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“American Grace” by Robert Putnam and David Campbell Essay

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Updated: May 25th, 2019

Robert Putnam and David Campbell’s book is an informative overview of the cultural developments, evangelism, feminism, liberalization, homosexuality, premarital sex, and the religious institutions in America. The authors have provided a commendable insight into the religious landscape in the US. America has undergone numerous milestones in religious development to date.

This is a charming and dependable book which offers a wide-ranging evaluation of the transformations and the function of religion in American modern world. The authors have shown their competence in developing the book. Personal biases have been avoided by the authors in developing the book, where a high sense of honesty has been adopted in producing this respectful fashion about religion in America.

Robert Putnam and David Campbell are renowned scholars and authors in the fields of religion, international affairs, governance, and sociology. Putnam is the public policy professor at Harvard University.

He is the founder of Saguaro Semina which is a prominent program on civic engagement in the US. Robert Putnam has built his fame through a series of academic works and writing in the field of governance, sociology, and religion. He is highly praised for his commendable work in writing on the topic of government, where he was a co-author. David Campbell is also a renowned scholar who has majored in political science. Campbell is a political Science professor at the University of Notre Dame.

He has shown great passion in the study of American democracy. In this book co-authored by Campbell and Putnam, the two professors have demonstrated their competence in the fields of politics, government, international affairs and religion in America. The experiences of these two authors have enabled them to jointly come up with this fascinating book which is a choice of many readers in the field.

America is a unique nation in the global scene due to its deep religious practices, tolerance and religious diversity. The Putnam and Campbell discovered that personal interfaith ties are in a rapid growth in the current American society. This is despite the several shocks and polarization of people on the basis of religion mostly conservatives and secular liberals.

Putnam and Campbell have found out that religious identities are rapidly becoming fluid and interfaith marriages are taking the stage. As a result of these changes, religious based tensions are fading out and people are becoming friendlier with others from different faith or non believers. Based on the findings of the authors, interfaith tolerance is facilitated by the close personal ties of people from different faiths. Despite of the high religious diversity of America, a high sense of tolerance has been demonstrated.

Putnam and Campbell have made it clear that Americans are very devoted to religion despite of the social changes which have loosened religious commitment. It has been noted that religious devotion affects all sorts of life far from the haven. Based on the study, Americans are generous people, neighbourly, and civically engaged.

Importantly, religion has divided the American society on political lines. This new cultural fissure is attributed to the Christian right. Liberal congregations have been identified as most politicized in the American population. From the study, America is one of the most religious countries across the country. This is based on the statistical data provided by Putnam and Campbell.

Based on the study, over 83% of the population are religious. Around 40% of the population goes to a church almost weekly while 80% believe there is a God. The study shows 59% of the population pray weekly, which demonstrates the devotion of Americans in religion. These statistical inferences concur with the idea that America is among the most religious nations in the world.

The study showed that Americans are more prone to change their religion than any other population in the world. The high levels of tolerance between religious are because many Americans have friends in other religions. Putnam observed that Americans are very religious and at the same time tolerant to their friends in other religions. Americans have shown a high regard on interfaith marriages, hence boosting tolerance.

American population exhibits high level of tolerance in spite of the varied religious landscape. This is associated with the interfaith marriages and friendship ties of people across religions. Religion has been shown to be greatly linked with civic engagement. This is an important insight offered by the authors which finds its use in public policies and governance. From another perspective, Putnam and Campbell argue that morally intense and nonreligious social networks give a powerful effect in the social setup.

The ideas offered in the book are based on massive research by Putnam and Campbell. The authors have combined their synergies in examining the various issues entailing the religious framework in the US. Putnam and Campbell have studied how religion influences different social and cultural orientations.

The two authors conducted a comprehensive research which incorporated 3,000 Americans in 2006. The authors also re-interviewed the participants in 2007 before establishing their conclusions. Majority of the ideas offered in the book is based on the two surveys conducted in 2006 and 2007.

The first survey comprised of 3,108 participants while the second comprised of 1,909 participants. By carrying the surveys twice, the authors were able to come to a valid conclusion. This is because they were able to evaluate the first and second results. Putnam and Campbell utilized both quantitative and qualitative research and analysis which helped in making their conclusion.

This sociological approach is very important to American religion. The inferences developed by Putnam and Campbell using this monographic approach to sociology study are essential in offering a guide and analysis of the religious practices. The sociological approach used by the authors helps in understanding the changes and future trends in American religion.

The authors have helped in illustrating the factors responsible for changes in the religious landscape, characteristics of religious people, factors responsible for devotion, diversity and tolerance. By examining these factors, the authors give important insights for enhancing the religious sector. This sociological approach is effective in the sense that it has exhausted on the topic by addressing all social cultural issues influencing religion thus offering a guideline for change and improvement.

The findings by Putnam and Campbell on American religion are clearly and admirably presented in the book. The statistical instruments and data used by the authors are explained in an explicit and accessible manner. The insights offered in the book are supported by substantial research carried out by the authors. This adds to the authenticity of the ideas in the book following their honesty in addressing the topic. The book is amazing following the superb job done by the authors.

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