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



Description:

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.