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American Grace: The Theological Price

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Abstract

The study, American Grace by Putnam and Campbell affirms the sociological significance of religion as a distinctive vitalising form of social capital. With its stress on virtues of trust, altruism and communal affiliation realised through social networking in congregations, this civil religion, one peculiar to the U.S.A., accomplishes a form of grace that resolves the puzzle of belief and pluralism by generating harmony and religious tolerance. This solution bears a price of rendering religion as end in itself, one detached from exclusivist theological claims in regard to salvation. In exposing this conundrum, the study reveals a highly significant and unexpected facet of the secularisation thesis.

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