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Between Church and State

Between Church and State by James W. Fraser
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Between Church and State clarifies the historical context of some of America's most controversial educational issues, including classroom prayer, school vouchers, creationism and evolution, sex education, and the teaching of values. James W. Fraser rejects both the liberal idea that "the Christian right is engaged in a campaign to impose God on public schools whose purposes have always been secular" and the conservative idea that, when the Supreme Court banned prayer and Bible reading in the classroom in the '60s, "God was kicked out of the public schools." Countering these high-pitched recriminations, Fraser carefully examines the way that public education in early America "was pressed into service as a new kind of national church, commissioned to carry the common culture and morality of the nation" after the Constitution definitively separated church and state. He describes the fierce debates that arose when public education was called upon to honor the worldviews of Catholic immigrants, freed African Americans, and other ethnic and cultural groups who won battles over their right to respect and inclusion in the nation's common life. And he begins to answer the central question raised by his book--"How should a diverse and democratic society deal with issues of religion in public schools?"--in two important ways.
Palgrave Macmillan; January 1999
289 pages; ISBN 9780312299361
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Title: Between Church and State
Author: James W. Fraser
 
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