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Between Church and State

Religion and Public Education in a Multicultural America

James W. Fraser

second edition
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A fully updated second edition of this essential look at the continuing tensions between religion and American public schools.

Today, the ongoing controversy about the place—or lack of place—of religion in public schools is a burning issue in the United States. Prayer at football games, creationism in the classroom, the teaching of religion and morals, and public funding for private religious schools are just a few of the subjects over which people are skirmishing. In Between Church and State, historian and pastor James W. Fraser shows that these battles have been going on for as long as there...

A fully updated second edition of this essential look at the continuing tensions between religion and American public schools.

Today, the ongoing controversy about the place—or lack of place—of religion in public schools is a burning issue in the United States. Prayer at football games, creationism in the classroom, the teaching of religion and morals, and public funding for private religious schools are just a few of the subjects over which people are skirmishing. In Between Church and State, historian and pastor James W. Fraser shows that these battles have been going on for as long as there have been public schools and argues there has never been any consensus about what the "separation of church and state" means for American society or about the proper relationship between religion and public education.

Looking at the difficult question of how private issues of faith can be reconciled with the very public nature of schooling, Fraser’s classic book paints a complex picture of how a multicultural society struggles to take the deep commitments of people of faith into account—including people of many different faiths and no faith. In this fully updated second edition, Fraser tackles the culture wars, adding fresh material on current battles over public funding for private religious schools. He also addresses the development of the long-simmering evolution-creationism debate and explores the tensions surrounding a discussion of religion and the accommodation of an increasingly religiously diverse American student body.

Between Church and State includes new scholarship on the role of Roger Williams and William Penn in developing early American conceptions of religious liberty. It traces the modern expansion of Catholic parochial schools and closely examines the passage of the First Amendment, changes in American Indian tribal education, the place of religion in Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois’s debates about African American schooling, and the rapid growth of Jewish day schools among a community previously known for its deep commitment to secular public education.

Reviews

Reviews

... engaging volume...

Between Church and State should interest anyone hoping to gain a better understanding of religion's role in public education.

Fraser offers a highly readable history of education.

[A]n excellent summary for the general reading public seeking an understanding of the difficulties of the problem... a practical guide to public policy.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. From Holy Commonwealth to "No Laws Respecting the Establishment of Religion," 1600–1792
2. Creating an American Common School and a Common Faith: Horace Mann and the

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. From Holy Commonwealth to "No Laws Respecting the Establishment of Religion," 1600–1792
2. Creating an American Common School and a Common Faith: Horace Mann and the Protestant Public Schools, 1789–1860
3. Roman Catholics and the Common School Movement, 1801–1892
4. Church and School in Slave and Free Communities, 1802–1902
5. Native American Religion, Christian Missionaries, and Government Schools, 1819–1978
6. The Many Origins of the Scopes Trial, 1859–1925
7. Prayer, Bible Reading, and Federal Money: The Expanding Role of Congress and the Supreme Court, 1918–1968
8. Culture Wars, Creationism, the Courts, and the Reagan Revolution, 1968–1990
9. Changing School Boards, Curriculum, and the Constitution, 1990–2000
10. Creationism, Money, the Courts, and the Curriculum: The Battle for the Schools of the Twenty-First Century
Notes
For Further Reading
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

James W. Fraser

James W. Fraser is a professor of history and education at New York University. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, including Between Church and State: Religion and Public Education in a Multicultural America and Teach: A Question of Teaching.
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