American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 21, 2012 - Political Science - 707 pages
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American Grace is “perhaps the most sweeping look yet at contemporary American religion. It lays out the broad trends of the past fifty years, assesses their sociological causes, and then does a bit of fortune-telling” (The Washington Post).

Unique among nations, America is deeply religious, religiously diverse, and remarkably tolerant. In recent decades, however, the nation’s religious landscape has undergone several seismic shocks. American Grace is an authoritative, fascinating examination of what precipitated these changes and the role that religion plays in contemporary American society.

Although there is growing polarization between religious conservatives and secular liberals today, at the same time personal interfaith ties are strengthening. Interfaith marriage has increased, and religious identities have become more fluid. More people than ever are friendly with someone of a different faith or no faith at all. Putnam and Campbell show how this denser web of personal ties brings greater interfaith tolerance, despite the so-called culture wars.

Based on two of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America (and with a new epilogue based on a third survey), American Grace is an indispensable book about American religious life, essential for understanding our nation today.
 

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Contents

91
493
How a Tolerant Nation Bridges
516
Epilogue
551
Acknowledgments
581
The Faith Matters Surveys
587
Data Analysis
593
Notes
601
Index
683
260
689
419
699
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About the author (2012)

Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and founder of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America. He is the author or coauthor of ten previous books.
David E. Campbell is the John Cardinal O Hara, C.S.C. Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame as well as the director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy.

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