The Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah will welcome author Stephen Prothero, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library to discuss his new book, “Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars: (Even when they Lose Elections).” The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Prothero’s lecture offers essential perspective on issues that we have domestic and international consequences, said Bob Goldberg, professor of history and director of the Tanner Center. “Taking the long view, he asks not only if fear trumps our values but whether we can perceive the common experiences that bind us as a people?”

Giving the 2016 Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture, Prothero will discuss why liberals always seem to win the battles of right versus left. In his latest book, he examines the various religious and culture wars dating back to 1800 that have divided the country and how the left always seem to come out on top.

Prothero is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Boston University. A skilled researcher and celebrated historian of religion, his published books include: “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World – and Why Their Differences Matter” and the New York Times best-seller “Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – and Doesn’t.”

Prothero’s lecture will be followed by a brief Q&A and a book signing hosted by The King’s English Bookshop.

Held in conjuction with the Utah Humanities Book Festival, these events are supported by Utah Humanities, the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and the Salt Lake City Public Library.

About the Sterling M. McMurrin Lectures on Religion & Culture

Established in 1992, the McMurrin lectures support the study of religion and culture at the University of Utah. These lectures honor beloved scholar and teacher Sterling M. McMurrin (1914-1996), who served as U.S. Commissioner of Education during the Kennedy Administration.

Since 2006, the Tanner Humanities Center has hosted numerous scholars and commentators of religion, including Eboo Patel, Krista Tippets, Reza Aslan, Thupten Jinpa, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and David Campbell. Lectures are held on campus or in the community and are free and open to the public. For information on previous McMurrin lectures, please click here.

About the Tanner Humanities Center

For 28 years, the Tanner Humanities Center has promoted humanities inquiry and engagement by supporting innovative scholarly projects and creating opportunities for interaction among scholars, students and lifelong learners. In particular, they offer research support, public lectures and programs and faculty outreach. Activities reflect a vision of the humanities as not only relevant, timely, stimulating and cutting-edge, but also essential for developing critical thinking, tolerance and respect at the University of Utah and in the community. More information is available at


Media Contacts

John BoyackMarketing & Communications, Tanner Humanities Center
Office: 801-587-8879

Jana Cunninghamcommunications director, College of Humanities
Office: 801-213-0866