The American Tradition in Religion and Education

The American Tradition in Religion and Education

The American Tradition in Religion and Education

The American Tradition in Religion and Education

Excerpt

The American people are once more engaged in a great debate over the proper relationship between church and state. It is an old debate, one that has been going on ever since the first colonists came to these shores; yet to each successive generation it always seems to be new. Today the issue centers in large part upon schools and education. As such, it is a question that touches some of the deepest convictions of the American people. Religious beliefs, democratic values, and the education of children always raise sharp differences of opinion, but when all of these three are joined together and focussed on one problem, the debate readily becomes fired with emotion and beset with confusion. More than ever before Americans need sound and straight thinking to see their way through the conflicting demands and counterdemands, the charges and counter-charges that arise over questions of religion, government, and education.

Wherever one looks, the debate is going on: in the halls of Congress and state legislatures, in public hearings and in private homes, in political campaigns and party platforms, in court rooms and in pulpits, in schools and colleges, in a flood of newspaper and magazine articles, pamphlets, and books. Manifestos, policy statements, and demands for legislation are being made by all kinds of formal and informal groups, religious, political, professional, labor, business, patriotic, and civic. Since the end of the Second World War, the debate has become increasingly widespread and often touched with bitterness.

This book is not another manifesto nor another proposal for action. It is designed to provide the historical perspective . . .

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