American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us
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 obse...more
It is like finding a particularly striking fossil on the shelf of a souvenir shop. It is probably just another fossil (just another book about religion), more or less, the same as all of the rest on the shelf that are for sell. But this one appeals to you (in this case me).
This book should appeal to people interested in looking at and evaluating the statistical data. T...more
This book, by Professors Robert D Putnam and David E Campbell, presents a comprehensive study of religious beliefs and practices in the USA, and provides a detailed overview of an important aspect of American culture. Data was collected as part of a two-step interview survey (Faith Matters 2006, 2007)) which involved more than 3000 respondents across the USA. The series...more
It's hard not to read this book and think of the...more
Overview: American Grace is a massive sociological description of Christianity in the United States. Its primary data source is the Faith Matters survey, a 2006 poll of approximately 3,000 respondents with a 2007 follow-up of approximately 2,000 of those same people. Its most important benchmark is a religiosity index, culled from a subset of the Faith Matters questions. The book is supplemented by a number of vignettes of American churc...more
None of the other religions discussed addressed this point. I like it. We can learn about God but to know God we have to do.
We all need a sense of Tikkun olam - repairing or healing the world.
Kiddish/communion/sacrament parallels interesting. Sometimes we forget how much alike we are and foc...more
It's a bit on the long side. But in its favor, the print is not miniscule and there are plenty of graphs and charts (some a bit more obtuse than others) that take up considerable space, too.
American Grace provides some fascinating insights into religious life in the United States over the past seventy or so years. Putnam and Campbell trace the "shock and two aftershocks" that pr...more
I did feel they gave short shrift to the ideas behind the fact that religious people are more civically involved and giving of time and money. The authors made much of the social aspect of religion and marginalized the idea that the principles a group held in common mattered to their sense of civic responsibility.
Clearly, if a group inculcates values o...more
American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert Putnam and David Campbell (2010). Putnam and Campbell’s book has been, since the initial publication, excerpted and quoted in a variety of venues and media. This is appropriate as this is an important book about America and about our future. As the authors explain it we are unique among nations, America is deeply religious, religiously diverse, and remarkably tolerant…” so why is it that our country, despite the outsized influence of t...more
Where American Grace...more
80% are certain that there is a God
40% attend church nearly every week
30% are evangelical
25% are catholic
15% are mainline protestant
9% are black and black protestant
15% claim no denominational affiliation (this was 7% in 1990)
2% are mormons
2% are jews
1/3 of americans change their...more
It also documents the decline of mainstream Christian denominations and the ri...more
The thesis of the book, based upon what people are thinking and doing, is: 1) as a result of the liberal sixties, more people became very conservative and religious in the late 70s-90s and now many young people are turned off by the conserv...more
The book is loaded with statistics that were gathered from the aforementioned wide reaching surveys. The most fascinating part of this book is finding out w...more
Describing the data of the "Faith Matters" Survey of 2006, Campbell and Putnam comb through the data to show us what Americans believe, how they behave, and who have a sense of belongin...more
In his seminal book "Bowling Alone" (2000), Putnam focused the country's attention on its deteriorating community life. "American Grace" will probably spark similarly fierce debates. It has already commanded attention from some evangelical leaders, who have sounded the alarm about growing secularism. Yet the book seeks to tamp down the culture wars (its conclusions are expressed in the most non-inflammatory language possible).