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Starred Review. For a nation brimming with religion, Prothero wants to know why so many people lack genuine knowledge about their religion as well as others. Believing that American culture seriously lacks knowledge about the fundamentals of most world religions, he argues that schools need to teach classes that legitimately explore all world religions. In the tradition of E.D. Hirsch, he provides a collection of quintessential terms that define the current religious landscape. While the dominant presence of Christianity may cause resentment among secularists, the author is fairly objective in his discussion and justification for such reliance on Christianity. In terms of sound quality, the editors missed several vocal shifts, points where the author begins reading a new sentence in a distinctively different voice than the previous sentence. As narrator, Prothero proves competent but not entirely compelling. His pacing and emphasis certainly work well with his material, but his soft voice and relaxed tone leave something to be desired. Though these are his own written words, he doesn't command the text in the way one would expect. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* The author of I^ American Jesus (2003) opens this important book with a paradox. To wit, Americans are deeply religious I^ and profoundly ignorant about religion; that is, one of the most religious countries is also a nation of "religious illiterates." Prothero calls religious illiteracy dangerous because religion is one of the greatest forces for good--as well as evil--in the world. Nowadays, standing on shaky religious ground can be literally a matter of life and death. To cite two brief examples of America's religious illiteracy: only half of American adults can name one of the four Gospels, and 10 percent of Americans believe that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. Prothero defines religious literacy--what it is, and what it is not. He also discusses the two great religious revivals in U.S. history, the Second Great Awakening of the nineteenth century and the postwar revival of the 1940s and 1950s. He argues both the constitutionality and the necessity of teaching--with an emphasis on spreading knowledge, not inculcating values--about religion in public schools and higher education. He suggests that every U.S. public high school should require a course on the Bible and another on the religions of the world. And he devotes an entire chapter to "a modest list" of a hundred or so religious terms that he deems essential, from I^ Abraham to I^ Zionism, to any American's religious knowledge. A must-read on its subject. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A good and succinct overview of the major world religions. Also eye opening as to how the current climate of religion v. education developed.Published 1 month ago by John Franck
Well-written, thought-provoking- helped me understand the issue of where religion should be in our (US) schools' curriculum. Well done, and I am in search of Stephen's works!Published 3 months ago by sonbums
Overall this book is on point and very needed. The author is correct that as globalization continues we need to understand religion. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael S. Hughes