Imagine that a close friend sees you reading American Grace and asks you what this huge book is all about and why you have been asked to read it. In 4-7 pages, please thoughtfully tell your friend what you have learned from American Grace as an extended academic study. In your response, citing specific material from the text, please concisely but insightfully pay careful attention to each of the following issues:
• Who are the authors, and why are they uniquely qualified—professionally and personally—to conduct this academic study?
• What resources and methods did the authors use to conduct their research and reach their conclusions?
• What are the authors’ findings about American religion? What happened to religion and American life between World War II and today? What exactly do the authors mean by the phrase “American Grace”?
• What do you think about the overall significance of this study to American religion? Do you agree or disagree with the authors’ findings, and why? Is there any aspect of American religion, past or present, that the authors underemphasized or missed altogether?