Thursday, October 1, 2009

Religious Literacy

Just read a good book by Stephen Prothero called Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know And Doesn't.

He is quite right, we live in a land that is very pious, with a majority saying they believe in God and even pray BUT very few have a deep knowledge of their faith and very little knowledge of their neighbors faith especially of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

I agree with his argument that we ought to teach in our schools:
  • a course on the Bible
  • a course on World Religions
The point of which is not to indoctrinate the students in a particular understanding but to open up to them the Bible and Religion so they know something of which they believe and the beliefs of their neighbors. (which is in line with what the Supreme Court has said, teach about religion NOT teach of religion (as if you were teaching to indoctrinate)).

"The fact of the matter is that you cannot avoid teaching religion to your kids; if you offer them nothing, you are telling them that religion counts for nothing."

"There is a widening gap in the US between what we actually know about religion and what we should know."

You can learn more about the author here.

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