Stephen Prothero

Stephen Prothero

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What Every American Needs to Know About Religion: Lecture November 7

October 18, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—College students might remember Stephen Prothero from his appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” while religion scholars know him best for his contributions to academia, including the New York Times bestseller “Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know—and Doesn’t.” The Boston University religion professor and media pundit will discuss the need for religious intelligence in American society on Nov. 7, 7 p.m., in the University Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Witty and engaging, Prothero shows us how not knowing about religion threatens our ability to understand and participate in our civil society,” said David Hackett, chair of the University of Florida Department of Religion. “Whether or not we ourselves are religious, he helps us understand that the more we learn about religion, the less likely we will be to surrender our voices—through our lack of religious knowledge—to political leaders who frequently understand their actions in a religious context.”

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service and the Department of Religion’s Alumni Lecture Series. It is the second event in a series, the Graham Center Forum on Civic Engagement, being held this year to highlight the Graham Center’s mission of enhancing public leadership. Following Prothero, the next lecture will be held on Feb. 5, when St. Louis University History Professor Donald Critchlow presents “Civic Engagement and Modern Conservatives” at 7 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora Room.

Established by former Florida governor and retired U.S. Senator Bob Graham, the Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida provides students with opportunities to train for future leadership positions, meet current policymakers and take courses in critical thinking, language learning and studies of world cultures. Its mission is to foster public leadership and solve issues related to the Americas and homeland security.

For more information about Prothero, including high-resolution publicity photos, visit To learn more about the Graham Center, visit



Heather Read


Michael Bowen, Assistant Director of the Graham Center for Public Service
352-392-2264 or

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