Stephen Prothero: God is Not One: Religious Tolerance in an Age of Extremism
Presented by Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life
When: Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, 3 p.m.
Where: The Victoria Hall Theater, 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara
Age limit: All ages
Are all religions simply different ways up the same mountain? Or is the key to religious tolerance found in better understanding differences? In God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World, New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and religion scholar Stephen Prothero argues that persistent attempts to portray all religions as different paths to the same God overlook the distinct problem that each tradition seeks to solve. Delving into the different problems and solutions that Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Confucianism, Yoruba Religion, Daoism and Atheism strive to combat, God is Not One is an indispensable guide to the questions human beings have asked for millennia—and to the disparate paths we are taking to answer them today.
“Both tolerance and respect are empty virtues until we actually understand whatever it is we are supposed to be tolerating or respecting,” Prothero says.
Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University, has been described by Newsweek as “a world religions scholar with the soul of a late night comic.” His books have inspired a Time magazine cover story. He has also spoken on the need for religious literacy at the White House.
Prothero’s best-selling books include American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon, named one of the top religion books for 2003 by Publishers Weekly; the New York Times best-seller, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – and Doesn’t; and God Is Not One, which was named one of the top religion books of 2010 by the Huffington Post.
He also won the Best First Book award of the American Academy of Religion in 1997 for his study, The White Buddhist: The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott.
Prothero is passionate about the need to understand the influence of religion on culture and politics. In addition to his scholarly work, he writes for a wide variety of popular magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, Slate, Salon, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and CNN’s Belief Blog.
He comments on religion for NPR and on television programs, including "The Colbert Report," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The O’Reilly Factor" and "The Today Show," and he was a major contributor to PBS’s video series, God in America.
Prothero’s was named a “Literary Light of 2012” by the Boston Public Library and a finalist for Best Religion Commentary by the Religion Newswriters Association in 2011 and 2012. In 2012 he was elected to the American Society for the Study of Religion and was named the Goldman Sachs Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History.
Prothero received his BA from Yale College in American Studies and his MA and PhD from Harvard University in the Study of Religion.
Event posted Jan. 3, 2014
Last updated Jan. 3, 2014