Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt


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Book Format: Choose an option. Add to Cart. Product Highlights The U. Religion scholar Prothero makes the provocative case that to remedy this problem, religion should be taught in the public schools.

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See our disclaimer. 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.

Specifications Series Title Romancing Manhattan. Customer Reviews. See all reviews. Write a review. Most helpful positive review. Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars, based on reviews. See more. Most helpful negative review. Average rating: 1 out of 5 stars, based on reviews. That's not a very efficient way of teaching religious literacy.

Religious Illiteracy - Religion

The author tries to make the case that since Christianity is dominant in America, we all owe it to ourselves as Americans to steep ourselves in the muck of the Christian faith I'm paraphrasing and being intentionally mean about it. However, he just comes off as showing favoritism to Christian studies because he is one. The narrative was very dry and the author did a very poor job at teaching anything useful about religion. His idea that religious content should be mandatory in public schools is laughable and self-serving considering more religious-study majors would be needed. All-in-all, this was a waste of time with virtually nothing to offer.

I will end this review with one positive note: the author does a very decent job of presenting other religious with little bias or distortion. Unfortunately, he spends so much time on Christianity that there is little time but to merely gloss over everything else. If this author wrote a more comprehensive book about world religions, I would read it. Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews. MarthaHuntley, August 23, Written by a customer while visiting librarything. Average rating: 3 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews.

AuntieClio, January 5, See all 17 reviews.

See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Please enter a valid email address. Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. Customer Service. In The Spotlight. Hirsch's Cultural Literacy The dictionary, taking up over a third of the book, will prove useful to those who teach religious studies and world religions at the undergraduate level.


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Prothero sees religious illiteracy as not only a problem that should concern religious people, but also a serious civic problem. He contends that "Americans' inability to think clearly and speak confidently about Christianity and other religions should concern anyone who cares about American public life" 8 since "you need religious literacy to be an effective citizen" because of the persistent use of religious rhetoric in the public square 9.

Still, Prothero avows that his motives are not religious but "civic and secular" since he seeks to "help citizens participate fully in the social, political, and economic life in a nation and a world in which religion counts" In tracing how Americans journeyed from religious knowledge to memory loss of even the basic tenets of Christian faith, not to mention other faiths, the author explores two nodal events in American history.

The first is the Second Great Awakening in the early nineteenth century and the second, the post-war boom of the s and s. In short, his thesis is that the ecumenicity and the concomitant shrinking of doctrinal commitments— perceived as necessary to create alliances to save Christianity—actually undermined it. In these alliances, the general becomes more important than the specifics.

When the specifics become optional, religious groups safely discard and then forget them. In opposition, one could argue that these alliances were necessary for the United States to have maintained any sense of a Christian identity today. Prothero offers some suggestions for overcoming religious illiteracy. As a start, Americans could reduce religious illiteracy by actually reading the sacred texts of various religious groups, including their own.

Additionally, churches, synagogues, and mosques could recommit to teaching and stressing the basics of their faith traditions. However, if Americans are to meet the challenges of religious illiteracy, the author believes that secondary and post- secondary schools will need to make the biggest contributions since they have the most access to students from diverse backgrounds. However, for this to be feasible, two obstacles have to be removed: 1 the misunderstanding that American law allows teaching about religion but not the teaching of religion, and 2 what the author calls a "misguided approach" to secular religious studies in public schools and universities that embraces other religions except Christianity.

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

Given the current state of the crisis, as Prothero has described it, there is little possibility that his proposal will get much traction. However, he does chart the terrain a church serious about missions in North America will need to know to effectively re-educate even the Christian population. No content may be copied or emailed to multiple sites or publicly posted without the copyright holder s ' express written permission. Any use, decompiling, reproduction, or distribution of this journal in excess of fair use provisions may be a violation of copyright law.

This journal is made available to you through the ATLAS collection with permission from the copyright holder s.


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  6. The copyright holder for an entire issue of a journal typically is the journal owner, who also may own the copyright in each article. However, for certain articles, the author of the article may maintain the copyright in the article. Please contact the copyright holder s to request permission to use an article or specific work for any use not covered by the fair use provisions of the copyright laws or covered by your respective ATLAS subscriber agreement.

    For information regarding the copyright holder s , please refer to the copyright information in the journal, if available, or contact ATLA to request contact information for the copyright holder s. The design and final form of this electronic document is the property of the American Theological Library Association. Related Papers. Review of F. Stavrakopoulou and J.

    RELIGIOUS LITERACY: What Every American Needs to Know--and Doesn't

    Barton, eds. By Andrew R Davis. By Marianne Moyaert. By George Hunsberger. By Peder Jothen.

    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt
    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt
    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt
    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt
    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt
    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt
    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt
    Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesnt

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