Robert Putnam on How Religion Unites and Divides Americans

Monday, October 18, 2010

"American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us" is a exhaustive survey of the role of religion in American public life, and authors Robert Putnam and David Campbell, paint a mostly positive portrait of American religion.

Religious Americans are better neighbors than their secular counterparts, are more likely to volunteer and give money to charities; are more civically engaged and more likely to let someone cut in line; the list goes on.

"American Grace" also finds us increasingly polarized on religious matters but increasingly tolerant of religious differences. The reason? Political scientist, Robert Putnam, believes it's ultimately our friendships and our social networks that help us overcome our religious differences.

Comments [1]

Jamie from Blue Ridge, Georgia

I think religion is not more polarized or intolerant of one another. I think most religions are in retreat because the average person is beginning to realize that their dogmas don't really make sense. This has gotten most religions louder and vociferous as they grapple to keep their congregations intact.

Oct. 18 2010 08:15 AM

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