The Social Contract 's penultimate chapter, devoted to the idea of a civil religion, continues
to be the object of discussion. In this article we refer to the contemporary use of the
concept of social religion in the social sciences, and we take into account the two main
readings that have been advanced in political philosophy. We defend the idea that a new
interpretation of this chapter allows to deviate from the contractualist tradition. We place
Rousseau’s critical gesture in a debate that deals with the theoretical possibility of
recovering the social representations revealed by ancient religious transformations. These
social representations are to be found in the way Christian faith poses the question of piety.