UMBC hosted the guest speaker Stephen Prothero, acclaimed expert and
author on religion, offered members of the UMBC community religious and
spiritual insight during the discussion "God is Not One: The Eight
Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter."
Prothero has authored numerous books on religion including God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World and Religious Literacy. He is also a professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University and has appeared on mainstream news networks like CNN, MSNBC and FOX.
The discussion was held on Thursday, November 29 in the Skylight Lounge. About 50 students, faculty and visitors attended to hear Prothero's lecture, in which he emphasized the importance of educational literacy in religion in America.
"You can't make sense of the world without making sense of religion," said Prothero. He pointed out how religion affects major societal matters such as politics, military forces and government systems. "I believe humans are motivated by passions that cannot be seen."
Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity were some of the religions Prothero compared and contrasted. He also described how although the U.S. is the most religious country in the world, individuals have very little knowledge about religion itself.
"Religion has public power," he said, explaining that the media has displayed how religion affects human rights like abortion and marriage equality during the last decade. Individual morals and values differ across religions, which often ignites controversy regarding the legislation of these human rights.
One of Prothero's main goals is to encourage both teachers and professors to incorporate religious topics in their curriculum. "I think it would be good to teach world religions and Christianity in a general sense," said senior public health major Alexandra Mills. "It's important to discuss and have a basic understanding of different religions."
The discussion was sponsored by The Office of Student Life's Mosaic Center along with the Office of Undergraduate Education and several other co-sponsors. The Mosaic Center staff dedicates their time to creating and fostering cross-cultural collaboration and diversity on the UMBC campus through events such as Prothero's discussion.
"We like to find ways to be a more unified community at UMBC," said Assistant Director of Student Life for Cultural and Spiritual Diversity Lisa Gray.
"I agree that we should focus and celebrate our differences," said senior Asian studies major Yasmin Radbod. "We shouldn't assume that we are all the same."Printer-Friendly | Modified Mon Dec 3 21:01:06 2012 - © The Retriever Weekly.