Now, in God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter, Prothero provides students with much-needed content about each of the eight great religions. For those assigning books by Huston Smith and Karen Armstrong--here is a significantly different argument to share with your students: The world's religious traditions are not different paths to the same God. We blur the sharp distinctions between religions at our own peril, and it is time to replace naïve hopes of interreligious unity with deeper knowledge of religious differences. We must stop pretending that all religions are the same--and we must understand and respect what motivates and influences others.
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
Religion is not just a private matter; it affects the world from social, economic, political, and military perspectives. Prothero reveals each of these traditions on its own terms to create an indispensable guide for students studying in diverse fields who need 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 response to a generation of scholarship, God Is Not One creates a new context for understanding religion in the twenty-first century and disproves the assumptions many students make about the way the world's religions work.
If you've decided to assign God Is Not One to your students, please request a desk copy.
Meanwhile, you and your students can meet Stephen Prothero in this video.