Best-selling Author Discusses 'Religious Literacy'
Religion must become the “fourth R” of American education, argues a
leading national religious studies scholar and author who will speak at
Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know — And Doesn’t, calls for schools to teach mandatory classes on world religions. He will discuss his views at Alma College at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the Remick Heritage Center. Admission is free and open to the public. No ticket is required.
Named one of the “Best Books of 2007” by the Washington Post and others, Prothero’s Religious Literacy spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
Prothero is probably one of the most influential and best-known
scholars in the field of religious studies right now,” says Kate
Blanchard, assistant professor of religious studies at Alma College.
“Not only has he received numerous honors and awards from his academic
colleagues, but he also has made a remarkable number of popular
appearances in the past couple of years.
“He’s a man on a mission, and that mission is to promote religious literacy through the teaching of the Bible and world religions in America’s public schools,” she says. “In contrast with some other religious figures in our country, though, Prothero wants to do this not so as to make America more Christian, but so as to make Americans more conscious of the roles religion and religious rhetoric continue to play in our 21st-century politics, even in this secular day and age.”
Prothero’s academic expertise is in American religious history, including Asian religions in America. He has a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
In addition to Religious Literacy, Prothero is the author of Purified by Fire: A History of Cremation in American, American Jesus: How the Son of God became a National Icon, and The White Buddhist: The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott, which won the American Academy of Religion’s 1996 Best First Book in the History of Religions award.
His numerous public interviews and media appearances have included The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, National Public Radio’s On Point, PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Oprah.
Posted: Mon, September 29th, 2008 at 8:14AM