A Critical Analysis of Putnam, Robert D., and David E. Campbell. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. Print, pp 1-246
In a renowned examination to approach religion as a sociological study, respected scholars Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell trek through the social history of our nation over the past few decades and the affects that have consequently—or thankfully—been left on religious institutions. While the authors explore detailed cultural developments, America’s religiosity and diversity is examined through comprehensive surveys and empirical analysis. As Putnam and Campbell search to uncover the relationship between sociological developments and religious institutions, a conclusion reached by the authors affirms that religion is majorly affected by cultural changed, and their interconnectivity creates a symbiotic correlation. To validate the conclusion, the recent rise of feminism and increasingly irrelevant gender roles in today’s society can be brought to investigation. How have religious institutions been effected by the feminist revolution, and has this affect derived from the encouragement of the movement, or resistance of it? In a modern cultural setting of women rising to equivocal levels of men in almost every aspect of our society, did Putnam and Campbell account for the ongoing oppression of women in conservative religions when drawing their conclusion? A critical analysis of the text will examine the interconnectivity between the revolutionary bounds of social equality women have overcome within the past few decades, and the formation of religious institutions in response to this. To preface, Putnam and Campbell make substantiated claims that religion is greatly correlated to two specific aspects of women’s rights: (1) the culture war of the 1960’s, referred to as the “shock” and (2) women’s entry into the paid workforce, referred to as the “second-wave of feminism” (Putnam and...
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