American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert D. Putnam

By Robert D. Putnam

American Grace is “perhaps the main sweeping glance but at modern American faith. It lays out the wide developments of the earlier fifty years, assesses their sociological explanations, after which does a bit fortune-telling” (The Washington Post).

Unique between international locations, the United States is deeply non secular, religiously varied, and remarkably tolerant. In fresh a long time, besides the fact that, the nation’s non secular panorama has passed through numerous seismic shocks. American Grace is an authoritative, interesting exam of what prompted those adjustments and the function that faith performs in modern American society.

Although there's starting to be polarization among spiritual conservatives and secular liberals at the present time, while own interfaith ties are strengthening. Interfaith marriage has elevated, and non secular identities became extra fluid. extra humans than ever are pleasant with a person of a unique religion or no religion in any respect. Putnam and Campbell convey how this denser internet of private ties brings higher interfaith tolerance, regardless of the so-called tradition wars.

Based on of the main entire surveys ever carried out on faith and public existence in the USA (and with a brand new epilogue in accordance with a 3rd survey), American Grace is an imperative publication approximately American non secular lifestyles, crucial for knowing our state this day.

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Indeed, many Americans have probably never thought much about the alternative organizational forms for religion found in other societies. 36 This form and function of the typical American congregation舒of whatever religious tradition舒is thus a consequence of America舗s Protestant heritage. 37 The centrality of the congregation, and its Protestant influence, can be seen in how immigrants舗 religions adapt to the American religious ecosystem upon arriving in the United States. Even faiths that are not organized around the congregation in other nations come to adopt a congregation-based structure here in the United States.

Americans overwhelmingly, albeit not universally, identify with a religion. Identity, however, does not necessarily translate into religious activity because not all who identify with a religion frequently attend religious services, or engage in other religious behavior. The vast majority of Americans also believe in God, but Americans are less sure about life beyond the grave. Ever an optimistic people, Americans are more likely to envision heaven than hell. In fact, more Americans are certain about heaven than are certain about life after death.

In loose terms, the religiosity index is a weighted average of responses to these questions. Those that contribute more to the common thread holding them all together舒in this case, religiosity舒receive more weight. 25) Since the nature of what it means to be religious is inevitably fraught with ambiguity and controversy, it is important to keep a few things in mind about this method of measuring religiosity. First, some readers may wonder whether, say, frequency of attendance at worship services (a public activity) really taps into the same concept as frequency of prayer (often done in private), and whether these two types of behaving really align with measures of belief like the existence of God.

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