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Religious Literacy in an Age of Religious Nationalism


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The United States is one of the most religious nations on earth, yet Americans know little about their own religions, and even less about the religions of others. This is the starting point for Dr. Stephen Prothero’s best-selling book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – and Doesn’t, and for his upcoming FODORS lecture. In this lecture, Prothero examines how our ignorance of religion imperils our civic life by making it impossible for us to understand our own country’s politics (which is increasingly dominated by religious nationalism) and the international scene (where religion remains a major influence). Prothero ends with an argument for the study of the Bible and the world’s religions in high schools and for Religious Studies in public universities.

A reception with refreshments will follow the talk.

The event is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating registration is required. Please visit universe.com/prothero to register.

Stephen Prothero is the C. Allyn and Elizabeth V. Russell Professor of Religion in America at Boston University. His most recent book, Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections), was published by HarperOne in 2016. Prothero’s 2007 book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know — and Doesn’t, was a New York Times bestseller. He has been a commentator on every major news network and cable news program, including NPR, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Prothero has also written for the New York Times, USA Today, Slate, Salon, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. He worked as a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and as the chief outside writer for CNN’s “Belief Blog”. Prothero received his BA from Yale in American studies and his PhD in the study of religion from Harvard University.


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