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We have created a list of related and readings which is available either as a direct link or a downloadable PDF document. Please note that while we have tried to maintain the links to most of these readings, some of the links might not work.

Note: this is only a description of some of the issues and ideas considered. For our official set of recommendations, see our BetterTogether report.



Putnam, Robert. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American. Simon and Schuster: New York, NY, 2000. [especially chapter 4]

Nature Of Problem/Overview

Wuthnow, Robert. Christianity and Civil Society. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press, 1996. see especially pp. 19-35.

Thomas, June Manning and Reynard N. Blake, Jr. “Faith-Based Community Development and African-American Neighborhoods.” in Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods, ed. by W. Dennis Keating et al. University Press of Kansas, 1996. see especially pp. 131-143. (a useful overview of faith-based efforts in the inner city)

Connection To Social Capital

Greeley, Andrew. “Coleman Revisited: Religious Structures as a Source of Social Capital.” American Behavioral Scientist 40(5): 590-2. (on the religious basis of volunteering in America)

Auerbach, Jon. “Jewish Loan Societies Rethink the Tradition of Helping All Comers.” Wall Street Journal (9/1/97): A1, A6.

Maxwell, Joe. "Medical Cost Sharing: What Health Crisis?" Philanthropy, Culture and Society (June 1996).

Smidt , Corwin, ed. Religion As Social Capital: Producing the Common Good. Baylor U. Press, 2003. Chapters by Robert Wuthnow, Mark Warren, Ram Cnann, David Campbell, Frederic Harris, among others.

Connection With Voting

Coleman, John A., S.J. (1996). “Under the Cross and the Flag: Reflections on Discipleship and Citizenship in America.” America 174(16): 9-11.

New Avenues: Megachurches/Seeker Services

Trueheart, Charles. “Welcome to the Next Church.” The Atlantic Monthly. (August, 1996): 37-58.

Rifkin, Glenn. “How to ‘Truck' the Brand: Lessons from the Grateful Dead.” Strategy and Business 6 (First Quarter 1997): 51-57.



Promise Keepers

McCartney, Bill. “Promise Makers.” Policy Review (Sept.-Oct. 1997): 14-19.

Fundamentalism/Evangelical Conservatives Reaching Out

Ammerman, Nancy Tatom. "North American Protestant Fundamentalism" in Fundamentalism Observed, ed. by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. see especially pp. 1-8, 14-15, 27-45, 54-56. (helps provide a deeper understanding of fundamentalism, the type of religious participation that has grown most in the recent period).

Blackmon, Douglas. “Racial Reconciliation Becomes a Priority for the Religious Right.” Wall Street Journal (June 23, 1997): A1, A6.


Ramo, Joshua Cooper. “Finding God on the Web.” Time (12/16/96): 60-65.

New Optimism About Churches

Klein, Joe. 1997. “In God They Trust.” The New Yorker (June 16, 1997): 40-48. (good description of some faith-based efforts in African-American inner city communities; raises policy issue of religious institutions administering government funded programs)

DiIulio, John. “The Lord’s Work: The Church and the ‘Civil Society Sector.” Brookings Review (Fall 1997): 27-3.

Interview with John DiIulio, by Jim Wallis. "With Unconditional Love." Sojourners (September-October 1997): 16-22.

Wallis, Jim. "A Time to Act." Sojourners (January- February 1998): 7-8.

Wallis, Jim. "The Church Steps Forward." Sojourners (March-April 1997): 7-9.

Jim Wallis, Faith Works (Random House, 2000).

Cautions/Limits Of Faith-Based Strategy

Dionne, E.J. (editor), Chen, Ming Hsu (editor). Sacred Places, Civic Purposes. (Brookings Institution Press, 2001)

Shapiro, Joseph. “The Faith Factor: Can Churches Cure America’s Social Ills?” U.S. News & World Report (9/6/96).

Segal, Julie A. "Americans United for Separation of Church and State." The Responsive Community (Winter 1997-1998): 43-46.

Kramnick, Isaac & R. Lawrence Moore. “Can the Churches Save the Cities?” The American Prospect 35 (November-December 1997): 47-53.

Kaminer, Wendy. “Unholy Alliance.” The American Prospect (November- December 1997): 54-55.

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