God in the Classroom: Religion and America's Public Schools

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 - Religion - 285 pages

To help readers gain a better understanding of conflicts over the proper role of religion in American public schools, this book focuses on the seven major types of conflicts that have become particularly confrontational. Thomas does not take sides; rather, he lays out the arguments, their historical and cultural contexts, and the groups that debate them and their goals. Anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of the controversies surrounding religion in American schools will find here not just a review of the issues, but a deeper consideration of the causes, consequences, and future of the debates.

Conflicts over the proper role of religion in schools-and particularly in public schools supported by tax monies-are frequently featured in news reports. For example, in the United States there currently are conflicts over the teaching of evolution, inserting the word God in the pledge of allegiance, conducting school holiday celebrations, posting the biblical Ten Commandments in schools, and praying at school functions. People who are interested in such controversies often-or, perhaps, usually-fail to understand the historical backgrounds to the conflicts and therefore do not recognize the very complex factors that affect why the controversies become so heated. To help readers gain a better understanding of such matters, this book focuses on the seven major types of conflicts that have become particularly confrontational during the first decade of the twenty-first century.

The cases on which the chapters focus concern issues that currently are being hotly debated in America. Controversies are described in relation to their historical origins and the author shows how the history affects current understanding of the issues. Thomas does not take sides in the arguments; rather, he lays out the arguments, their historical and cultural contexts, and the groups that debate them and their goals. Anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of the controversies surrounding religion in American schools will be happy to find here not just a review of the issues, but a deeper consideration of the causes, consequences, and future of the debates and the role of religion in our public schools.

 

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God in the classroom: religion and America's public schools

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Author of two previous Praeger titles on the subject of religion and violence in America's schools-Religion in Schools: Controversies Around the World andViolence in America's Schools -Thomas here ... Read full review

Contents

As Seen from Here
1
2 From Then to Now
17
3 God and Darwin
57
4 Curricula and Text Materials
87
5 Prayer and Scripture Reading
113
6 Holidays and Celebrations
133
7 Financial Support
151
8 The Pledge of Allegiance
173
10 Symbols and Maxims
203
11 Sexual Matters
219
12 StateChurchSecularistsSchools
237
Notes
253
References
255
Name Index
273
Subject Index
277
Copyright

9 Released Time and Clubs
189

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About the author (2007)

R. Murray Thomas is professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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