God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter

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God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter

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Written By: Stephen Prothero       
Narrated By: Paul Boehmer
Date: 19 April 2010
Duration: 14:40:00

| Genres

Religion & Spirituality World Religions

| Summary

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, dizzying scientific and technological advancements, interconnected globalized economies, and even the so-called New Atheists have done nothing to change one thing: our world remains furiously religious. For good and for evil, religion is the single greatest influence in the world. We accept as self-evident that competing economic systems (capitalist or communist) or clashing political parties (Republican or Democratic) propose very different solutions to our planet's problems. So why do we pretend that the world's religious traditions are different paths to the same God? We blur the sharp distinctions between religions at our own peril, argues religion scholar Stephen Prothero, and it is time to replace nave hopes of interreligious unity with deeper knowledge of religious differences.

In Religious Literacy, Prothero demonstrated how little Americans know about their own religious traditions and why the world's religions should be taught in public schools. Now, in God Is Not One, Prothero provides readers with this much-needed content about each of the eight great religions. To claim that all religions are the same is to misunderstand that each attempts to solve a different human problem. For example:

Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission
Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation
Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order
Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening
Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God

Prothero reveals each of these traditions on its own terms to create an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to better understand the big questions human beings have asked for millennia and the disparate paths we are taking to answer them today. A bold polemical response to a generation of misguided scholarship, God Is Not One creates a new context for understanding religion in the twenty-first century and disproves the assumptions most of us make about the way the world's religions work.

| Author

Stephen Prothero

Stephen Richard Prothero (; born November 13, 1960) is an American scholar of religion. He is a professor of religion at Boston University and the author of eight books on religion in America, including the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy.

He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs and on television on CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report. He was the chief editorial consultant for the six-hour WGBH television series God in America and he has served as a consultant on American religious history at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. A regular contributor to USA Today, he has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, Salon, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal.

Prothero has argued for mandatory public-school biblical literacy courses (along the lines of the Bible Literacy Project's The Bible and Its Influence), along with mandatory courses on world religions. On the matter of his own personal beliefs, Prothero describes himself as "religiously confused".

| Books by Stephen Prothero