Warren Nord's thoughtful book tackles an issue of great importance
in contemporary America: the role of religion in our public schools
and universities. According to Nord, public opinion has been
excessively polarized by those religious conservatives who would
restore religious purposes and practices to public education and by
those secular liberals for whom religion is irrelevant to
everything in the curriculum. While he maintains that public
schools and universities must not promote religion, he also argues
that there are powerful philosophical, political, moral, and
constitutional reasons for requiring students to study religion.
Indeed, only if religion is included in the curriculum will
students receive a truly liberal education, one that takes
seriously a variety of ways of understanding the human experience.
Intended for a broad audience, Nord's comprehensive study
encompasses American history, constitutional law, educational
theory and practice, theology, philosophy, and ethics. It also
discusses a number of current, controversial issues, including
multiculturalism, moral education, creationism, academic freedom,
and the voucher and school choice movements.