon Tocqueville: Ordre moral ou esprit de liberté? 360(1) Études 73-88 (January 1984).

Merta, Tomasz, Tocqueville i religia, 11 Społeczeństwo Otwarte 30-32 (1997) Translation of article title: Tocqueville and Religion. Dr. Merta perished in the tragic air disaster of April 10, 2010, near Smolensk, Russia.

Mitchell, Harvey, Tocqueville’s Flight From Doubt and His Search for Certainty: Skepticism in a Democratic Age, in The Skeptical Tradition Around 1800: Skepticism in Philosophy, Science, and Society 261-279 (J. van der Zande and Richard H. Popkin eds.; Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1998).

Nef, John, La Verité, la foi et la civilisation: Tocqueville et Gobineau, 180 La Table Ronde 17-39 (1963). Translated by Marie-Thérèse Duparc.

Novak, Michael, Democracy & Religion in America: Tocqueville's Surprising Linkage, National Review Online, October 2, 2002.

Ossewaarde, Marinus R. R., Tocqueville's Christian Citizen, 8(3) Logos 40-66 (2005).

Pecora, Gaetano, Democrazia e religione nel pensiero di Tocqueville, Mondoperaio, June/July 1991, at 89-101.

Raico, Ralph, The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton (Dissertation, University of Chicago, 1971).

Rickett, Tracy, The relationship between church and state: applying the ideas of Alexis de Tocqueville to modern day Supreme Court decisions (Master's thesis, University of Virginia, 1984).

Sanders, Luk, The Strange Belief of Alexis de Tocqueville: Christianity as Philosophy, 74(11) International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 33-53 (2013).

Schleifer, James T., How Democracy Influences Preaching: A Previously Unpublished Fragment from Tocqueville's Democracy in America, 52 Yale University Library Gazette 75-79 (1977).

Schleifer, James T., Tocqueville and Religion: Some New Perspectives, The Tocqueville Review 303-321 (Fall/Winter 1982).

Stephens, John James, Religion and the church in the political philosophy of Alexis de Tocqueville (Master's thesis, Washington University, 1951).

Stevenson, William R. Jr., The American Melting Pot as Reductionist Kettle: Religious Liberty's Worrisome Condition, in Tocquevillian Ideas. Contemporary European Perspectives 135-152 (Zbigniew Rau and Marek Tracz-Tryniecki eds.; Lanham: University Press of America, 2014).

Tessitore, Aristide, Alexis de Tocqueville on the Natural State of Religion in the Age of Democracy, 64 The Journal of Politics 1137-1162 (November 2002).

Tessitore, Aristide, Tocqueville and Gobineau on the Nature of Modern Politics, 67(4) Review of Politics 631-657 (Fall 2005).

Thomson, William E., Liberalism and the Limits of Justice: Tocqueville's Reflections on Nobility and Spiritual Decline (Dissertation, University of Chicago, 1996). Two volumes.

Tishman, Primrose Pratt, The Role of Religion in Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” (Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, 2004).

Uhde, Ute, Politik und Religion: zum Verhaltnis von Demokratie und Christentum bei Alexis de Tocqueville (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1978)(Beiträge zur politischen Wissenschaft; 29).

Van Heyningen, Kristin Diane, A Call To Disobey: Tocqueville, Religion, and Civil Disobedience (Dissertation, The University of Chicago, 2008).

Venor, Scott, Natural Religion and Human Perfectibility, 33(1) Perspectives on Political Science 10-17 (Winter 2004).

The chief concern of religions is to purify, to regulate, and to restrain the excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men feel at periods of equality;

but they would err in attempting to control it completely or to eradicate it.

They will not succeed in curing men of the love of riches; but they may still persuade men to enrich themselves by none but honest means.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Part the Second, The Social Influence of Democracy 26 (Henry Reeve ed., J. & H. G. Langley Publishers 1840)



Wach, Joachim, Types of religious experience, Christian and non-Christian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951). Includes The role of religion in the social philosophy of Alexis de Tocqueville.

Wallis, Roy, The Caplow-de Tocqueville Account of Contrasts in European and American Religion: Confounding Considerations, 47(1) Sociological Analysis 50-52 (1986).

Zuckert, Catherine H., Not by Preaching: Tocqueville on the Role of Religion in American Democracy, 43(2) Review of Politics 259-280 (1981).


Hit Counter

Since June 27, 2006

Provide Website Feedback / Accessibility Statement / Accessibility Assistance
/ Privacy Statement