Cover of: American grace | Robert D. Putnam


  • Contributor
    Shaylyn Romney Garrett

American grace

how religion divides and unites us

1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.

Published by Simon & Schuster in New York .
Written in English.

About the Book

This book is a groundbreaking examination of religion in America. Unique among nations, America is deeply religious, religiously diverse, and remarkably tolerant. But in recent decades the nation's religious landscape has been reshaped. America has experienced three seismic shocks, say Robert Putnam and David Campbell. In the 1960s, religious observance plummeted. Then in the 1970s and 1980s, a conservative reaction produced the rise of evangelicalism and the Religious Right. Since the 1990s, however, young people, turned off by that linkage between faith and conservative politics, have abandoned organized religion. The result has been a growing polarization -- the ranks of religious conservatives and secular liberals have swelled, leaving a dwindling group of religious moderates in between. At the same time, personal interfaith ties are strengthening. Interfaith marriage has increased while religious identities have become more fluid. Putnam and Campbell show how this denser web of personal ties brings surprising interfaith tolerance, notwithstanding the so-called culture wars. American Grace is based on two of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America. It includes a dozen in-depth profiles of diverse congregations across the country, which illuminate how the trends described by Putnam and Campbell affect the lives of real Americans. Nearly every chapter of American Grace contains a surprise about American religious life. Among them: Between one-third and one-half of all American marriages are interfaith; Roughly one-third of Americans have switched religions at some point in their lives; Young people are more opposed to abortion than their parents but more accepting of gay marriage; Even fervently religious Americans believe that people of other faiths can go to heaven; Religious Americans are better neighbors than secular Americans: more generous with their time and treasure even for secular causes -- but the explanation has less to do with faith than with their communities of faith; Jews are the most broadly popular religious group in America today. American Grace promises to be the most important book in decades about American religious life and an essential book for understanding our nation today. - Publisher.

Table of Contents

Religious polarization and pluralism in America
Vignettes : the old and the new
Religiosity in America : the historical backdrop
Religiosity in America : shock and two aftershocks
Switching, matching, and mixing
Innovations in religion
Vignettes : ethnicity, gender, and religion
The women's revolution, the rise of inequality, and religion
Diversity, ethnicity, and religion
Vignettes : how religion and politics intertwine
Religion in American politics
Echo chambers : politics within congregations
Religion and good neighborliness
A house divided?
America's grace : how a tolerant nation bridges its religious divides
Appendix 1. The Faith Matters surveys
Appendix 2. Data analysis

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.

Copyright Date


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
BL2525 .P88 2010

The Physical Object

673 p.
25 x x centimeters

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
LC Control Number

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