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God in the Classroom
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About the Author

R. Murray Thomas is professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Reviews

"[T]homas here explains the complex story of how religion in public school contexts is interpreted in a form that is simple but not simplistic, mixing cogent insights about the historical roots of America's current dilemmas. He presents not just a review of the issue but devotes nine chapters to the analysis of specific issues, e.g., the teaching of evolution, conducting school holiday celebrations, and praying at school functions. Thomas brings his admirable analytical approach and nonbiased treatment to a multiplex issue. Readers will find him a wise companion, offering guidance in grasping the ramifications of this subject along with a clear understanding of what it takes to do justice to the manifold aspects of a subject that sometimes ignites more controversy than dialog. His deeper consideration of the causes, historical roots, and consequences of the debate contributes to the outstanding research value of this work and makes it an essential addition to academic and research libraries."-Library Journal
"Tells the history of several current controversies, such as prayer in schools, with guidelines for educators on navigating them legally."-Education Week
"Thomas attempts to show how religious interests intersect with the contemporary American public school. After a brief introduction and a chapter that details the history of religion in education, the book takes the form of a straightforward, issue by issue analysis of religion in education. The historical development of each issue (e.g., Darwinism, school prayer, release time for religious activities) is described, followed by a depiction of the current political landscape of a given issue, and an explanation of the kinds of arguments which are made about various issues. The book is well written, and comes across as an informative and straightforward approach to delineate a range of religious/educational issues. In this sense, it is a good starting point for any student or scholar who is interested in gaining a basic understanding of religion and education in America.... the text makes this survey of the role of religion in public schools very accessible to a range of readers. Recommended. All levels."-Choice
"Thomas looks at controversies about religion in schools as an interaction between the perspectives of the state, the church, secularists or the concerned secular public, and public schools. The controversies he profiles include Darwin, prayer and scripture reading, financial support, holidays, and sexual matters."-Reference & Research Book News
?Thomas attempts to show how religious interests intersect with the contemporary American public school. After a brief introduction and a chapter that details the history of religion in education, the book takes the form of a straightforward, issue by issue analysis of religion in education. The historical development of each issue (e.g., Darwinism, school prayer, release time for religious activities) is described, followed by a depiction of the current political landscape of a given issue, and an explanation of the kinds of arguments which are made about various issues. The book is well written, and comes across as an informative and straightforward approach to delineate a range of religious/educational issues. In this sense, it is a good starting point for any student or scholar who is interested in gaining a basic understanding of religion and education in America.... the text makes this survey of the role of religion in public schools very accessible to a range of readers. Recommended. All levels.?-Choice
?[P]rovides a helpful overview of the nine different controversies involving religion and education, including evolution and intelligent design, prayer and scripture reading, holiday celebrations, financial support for religious schools, the Pledge of Allegiance, released time and clubs, and sex education. In these chapters, Thomas provides a useful summary of the history of the issues....?-Journal of Church and State
?[T]homas here explains the complex story of how religion in public school contexts is interpreted in a form that is simple but not simplistic, mixing cogent insights about the historical roots of America's current dilemmas. He presents not just a review of the issue but devotes nine chapters to the analysis of specific issues, e.g., the teaching of evolution, conducting school holiday celebrations, and praying at school functions. Thomas brings his admirable analytical approach and nonbiased treatment to a multiplex issue. Readers will find him a wise companion, offering guidance in grasping the ramifications of this subject along with a clear understanding of what it takes to do justice to the manifold aspects of a subject that sometimes ignites more controversy than dialog. His deeper consideration of the causes, historical roots, and consequences of the debate contributes to the outstanding research value of this work and makes it an essential addition to academic and research libraries.?-Library Journal
?Tells the history of several current controversies, such as prayer in schools, with guidelines for educators on navigating them legally.?-Education Week
?Thomas looks at controversies about religion in schools as an interaction between the perspectives of the state, the church, secularists or the concerned secular public, and public schools. The controversies he profiles include Darwin, prayer and scripture reading, financial support, holidays, and sexual matters.?-Reference & Research Book News

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