On Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, New York Times columnist Ross 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. 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.”