RELIGION AND THE SCHOOLS by Paul Blanshard

RELIGION AND THE SCHOOLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Great Controversy- as indicated in the sub-title, has become more than emotional in significance since the Supreme Court decision on Bible reading and prayers. Blanshard, controversial author of American Freedom and Catholic Power, here presents a closely reasoned, soundly journalistic, factual presentation of the whole church-state controversy in America. From historical incidents stemming back to 647 he explores every important Supreme Court case, Congressional battle, and the specific decisions which have become basic to the whole picture:- the Everson school us case, the McCollum case dealing with religious instruction, the decision in the orach released time affair, and the latest ruling. He views his subject from political, economic, cultural and legal standpoints, recognizing the impossibility of sustained objectivity in an explosive situation. Violations of rulings at every stage have been predominantly Protestant rather than Catholic, often regional, and usually accompanied by name calling, linking of atheism with subversion, liberalism and skepticism with Communism, etc. Particularly interesting reading is the section in the public reaction- Protestant, Catholic, Jewish -- to the latest decision and its implications. In conclusion he deplores some of the marginal proposals and particularly the drive for amendment. And he questions the possibility of the public schools functioning -- in this climate of opinion- to foster critical thinking. Valuable appendices give pertinent texts.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1963
Publisher: Beacon Press