Debates in Texas about what public school students should learn about religion vividly illustrate the maxim that classrooms are often the frontline of the "culture wars." The passage of a state law mandating instruction about the Bible; the creation of social studies standards that emphasize religion while downplaying the separation of church and state; and the approval of a resolution condemning purported pro-Islamic and anti-Christian biases in textbooks have all drawn national and international attention. Are such measures merely reflections of the desire to ensure fair-handed treatment of religion, or are they attempts to promote Christianity? To what extent do they reflect larger struggles to define American identity? Mark Chancey, professor and chair of Southern Methodist University's Department of Religious Studies, addresses these questions and discusses how the situation in Texas relates to what is going on elsewhere in the country.
- Download a transcript of Chancey's remarks.
- Download Chancey's report "Reading, Writing and Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools."
- Download Chancey's report "The Bible and Public Schools Report on the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools."