Putnam to speak on how religion divides and unites us

Author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community will speak in Graham Chapel Nov. 2

Robert D. Putnam, PhD, author of the acclaimed book, Bowling Alone, will present a lecture on his latest work, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Graham Chapel.


The lecture, co-sponsored by the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; the Gephardt Institute for Public Service; the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics; the Center for Social Development at the Brown School; the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital at the School of Law; and the Assembly Series, is free and open to the public.

Putnam, the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, is author or co-author of more than a dozen previous books, including Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

Published in 2000, the book argues that the U.S. has undergone an unprecedented collapse in civic, social, associational and political life since the 1960s, with serious negative consequences.

Since publication of the book, Putnam has worked to revive American social capital and has founded the Saguaro Seminar, which brings together leading thinkers and practitioners from across America to develop actionable ideas for civic renewal.

His most recent work, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, co-authored with David E. Campbell, PhD, the John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C. Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame, explores recent cultural developments in religion and faith.

American Grace won the American Political Science Association’s 2011 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government, politics or international affairs.

Putnam was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1980, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He served as president of the American Political Science Association in 2001-02.

Putnam received the Wilbur Cross Medal of Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for outstanding career achievement in 2003. In 2006, he received the Johan Skytte Prize for the most valuable contribution to political science.

The London Sunday Times has called Putnam “the most influential academic in the world today.”

His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and many other publications.

For more information visit wc.wustl.edu/PutnamForum.