Ryan Cragun on "What You Don't Know About Religion (but should)"

HFSD is proud to host Professor Ryan Cragun at the beautiful La Jolla Library for a presentation on his new book What You Don't Know About Religion (but Should).

What is a religion? Why are people religious? Are religious people more educated than nonreligious people? Are religious people more moral, more humble, or happier? Are religious people more or less prejudiced than nonreligious people? Is religion good for your health? Are people becoming more or less religious? Studying religion as a social phenomenon, Dr. Ryan T. Cragun follows the scientific data to provide answers to these and other questions. At times irreverent, but always engaging and illuminating, What You Don't Know About Religion (but Should) is for all those who have ever wondered whether religion helps or hurts society—or questioned what the future holds for religion.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

The Table of Contents is available online at this link:  

http://www.ryantcragun.com/what-you-dont-know-about-religion-but-should/

About Ryan Cragun



Ryan T. Cragun is a husband, father, and sociologist of religion (in order of importance). Originally from Utah, he now lives in Florida and works at the University of Tampa. His research and writing focuses on religion, with an emphasis on Mormonism and the nonreligious. His research has been published in a variety of academic journals, including: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Nova Religion, Journal of Religion and Health, and Journal of Contemporary Religion. When he's not working, he's spending time with his wife and son, watching science fiction, hiking, playing soccer, or tinkering with FOSS, Gnu/Linux, or computer hardware.  Find out more about Professor Cragun at his website:  http://www.ryantcragun.com/.

Optional Luncheon

Please join us for lunch after Professor Cragun's presentation at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza and Grill, 702 Pearl Street, La Jolla.  This restaurant is walking distance from the library. We will meet in the private dining room, which holds a maximum of 14 people.  If you plan on attending the luncheon, please send Wilfredo an email to RSVP.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately, I had to work a special event on Saturday. Was anyone able to record the lecture?

    October 7, 2013

  • Dan F.

    When I learned that Ryan Cragun was going to be in San Diego to talk about his excellent book, "What You Don't Know About Religion (but should)", I thought I was just going to get the same (or very similar) presentation he gave in Austin at the American Atheists 50th Anniversary Convention, and that would have been just fine with me. Instead, Dr. Cragun delivered a much better presentation. Starting off with a very compelling, personal story that informed the listener as to why Dr. Cragun was motivated to dedicating himself to the study of religion as a sociological phenomenon. The remainder of the presentation was a very powerful,brilliant and often irrefutable analysis and interpretation of the latest US and International data. Dr. Cragun's presentation style is very informal, fast-paced, clever and entertaining. I think everyone who attended had a fun time learning about this crazy thing called religion. Many thanks to Dr. Cragun, Debbie, Wilfredo, Lynn, Jim, et al at HFSD!

    October 6, 2013

  • Ed S.

    I enjoyed his talk a lot. He had good stories and interesting data about Mormons and other religious people.

    October 6, 2013

  • Memo B.

    Can't say enough good things about Ryan, his presentation, his explanation of the data. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity. Debbie et all, thank you very much for making this possible.

    1 · October 5, 2013

  • NancY

    Sorry I missed it! Too many things going on this weekend...

    October 5, 2013

    • Sandra M.

      Same here... but hopefully will get a chance to hear him speak again:-)

      October 5, 2013

  • Debbie A.

    Ryan is a scientist. He appreciates the diversity and complexity of the freethought movement. As a sociologist he has specialized in investigating the religious and religious movements/societies, and consequently, has learned a great deal about the nonreligious... the nonbelievers. I believe he could talk for hours about numerous subjects, and can certainly bring in the evidence to support his insights and conclusions. He could also talk for-ev-er about Mormonism... well... we need to have him back.

    October 5, 2013

    • Janice

      Yes, definitely have him back! Professor Cragun is a dynamic speaker, knows his topic, and comes armed with data. What an excellent presentation!

      October 5, 2013

  • Debbie A.

    Ryan and I ended up talking for a few more hours after lunch. Fascinating guy... working on his next book about the freethought movement. Would love to have him back to talk about ANYTHING. He has plans to come to the west coast early next year.

    October 5, 2013

  • Ellen

    I hated to miss it, especially after RSVPing yes. But too many obligations just squeezed it out of the schedule.

    October 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I liked what he said, and like his attitude.

    October 5, 2013

  • Debbie A.

    Tremendously interesting statistics about the social and personal values of the religious.

    1 · October 5, 2013

  • Debbie A.

    We are so fortunate to have Ryan Cragun with us. It's very generous of him to speak to us for free!! His book is phenomenal, suggest you buy it. He's a sociologist. The book is titled, "what you don't know about religion (but should)". If you buy it with the HFSD link, HFSD earns a percentage. Get the link from our meetup website.

    1 · October 5, 2013

  • NancY

    I may have Kat in tow.

    August 31, 2013

  • Ed S.

    My wife and I are very interested in the topic. Prof. Cragun has done a lot of work on the Mormons, who have been fairly successful in spite of beliefs that seem quite strange to us.

    1 · August 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm reading a college textbook "Religion In Society" by Ronald L. Johnson. I think it would be enlightening to compare with Cragun's take on religion. Can't miss this lecture!

    1 · August 23, 2013

  • Dan F.

    I saw Ryan's presentation based on his excellent book, "What You Don't Know About Religion (but Should)" at the American Atheist convention in Austin and it was fantastic. Very informative and funny. I've also read the book. Even if you're not interested in an analysis of religion as a sociological phenomena, I have no doubt this will be an excellent and entertaining event that will be enlightening and enjoyable for all. Hope to see you there!

    1 · August 23, 2013

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