The Bible, the School, and the Constitution: The Clash that Shaped Modern Church-State Doctrine

Overview

Few constitutional issues have been as contentious in modern times as those concerning school prayer and the public funding of religious schools. But as Steven K. Green reveals in The Bible, the School, and the Constitution, this debate actually reached its apogee just after the Civil War, between 1863 and 1876. Green shows that controversy over Bible reading in public schools, commonly called "the School Question," captured national attention to an unprecedented degree.

Public ...

See more details below
Hardcover (New Edition)
$28.90
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$31.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $10.21   
  • New (7) from $21.90   
  • Used (4) from $10.21   
The Bible, the School, and the Constitution: The Clash that Shaped Modern Church-State Doctrine

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price
(Save 42%)$19.99 List Price

Overview

Few constitutional issues have been as contentious in modern times as those concerning school prayer and the public funding of religious schools. But as Steven K. Green reveals in The Bible, the School, and the Constitution, this debate actually reached its apogee just after the Civil War, between 1863 and 1876. Green shows that controversy over Bible reading in public schools, commonly called "the School Question," captured national attention to an unprecedented degree.

Public education during the nineteenth century faced many competing pressures, including a widespread belief that schooling required a moral if not religious basis, a belief among many Protestants that Catholic immigration presented a threat to Protestant culture and to republican values, the need to accommodate increasing religious pluralism in the schools, and evolving understandings of constitutional principles. The School Question provided Americans with the opportunity to address and articulate these pressures, and to engage in a grand-and sometimes not so grand-public debate over the meaning of separation of church and state. Green demonstrates that the modern Supreme Court's decisions on school funding and Bible reading did not create new legal doctrines or abolish dominant practices, but built on legal concepts and educational trends that had been developing since the early nineteenth century. He also shows that while public reaction to a growing Catholic presence was a leading factor in this development, it was but one element in the rise of the legal doctrines the high court would embrace in the mid-twentieth century.

Rarely in the nation's history have people from such various walks of life-Protestants and Catholics, skeptics and theocrats, nativists and immigrants, educators and politicians-been able to participate in a national discussion over the meaning of a constitutional principle. The debates of this period laid the foundation for constitutional arguments that still rage today.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From 1863 to 1876, education reformers, religious leaders, ordinary people, and legal experts grappled with “the School Question”: whether Bible reading belonged in public education, and if religious schools could receive public funds. Green, a professor of law and history at Willamette University, has provided an extremely dense but rigorous assessment of this tumultuous period that witnessed the Civil War, the emergence of a public system of education, and an influx of immigration. Catholics accused the ostensibly secular public schools of promoting Protestantism because some influential education reformers equated Republicanism with Protestantism. While it was inconceivable to some that students could learn moral virtue without reading the Bible, other states like Ohio banned unmediated reading of the Bible in public schools during “the Cincinnati Bible War.” Meanwhile, anti-Catholic animus suffused the debate over public funding of parochial schools, with prominent ministers like Lyman Beecher stoking nativist fears that Catholics would dominate the Midwest. Deftly guiding the reader through this cacophony, Green reveals how a factious American public engaged with constitutional principles that still resonate in today’s controversies over school prayer and creationism. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"This is a long overdue history of the origins of secular public education. Green's carefully researched discussion of the relationship between separation of church and state and public education is a powerful answer to scholars and jurists who have made ideologically-based and historically shaky arguments in favor of state supported religious exercise in the public schools. Green's work reminds us of the importance of Jefferson's notion of a 'wall of separation' between the state and religion." —Paul Finkelman, President William McKinley Professor of Law and Public Policy, Albany Law School

"Steven K. Green has been a leading thinker in the group of legal historians, and his recent book is the most authoritative legal history of nineteenth-century church-state-school relations to date. Green's accomplishment is impressive. In accessible and engaging prose he lays out a rich, thorough case that is well grounded in political and legal history... an outstanding contribution to our understanding of religion and public education." —The Journal of American History

"Steven K. Green has rapidly emerged as the leading historian of nineteenth-century church-state relations in America. Here he shows, in bold and brilliant colors, how the soaring debates over religion and education in the aftermath of the Civil War still shape our law and culture today, for better and worse. Deeply researched, smoothly written, and highly original, this book is a must-read for anyone who values religious liberty." —John Witte, Jr., Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University

"The Bible, the School, and the Constitution is an essential reinterpretation of the 'School Question' and its implications for church-state jurisprudence in American history. Repudiating recent accounts that attribute the emergence of 'secular' norms to anti-Catholic animus, Steven K. Green identifies a far more diverse set of motivations that converged to restrict religious practices in public schools along with public funding for religiously affiliated schools. In the process, Green implicitly defends these norms as constitutionally sound solutions for a diverse society." —Tisa Wenger, author of We Have a Religion: The 1920s Pueblo Indian Dance Controversy and American Religious Freedom

"Green reminds readers that modern Supreme Court rulings were not products of sudden secularizing trends in the 20th century, but rather were grounded in a more than century-long debate over the separation of church and state. Highly recommended."—CHOICE

"An impressive accomplishment."—Journal of Church and State

"Incisive and accessible... enlightening for scholars and graduate students alike."—Church History

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199827909
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 812,586
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven K. Green is Frank H. Paulus Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of History at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he directs the interdisciplinary Center for Religion, Law and Democracy.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Rise of Nonsectarian Public Education
2. The Development of the ''No-Funding Principle''
3. The Cincinnati ''Bible War'' of 1869-1873
4. ''The Amendmentists''
5. The Blaine Amendment
Conclusion

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)