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1 Burnside Christianity- Christian Living

Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't

by

Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't Cover

ISBN13: 9780060846701
ISBN10: 0060846704
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $7.95!

 

Staff Pick

Having called us a nation of "religious illiterates" on the first page, Steven Prothero had me intrigued and ready to read Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. Prothero contends that while contemporary America values its position as a Christian faith-based nation, we know very little about the essential doctrine of Christianity, and far less about other religions of the world. As blood runs in the street over religious ideologies, it becomes vital that we know the basis of our own beliefs and that we create a culture of tolerance born of knowledge. His book is a great place to start our education.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The United States is one of the most religious places on earth, but it is also a nation of shocking religious illiteracy.
  • Only 10 percent of American teenagers can name all five major world religions and 15 percent cannot name any.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the Bible holds the answers to all or most of life's basic questions, yet only half of American adults can name even one of the four gospels and most Americans cannot name the first book of the Bible.

Despite this lack of basic knowledge, politicians and pundits continue to root public policy arguments in religious rhetoric whose meanings are missed—or misinterpreted—by the vast majority of Americans.

"We have a major civic problem on our hands," says religion scholar Stephen Prothero. He makes the provocative case that to remedy this problem, we should return to teaching religion in the public schools. Alongside "reading, writing, and arithmetic," religion ought to become the "Fourth R" of American education.

Many believe that America's descent into religious illiteracy was the doing of activist judges and secularists hell-bent on banishing religion from the public square. Prothero reveals that this is a profound misunderstanding. "In one of the great ironies of American religious history," Prothero writes, "it was the nation's most fervent people of faith who steered us down the road to religious illiteracy. Just how that happened is one of the stories this book has to tell."

Prothero avoids the trap of religious relativism by addressing both the core tenets of the world's major religions and the real differences among them. Complete with a dictionary of the key beliefs, characters, and stories of Christianity, Islam, and other religions, Religious Literacy reveals what every American needs to know in order to confront the domestic and foreign challenges facing this country today.

Review:

"The United States is the most religious nation in the developed world, if religiosity is measured by belief in all things supernatural — from God and the Virgin Birth to the humbler workings of angels and demons. Americans are also the most religiously ignorant people in the Western world. Fewer than half of us can identify Genesis as the first book of the Bible, and only one-third know that Jesus... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Although we often assume religion is in decline in the West, it continues to have an important yet contested role in individual lives and in society at large. And after half a century in which religion and belief were barely talked about in the public sphere, we face a pressing lack of religious literacy. Many are now ill-equipped to engage with religion and belief when they encounter them in their daily lives—in relationships, law, media, professions, business, and politics, among other venues.

This valuable book is the first to bring together theory and policy with analysis and expertise to explore what religious literacy is, why it is needed, and what might be done about it. Its contributors make the case for a public realm that is well-equipped to engage with the plurality and pervasiveness of religion and belief, whatever an individual participants own stance. It will be of great importance to academics, policy makers, and practitioners interested in the manifold implications of the continued presence of religion and belief in the public sphere.

Synopsis:

From the author of "American Jesus" comes an essential religious primer and an argument for why religion must become the Rfourth RS of American education.

About the Author

Stephen Prothero is the chair of the religion department at Boston University. His book American Jesuswas named one of the best religion books of 2003 by Publishers Weeklyand one of the year's best nonfiction books by the Chicago Tribune. He writes and reviews for the New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and other publications. He holds degrees from Harvard and Yale.

Table of Contents

Foreword ~ Grace Davie

Section one – Theory

Religious literacy: contesting an idea and practice ~ Adam Dinham and Matthew Francis

Diminishing religious literacy: methodological assumptions and analytical frameworks for promoting the public understanding of religion ~ Diane L. Moore

Religious literacy in the context of Theology and Religious Studies ~ David Ford and Mike Higton

The irony of religious illiteracy in the USA ~ Stephen Prothero & Lauren R. Kerby

Religious literacy as lokahi: social harmony through diversity ~ Michael Barnes SJ and Jonathan D. Smith

Section two – Policy

Religious literacy and welfare ~ Adam Dinham

Religious literacy, radicalisation and extremism ~ Matthew Francis and Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist

Religious literacy, equalities and human rights ~ Rebecca Catto and David Perfect

Section three – Practice

Religious illiteracy in school Religious Education ~ James C. Conroy

Religious literacy in higher education ~ Stephen H. Jones

Religious literacy and social work: the view from Australia ~ Beth R. Crisp

Religious literacy and the media: the case of the BBC ~ Michael Wakelin and Nick Spencer

Religious literacy and chaplaincy ~ Jeremy Clines with Sophie Gilliat-Ray

Religious literacies: the future ~ Matthew Francis and Adam Dinham.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

hamd65, September 22, 2011 (view all comments by hamd65)
I love this book! A wonderful historical religious journey with the help of Mr. Prothero's informative religious dictionary. I had no idea my religious literacy IQ was so pitifully low. Thank you Mr. Prothero.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Tracy Bock, April 4, 2008 (view all comments by Tracy Bock)
Fascinating read. Has a very nice Dictionary of Religious Literacy near the end. Historical context of how we got where we are and how most Americans know little of their religion...and even less of those that surround them. I highly recommend this book, there are so few books on religion that don't preach to you. This book will give you unbiased knowledge about religions. I've honestly learned so much.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060846701
Author:
Prothero, Stephen
Publisher:
Policy Press
Author:
by Stephen Prothero
Author:
Francis, Matthew
Author:
Dinham, Adam
Author:
Prothero, Stephen R.
Subject:
Education
Subject:
Comparative Religion
Subject:
Religions
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
General Religion
Subject:
Religious education -- United States.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20150615
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Religion » Christianity » Christian Living
Religion » Christianity » Inspirational
Religion » Comparative Religion » Featured Titles
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » General and Comparative Religion

Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't Used Hardcover
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages HarperSanFrancisco - English 9780060846701 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Having called us a nation of "religious illiterates" on the first page, Steven Prothero had me intrigued and ready to read Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. Prothero contends that while contemporary America values its position as a Christian faith-based nation, we know very little about the essential doctrine of Christianity, and far less about other religions of the world. As blood runs in the street over religious ideologies, it becomes vital that we know the basis of our own beliefs and that we create a culture of tolerance born of knowledge. His book is a great place to start our education.

"Synopsis" by ,
Although we often assume religion is in decline in the West, it continues to have an important yet contested role in individual lives and in society at large. And after half a century in which religion and belief were barely talked about in the public sphere, we face a pressing lack of religious literacy. Many are now ill-equipped to engage with religion and belief when they encounter them in their daily lives—in relationships, law, media, professions, business, and politics, among other venues.

This valuable book is the first to bring together theory and policy with analysis and expertise to explore what religious literacy is, why it is needed, and what might be done about it. Its contributors make the case for a public realm that is well-equipped to engage with the plurality and pervasiveness of religion and belief, whatever an individual participants own stance. It will be of great importance to academics, policy makers, and practitioners interested in the manifold implications of the continued presence of religion and belief in the public sphere.

"Synopsis" by , From the author of "American Jesus" comes an essential religious primer and an argument for why religion must become the Rfourth RS of American education.
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