- The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education
- Religion, Privatization, and American Educational Policy
- Secularism and Religion in American Education
- Pluralism in Religion and American Education
- Religious Literacy in American Education
- Religious Liberty in American Education
- Democracy, Religion, and American Education
- Faith Development
- Moral Education
- Religious Education in the Traditions
- Religious Education Between the Traditions
- Private Religious Schools
- Religion and Homeschooling
- Public Funding of Private Religious Schools
- Religiously Affiliated Charter Schools
- Law and Religion in American Education
- Religious Expression in Public Schools
- Religion and the Public School Curriculum
- The Bible and American Public Schools
- Religion, Extracurricular Activities, and Access to Public School Facilities
- Religious Freedom, Common Schools, and the Common Good
- Religion in Mainline and Independent Private Higher Education
- Evangelical Higher Education
- Catholic Higher Education
- Religion and Spirituality in Public Higher Education
- Theological Education
- Religion, Spirituality, and College Students
- Religion, Spirituality, and College Faculty
- Teaching Religious Studies
- Teaching About Religion Outside of Religious Studies
- Campus Ministry
Abstract and Keywords
While American schools are governed by sundry federal, state, and local laws, the most important law on religion and education is the First Amendment guarantee: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This chapter analyzes the major Supreme Court cases on the role of religion in public schools, the role of government in religious schools, and the place of religious rights of students and parents in all schools. It shows how the Court’s religion cases have vacillated between principles of strict separation of church and state and accommodation and equal treatment of religion. It shows how the Court has slowly come to protect and enhance the freedom of parents and students to choose between public and private education. And it shows how the Court has long protected students from being coerced to participate in religion or to abandon their religious practices.
John Witte , Jr. (JD, Harvard; Dr. Theol. h.c., Heidelberg) is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, McDonald Distinguished Professor, and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A specialist in legal history, marriage law, and religious liberty, he has published over 250 articles, sixteen journal symposia, and thirty books. Prof. Witte’s writings have appeared in fifteen languages, and he has delivered more than 350 public lectures throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Israel, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, and South Africa. With major funding from the Pew, Ford, Lilly, Luce, and McDonald foundations, he has directed fourteen major international projects on democracy, human rights, and religious liberty; on marriage, family, and children; and on law and Christianity. He edits “Emory University Studies in Law and Religion” (Eerdmans) and “Cambridge Law and Christianity Series” (Cambridge University Press), and co-edits The Journal of Law and Religion. He has been selected twelve times by the Emory law students as the most outstanding professor and has won dozens of other awards and prizes for his teaching and research.
Brian Kaufman is a civil rights lawyer practicing in Washington, DC. He joined the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy in September 2016 and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Lawyer Chapters. In this capacity, Brian works with over forty lawyer chapters across the country, supporting their growth and development in furtherance of actualizing ACS’s mission of shaping law and policy to be instruments of social justice for all individuals and communities. Brian completed his undergraduate at degree at Boston College in 2006 with majors in International Studies and Theology. In 2007, Brian completed his Master of Arts in Theology, also at Boston College, with a focus on Catholic theological ethics and social justice. Prior to beginning his legal studies at Emory University School of Law in 2014, Brian studied, lived, and worked in Paris for four years. At Emory Law, Brian served as the vice president of External Affairs of Emory OUTLaw, an organization dedicated to diversity awareness, networking, and the legal issues affecting the LGBT community. During his third year of law school, Brian revived the ACS Emory Law Student Law Chapter and served as one of the co-presidents. Prior to joining ACS, Brian worked for the National Center for Lesbian Rights as a Policy Law Fellow, focusing on NCLR’s #BornPerfect Campaign, the campaign to protect LGBT youth from the dangerous and discredited practices of conversion therapy through legislation, litigation, and public education. Originally from the New York City area, Brian is passionate about spirituality, education, LGBT legal topics, and Baptiste yoga.
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