Ignorance Of Religion Isn’t Bliss

October 18, 2010

Author: James Carroll

Source: The Boston Globe


Who was Joan of Arc? Why, of course, everybody knows she was Noah’s wife.


Actually, the ignorance of Americans about religion is not funny. Last month, the Pew Research Center published the “US Religious Knowledge Survey,’’ revealing low levels of understanding about core teachings of mainstream religions. Survey participants knew little even of their own traditions. (More than half of Protestants questioned did not know Martin Luther sparked the Reformation; more than 40 percent of Jews did not recognize Moses Maimonides as a fellow Jew.) About half of people surveyed did not know that the Koran is the Islamic holy book, the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, or Joseph Smith was Mormon.