Is bland beautiful? Almost never, most of us would say. But when it comes to religion in a diverse society, the answer may be yes. This is the chief, if probably unintended implication of American Grace, which I take to be the most successfully argued, comprehensive sociological study of American religion in more than half a century. Robert Putnam and David Campbell harvest a generation of research and mature reflection about how religious affiliations of all kinds divide and unite Americans of different generations, regions, sexes, educational levels, and ethno-racial groups.Read the rest of American religion in the era of Fosdick’s revenge.
David A. Hollinger
David A. Hollinger is Preston Hotchkis Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley. His recent books include Cosmopolitanism and Solidarity (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), Postethnic America (Basic Books, 3rd edition, expanded, 2006), and The Humanities and the Dynamics of Inclusion (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006, edited for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences). His most relevant recent article is "After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Ecumenical Protestantism and the Modern American Encounter with Diversity" in the Journal of American History (June 2011). Read David A. Hollinger's contributions to Religion and the historical profession and Surveying religious knowledge.
Posts by David A. Hollinger:
Lilla alludes to the fact that “in the Anglo-American orbit, a liberal theological outlook could grow up alongside a liberal politics whose principles derived from Hobbes’s materialism,” but this crucial part of his story he covers only with the cryptic observation that it was made possible by “a strong constitutional structure and various lucky breaks.” At issue is more than a historically accurate understanding of liberal Protestantism. At issue, too, is the role that liberal Protestantism can play in today’s struggles over religion-and-politics.Read the rest of Liberal Protestantism the key.