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Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Grammatically Speaking:

"We owe much to our mother tongue. It is through speech and writing that we understand each other and can attend to our needs and differences. If we don't respect and honor the rules of English, we lose our ability to communicate clearly and well. In short, we invite mayhem, misery, madness, and inevitably even more bad things that start with letters other than M."

--Martha Brockenbrough, grammarian and founder, National Grammar Day

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USU's religious studies program to host bestselling author

By USU Media Relations and Marketing

January 18, 2008 | LOGAN—Utah State University's Religious Studies Program brings a national expert on the subject of religious literacy to campus for a lecture, and everyone is invited to the free event.

The featured speaker is Stephen Prothero, professor of religious studies and chair of the religion department at Boston University. He is the author of the nationally acclaimed book "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know ­ And Doesn't." Prothero’s lecture, "Religious Literacy," is Friday, Feb. 1, and begins at 3:30 p.m. in Old Main room 225 (approximately 810 E. 510 North, Logan).

Charles S. Prebish, the Redd Chair in USU’s Religious Studies Program, coordinates the visit and said Prothero was invited to campus because he can speak to Religious Studies students, and the public alike, in a provocative but highly understandable fashion.

"His brilliant book 'Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know ­ And Doesn't' speaks to a significant dilemma in American religious life in an inspiring way — one that we believe will assist our students in moving forth into an increasingly complicated spiritual world with new insights." Prebish said

Prothero's book is among the most important religious studies volumes published in 2007. Summarizing the lecture, Prebish said Prothero's lecture deals with the shocking religious illiteracy of Americans. Prothero sees this as a major civic problem and makes the provocative case that to remedy the problem, the United States should return to teaching religion in its public schools.

Prothero is the author of numerous books in addition to the "New York Times" bestseller list's "Religious Literacy," including 2003's "American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs and on television on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX and PBS. His guest appearances on television range from "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart to "The Oprah Winfrey Show." He is a regular contributor to the "Wall Street Journal" and has written for the "New York Times Magazine," the "New York Times Book Review," "Slate," "Salon," the "Washington Post," the "Los Angeles Times" and the "Boston Globe."

USU's Religious Studies Program now offers a diverse array of courses to the student body. At the center of the program are Prebish and Philip Barlow, holders of the program's first two endowed chairs. Barlow will be featured in an inaugural lecture Feb. 13.

"The Religious Studies Program is growing rapidly, and our series of speakers is addressing that growth and diversity," Prebish said. "Through the guest speakers, our students can integrate insights into their own studies and their own religious world."



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