August 20, 2012
BISMARCK - From political columns to opinion pages and editorials, Ross Douthat usually has a say in the matter. As the youngest-ever op-ed columnist for the New York Times Douthat has become an influential voice in his time.
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, Douthat will speak at the University of Mary on the topic of his recent book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. His 7 p.m. presentation is in Butler Hall at the Gary Tharaldson School of Business and is free and open to the public.
In his widely acclaimed book, Douthat offers his insights into American Christianity. His book has received four out of five stars from Amazon.com reviewers, who called the book "thought provoking," "bad religion, great book," "best book of 2012," "frustrating but mostly on target." Amazon.com describes Douthat's writing as a masterful and hard-hitting account of how American Christianity has gone off the rails - and why it threatens to take American society with it.
When asked why he wrote the book by reporter Daniel Burke of the Religion News Service, Douthat, a 2002 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University responded: "The idea for the book came to me late in the Bush presidency, when the debate over religion in America was generally dominated by the clash between the New Atheists - Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett - and conservative Christians. In many ways, the debate over the existence of God is the most important debate there is, but I thought it would be useful to step back and consider what kind of shape American religion is taking."
Expanding on this, he noted, "In some ways, depending on what kinds of measurements you use - such as belief in God or spiritual experiences, the country might be more religious than ever. But that doesn't mean that there are more traditional, orthodox Christians. Instead, you have heresy: religions that draw on Christianity and yet are still miles away from the historic core of the Christian faith."
This thought-provoking event is co-sponsored by the Christian Leadership Center and the Mary Convocation Committee.