American Education and Religion: The Problem of Religion in the Schools

American Education and Religion: The Problem of Religion in the Schools

American Education and Religion: The Problem of Religion in the Schools

American Education and Religion: The Problem of Religion in the Schools

Excerpt

The Institute for Religious and Social Studies was established in The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1938. Its purpose is to enable ministers of all faiths to study under the guidance of scholars in various fields, representing different religious groups.

As has been true of the contents of other volumes published by the Institute, there is a considerable variety in these addresses with respect to form and to length. This is due to the varying degrees of formality in the presentation, and to the fact that in some instances a portion of the period was given to discussion.

In preparing the addresses for publication we have been somewhat embarrassed by the fact that since the series was completed a number of events have occurred that should be taken account of in any adequate treatment of the problem with which the addresses are concerned. Most notable of these developments was the publicizing in the spring of 1951 of the report by the Educational Policies Commission, Moral and Spiritual Values in the Public Schools. This document has significantly altered the setting in which the issue herein presented has to be discussed.

Also, shortly before the book was to go to press, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Zorach case, which arose as a test of the constitutionality of New York City's released- time plan of weekday religious education. The ruling opinion in this case now takes its place alongside the Everson and McCollum cases and considerably alters, from the legal point of view, the situation with which various contributors to this series were dealing.

In order to take account of these and other developments during recent months, the editor has taken the liberty of amending and expanding his concluding address. It is hoped that the discussion thereby acquires an "up-to-dateness" that it would otherwise lack.

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