Robert Putnam (Harvard University), in conversation with Jane Shaw (Stanford University). Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund Lecture & “Between Race and Religion: Contemporary American Jewish Life” series with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Sponsored by the Taube Center for Jewish Studies and the Stanford Humanities Center. Free and open to the public.
There exists a great puzzle of religion in the United States: America is unusually religious, unusually diverse religiously, and yet unusually tolerant. In most countries, intense religiosity combined with stark religious differences equals wars, violence, and civil disorder. Why have we not torn ourselves apart along the religious fault lines that have increasingly come to divide us? In his upcoming lecture, Robert Putnam will draw on three of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted of religion and public life in America to examine the complex interaction of religion, politics, and social movements over the past half-century and how this specifically impacts Jewish life. He will offer a nuanced balance sheet of how religion both contributes to and detracts from the vibrancy and stability of American democracy.
Robert Putman is Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the author of, among other things, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.