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3 years ago

Full version Bible, the School, and the Constitution: The Clash That Shaped Modern Church-State
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 surprisingly reveals in The Bible, the School, and the Constitution, the apogee of this debate was probably reached about one hundred and forty years ago, in the years between 1863 and 1876. As Green shows, the controversy over Bible reading in public schools captured national attention to an unprecedented degree, providing Americans with the opportunity to engage in a grand--and sometimes not so grand--public debate over the meaning of separation of church and state. 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, Green shows, laid the foundation for constitutional arguments that still rage today.