Regular price: $28.51
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $28.51
The people who are blasting this book for not being a primer on religion are being unfair for two reasons: 1) That is not what the book is - the author says so right up front and the publisher's notes say so as well. It is not their fault if some did not read their comments or chose to ignore them. 2) The last part of the book is a primer, although I would not purchase it for this purpose.
The book is divided into three parts. In the first he makes the case that Americans, while being devout, are also ignorant. It seems that they chose to enthusiastically follow the Bible without actually bothering to read it. He then goes into why it is not only bad religion but also bad civics. His argument is clear and convincing although somewhat repetitive.
The second section is a brief history of religion, mostly in the US, and how the clashes of the competing interests lead a formerly Bible reading people into religious ignorance. His argument is again convincing but this time not quite as clear. His conclusion that much of the ignorance has been caused by the religious leadership(s) is surprising but well supported. Again, he would have benefitted from more editorial over-sight.
The last section is a glossary of religious terms which was a useful review of some basic concepts even for someone who, at least according to his pre and post test, is already fairly religiously literate (but not at all devout - which would support his thesis).
It is an interesting read for people who want to learn ABOUT religion in the U.S. and how it has evolved (or devolved) overtime that should have been better editted. People who are looking for a spiritual guide or a Bible review should look elsewhere.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
As a number of reviewers have noted, this book is heavily biased toward Christianity. The author's intention is clearly laid out, however. It's a book about us (American citizens) and how we've lost any real understanding of the degree to which Christianity has become part of our culture, our politics, our mythology, etc. It isn't a Christian tract.
The US-centric focus of the book is set squarely in the context of a larger plea for religious literacy in the broadest sense, and the author provides (in the dictionary-like section others have mentioned) a wonderful springboard to the search each of us should make to understand how religion has infused most cultures.
Don't be put off by reviewers carping about not being spoon-fed a religious literacy education. This book grounds you in what's necessary to understand political dialog in the US and can, if well used, start you/us/me on a path to a more respectable cross-religion literacy.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful