Harvard Political Scientist to Share Survey Findings on Role of Religion in Public Life

October 24th, 2012 by 

Robert D. Putnam, Harvard professor and co-author of “American Grace: How Religion Divides Us and Unites Us” (Simon and Schuster, 2010), will give a free, public talk on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Rehm Library, Smith Hall at the College of the Holy Cross.

“American Grace,” co-authored with David Campbell, is based on two of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America. It describes a polarization that has emerged as young Americans, turned off by the linkage between faith and conservative politics, have abandoned religion entirely. It also identifies trends such as interfaith marriage, religious conversion, a growing acceptance of gay marriage, a belief that people of other faiths can get to heaven, and the view that Jews are the most widely popular religious group in America today.

Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, one of the world’s highest accolades for a political scientist. He has written 14 books, including the best-selling “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” (Simon and Schuster, 2000); “Better Together: Restoring the American Community,” co-authored with Lewis M. Feldstein (Simon and Schuster, 2003); and “Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy” with Robert Leonardi and Raffaella Y. Nanetti, (Princeton University Press, 1994).

Putnam’s talk, presented by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity. To learn more about McFarland Center events and to find lectures online, visit www.holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter.

Please note this lecture will not be recorded.

About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

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