chapter  2
8 Pages

Introducing Religious Literacy

Prothero explains that religious literacy is "the ability to understand and use in one's day-to-day life the basic building blocks of religious traditions—their key terms, symbols, doctrines, practices, sayings, characters, metaphors, and narratives". A second well-known approach to defining religious literacy has been formulated by Dianne Moore of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School, and has been adopted by the American Academy of Religion. Diversity within religions is an important piece to any discussion of religious literacy and one that is highlighted again. There are a few other important facets that should be considered when discussing religious literacy that have yet to be stated explicitly by any of these definitions. Overall, this approach to religious literacy combines insights from scholars such as Prothero, Moore, and Patel, and provides insights from the authors' research at NYU.