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ERIC Number: EJ757227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar-16
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Worshiping in Ignorance
Prothero, Stephen
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n28 pB6 Mar 2007
"Cultural literacy" has been hotly debated ever since E.D. Hirsch Jr.'s best seller of that name injected the desideratum into the culture wars in 1987. Today religious illiteracy is at least as pervasive as cultural illiteracy, and certainly more dangerous. Religious illiteracy is more dangerous because religion is the most volatile constituent of culture. Religion has been, in addition to one of the greatest forces for good in world history, one of the greatest forces for evil. Nonetheless, Americans remain profoundly ignorant about their own religions and those of others. According to recent polls, most American adults cannot name even one of the four Gospels, and many high-school seniors think that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. As a result, many Americans are too easily swayed by demagogues. Thus, this ignorance imperils people's public life, putting citizens in the thrall of talking heads and effectively transferring power from the Third Estate (the people) to the Fourth (the press).
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States