Ten Commandments displays, prayer at football games, Bible in the curriculum, vouchers for tuition at religious schools, Pledge of Allegiance, wall of separation between church and state, among other hot button issues at the intersection of religion and education, generate a great deal of heat, but often light is sorely lacking. The Praeger Handbook of Religion and Education in the United States provides a unique source of light to educators, religious leaders, journalists, policy-makers, parents, and the general public as well as a useful resource for scholars interested in the impact of religion on the origins, development, and current shape of the American educational landscape.
Following an introductory essay that surveys the relationship of religion to elementary and secondary education from the 1600s to the present, this set offers 175 entries written by more than 40 scholars with national reputations that cover a wide range of topics related to religion and education, both in the past and the present. These jargon-free entries are cross-referenced and provide suggestions for further reading. Readers who want to know what is behind the heat in current debates will find entries on: United States Supreme Court decisions on religion and education, current controversies regarding religion in the public schools, religious, legal, and educational associations involved in these controversies, religion and the curriculum, religious schools, individuals and movements that have affected the role of religion in education, and religion and education developments in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This one of a kind set also includes a convenient tablesummarizing all of the religious liberty decisions of the Supreme Court from 1815 to the present.