Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

See how much you really know about religion.

I think the author was correct in his view that Americans claim they are very religious but don't really know much about it. I agree with his view that it is important to teach religion in school. You need to learn religion not to believe any one religion specifically ...
I think the author was correct in his view that Americans claim they are very religious but don't really know much about it. I agree with his view that it is important to teach religion in school. You need to learn religion not to believe any one religion specifically but that you need it to understand the world. I am not sure about everything he claims, such as Protestantism was more of a reason religion was taken out of school than secularism. However, even where I am not in complete agreement with the author I thing he makes some good points. He also,has a religion test in the book in which I knew all about the Christian religion but not as much as I assumed when it came to other world religions.

posted by 697577 on April 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

You won't learn religious literacy from this book

I was hoping to learn about the world's religious from this book. The last chapter lists terms that were somewhat educational, although it is like reading a dictionary or brief encyclopedia entries. However, most of the book contains poorly constructed arguments for why...
I was hoping to learn about the world's religious from this book. The last chapter lists terms that were somewhat educational, although it is like reading a dictionary or brief encyclopedia entries. However, most of the book contains poorly constructed arguments for why we should know more about religion. Indeed, Stephen Prothero's writing is arrogant. For instance, he refers to a biblical reference by President Bush in a speach and is amazed that a CBS commentator didn't understand the refernce. Rather than explain the biblical reference to the reader, Mr. Prothero assumes that the reader would be as shocked as he is that the CBS commentator is not a biblical scholar. The reader is left wondering what President Bush's biblical reference meant.

posted by Anonymous on April 21, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2007

    You won't learn religious literacy from this book

    I was hoping to learn about the world's religious from this book. The last chapter lists terms that were somewhat educational, although it is like reading a dictionary or brief encyclopedia entries. However, most of the book contains poorly constructed arguments for why we should know more about religion. Indeed, Stephen Prothero's writing is arrogant. For instance, he refers to a biblical reference by President Bush in a speach and is amazed that a CBS commentator didn't understand the refernce. Rather than explain the biblical reference to the reader, Mr. Prothero assumes that the reader would be as shocked as he is that the CBS commentator is not a biblical scholar. The reader is left wondering what President Bush's biblical reference meant.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2007

    Biased against Christian thought

    It seems you can't bash any group in the United States, unless they're white men or Christians. This book's dictionary entry for the Bible mentions Thomas Paine's view that the Bible was, 'a book of lies'. This book's dictionary entry for the Quran, on the other hand, is wholly positive, with no scholar's dissenting opinion. The entry also mentions that certain Christian groups have had problems with the Quran. The section on the Quran leaves you feeling the Quran is without fault but intolerant others (American Christians) have unfounded problems with it. How does 'religious literacy' work when criticism of certain faiths has to be done with the gloves on, so as not to offend? But don't take my word for it, read those two entries in a bookstore and make up your own mind. (I would recommend either book by Hirsi Ali for a scholar's dissenting opinion on the Quran.)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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