Free Write Reflection: CfE: Prothero, “A Cloud of Unknowing in American Religion and Politics”

I attended Stephen Prothero’s talk about religious illiteracy in the United States. Professor Prothero discussed that the United States is lacking in religious literacy or understanding of religions in four aspects: knowledge of world religions, comparative perspective of religions, understanding why people practice religions, and critically engaging a religion through analysis. He further goes on to explain why this is important because religion can decide the political landscape and make great decisions in a society or the world.  Then, he went to look at the origins of American illiteracy in the 19th century by Evangelicals. Prothero then dived into the current political landscape of how Evangelical Christianity is being more associated with right-wing politics. This has led to more people not associating with a religion as fake news is being stirred up into religion. Prothero then gives advice on what steps should be taken to become more literate in religion. Through debunking fake news and calling for collaboration and cooperation. I though that his talk was very informative and interesting. Also, I found his religious literacy test to be challenging just like his students at Boston University was. I will admit it, I am not literate in religion, but I am open to learn more.

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