What should an educated person know about the world’s religions? Religious illiteracy is a major concern given the world’s increasing religious pluralism, and many colleges and universities are seeking to address that knowledge deficit. This chapter provides a new structure for this educational task by identifying three varieties of religious literacy. Factual literacy is obtained by learning basic, textbook-style information about the world’s religions. Familiarity entails actual physical engagement with adherents from different religious communities. A third variety of religious literacy stresses assessment, reflecting on the positive and negative ways that religion can influence individuals and societies.
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