Western Reads brings religious historian to speak on 'Religious Literacy'
Stephen Prothero, author of the Western Reads Book for 2011-12, will speak at Western in November.
Stephen Prothero, author of "Religious Literacy," will speak at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) Concert Hall at Western Washington University.
The event is open to the public. Free tickets are available at the PAC Box Office (limit two tickets per person). Contact the WWU Box Office at (360) 650-6146 or visit www.tickets.
For more information about the Western Reads program, visit www.westernreads.
Western Reads is Western's campus-wide reading program designed to promote intellectual engagement and civil discourse among members of the campus community. Prothero's New York Times bestseller "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–and Doesn't" (HarperOne, 2007), is the Western Reads Book for 2011-12. The author will discuss religion and American culture during his visit to campus and answer questions following the talk.
Prothero is a professor of Religion at Boston University and a historian of American religions. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in the Study of Religion.
All new freshman and transfer students at Western received a complimentary copy of "Religious Literacy" at orientation and are invited to participate in a variety of Western Reads activities during the academic year, including discussions, faculty presentations and guest lectures.
Prothero has written six books, including: "The White Buddhist: The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott" (Indiana University Press, 1996), which won the Best First Book award of the American Academy of Religion in 1997, and "American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003), which was named one of the top religion books for 2003 by Publishers Weekly. His two most recent projects are "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–and Doesn't ," and "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter" (HarperOne, 2010).
In addition to his scholarly work, which includes peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Prothero has written for a variety of popular magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, Slate, Salon, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe. He has commented on religion on NPR and on such television programs as The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O'Reilly Factor, and The Today Show. He is also a regular contributor to CNN's Belief Blog.
The Western Reads selection committee is comprised of faculty, staff and students from across campus who work with incoming students. Criteria for selecting the book include accessibility, possibilities for interdisciplinary conversation and opportunities for students to reflect on their lives as learners.
"Religious Literacy" is the eighth annual book selected in the Western Reads program. Previous years' Westerns Reads books include "The Young and the Digital" by S. Craig Watkins; "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan; "The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything" by Gordy Slack; "Honky" by Dalton Conley; "Wild Life," by Molly Gloss; "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," by Mark Haddon; and "Persepolis," by Marjane Satrapi.
Western Reads is sponsored by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services and by New Student Services/Family Outreach.