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American Grace: A Review - Book Report/Review Example

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However, the American landscape has slowly began to recover from those events and the book “American Grace” by David Campbell and Robert Putnam takes their readers into the inner workings of American religion and how it has come to have a strong influence over American society. Using a combination of surveys based upon religion and the American way of life, the book takes a look at the history of American religion and how these have evolved over the years, resulting in the current influential status of religion within the American society. America is now an interfaith tolerant nation. A far cry from the staunch Protestantism that used to exist in the American society. It is this particular social evolution of religion that becomes the central topic for the book. The book is written by some of the most notable names when it comes to the research and study of religion in relation to American sociology. Robert D. Putnam is a noted author of fantastic academic repute. He is better known as the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. But he also hold the honor of being known as the founder of the Saguaro Seminar: A Civic Engagement in America. Putnam was joined in this particular writing foray of his by David E.Campbell. Campbell is on the academic staff of the University of Notre Dame where he is the Hohn Cardinal O'Hara C.S.C. Associate Professor of Political Science. On the side he participated as a director of the Rooner Center for the Study of American Democracy. Campbell also worked as a research fellow for the Institute for Educational Initiatives. His other literary works have seen publication in the Journal of Politics, Public Opinion, Quarterly, and the Journal for the Scientific study of religion. The books takes a deeper look into the changes that have come over American Protestantism since the 19th century. Since the early American religion had a general dislike and distrust of those who were not part of the church, the Catholics in particular, the American religious have since found a way to overcome their fear of Catholics and instead, found a way to stress the commonality between the religions. However, very little is known about how the mutual fear, hostility, and suspicion turned into what some might term as amity, but others would call a religious tolerance. What exactly did it take to remove the religious boundaries that seemed to exist between the various American religions of its time. The answers that Putnam and Campbell discovered through their use of survey questions showed us the path that America's future cohesion as a society seems to be undergoing. Putnam and Campbell decided to try and shed light on these questions through the use of numerous graphs and narratives that helped to create the theme of the book. They tried to go for the comprehensive route by discussing topics ranging from the dynamics of conversion all the way to how religion, gender, and ethnicity seem to be the basis for the civic activities that the religious engage in. Concentrating mostly on their quest to discover why religion has become so well known as a promoter of divisiveness and a uniting force at the same time. The book tries to explain how allowing people of different faiths to intermarry used to find themselves frowned upon and excommunicated by their respective churches. While these days, the Catholics and Protestants seem to be on the same wavelength because society needs to help those who are most in need. In fact, it would seem to Campbell and Putnam that religion and politics, 2 areas of social governance that used to be strictly divided are now finding themselves as important parts of the political dialogue between various religious parties. The answer that ...Show more
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Summary

The American religious landscape found itself greatly affected by the events following the attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers. A religious rift began to show between various religious factions and affected friendships and families alike…
American Grace: A Book Review
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