American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites America

Robert D. Putnam , Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, and Visiting Professor, University of Manchester

Co-presented with the US Studies Centre, the University of Sydney

 
In recent years, the role of religion as lived in America today has fascinated outside observers from secular countries. The ongoing internal debate about religion, atheism, and politics in America captivates our attention but how is America unusually religious, unusually diverse religiously, and yet unusually tolerant? In most countries, intense religiosity combined with stark religious differences equals wars, violence, and civil disorder. How come this has not happened in the US?

Leading US political scientist Robert Putnam draws on the two most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America (specially commissioned for his book, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us with co-author David Campbell of Notre Dame University), and in a dozen in-depth portraits of diverse congrega┬Čtions he examines the complex interaction of religion and politics over the past half-century. He provides a balanced and considered counterweight to the polemical rhetoric of how religion both contributes to and detracts from the vibrancy and stability of American democracy.

Professor Robert Putnam

 
Robert D. Putnam is Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, and Visiting Professor, University of Manchester (UK). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Academy, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and past president of the American Political Science Association. He was the 2006 recipient of the Skytte Prize and has served as an adviser to presidents and national leaders around the world. He has written more than a dozen books, including Bowling Alone and Making Democracy Work, both among the most cited publications in the social sciences in the last half century. The London Sunday Times has called him “the most influential academic in the world today.”

Professor Putnam is currently Visiting Professor at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

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