Posted by on December 25, 2016

Annotated Bibliography for Scholarly Discourse Unit

Statement of scope:

My topic is on religion in schools and the recent debate that religion should not be allowed to be taught in public schools. There are arguments to both sides of the argument but I believe the problem arise when a one person force their particular religion on another. There have been debates on religion in school for decades. Once people were allowed to practice their own religions, teachers began to try and teach students of their particular religions to students. Ever since then a debate has been brought about. Is it ethical for religion to be taught in school if it is not forced upon students


Davis, Michael J. “Religion, Democracy and the Public Schools.”Journal of Law and Religion? 25.1 (2010): 33-56.? ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.
Davis??™s thesis is that if religion was handled in a better democratic way than previously, there would not be an issue. His argument stems from his belief that the courts came to the wrong conclusion on religion previously. He wrote this to inform readers on religions role in schools and what factor democracy should have. Michael Davis is a lawyer and United States Federal Judge. Davis??™s field would be Law and political science. The audience for this article would be contemporary constitutional law scholars. Readers should be knowledgeable on political vocabulary such as a priori, which means derived by logic without observed facts. His arguments are about the questionable decision of religion in schools being unconstitutional. His arguments are based on historical and theoretical arguments because he uses court cases such as McCollum v. Board of Education, and Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe as evidence but theory for solutions. His evidence comes from previous cases and historical references. His stance is that if we took a democratic role on religion in schools we would be able to come to the correct conclusion.

Fishman, Ethan M. “School Prayer : Principle and Circumstance in American Politics.”? Religious Education77.3 (1982): 269-278.? ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.
Fishman??™s thesis is based on the fact that he believes that political cases take a narrow minded approach towards ruling a case unconstitutional and constitutional. He writes to inform readers on the dangers on a narrow minded approach to religion in schools being brought into politics. Ethan Fishman is a professor at the University of Southern Alabama; he has his PhD Political Science. He teaches and does research for the Political Science and Criminal Justice departments at the University. He writes this article to an audience of modern political science or philosophy scholars. His methodology is empirical because of the cases he references. He provides evidence that shows the central theme of arguments in multiple cases and how those arguments are controversial. He states his thesis and then goes on to prove it though out the article. His stance is that bringing religion into political cases at all is a slippery slope that we do not want to travel down.

Woodrum, Eric, and Thomas J. Hoban. “Support for Prayer in School and Creationism.”? SA. Sociological Analysis? 53.3 (1992): 309-321.? ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.

The author??™s thesis is that prayers in school and Creationism have valid reasons to be allowed in schools. The purpose of this article is to support prayer in schools and Creationism as being ethical, even when practiced in schools. Both Eric Woodrum and Thomas Hoban are professors at North Carolina State University. They have their PhD??™s in Sociology. Their field of study is sociology and theology. The audience for this article is theology and sociology scholars. The methodology is empirical because the authors provide hypothesis and the results based on their research. Their presentation of their research is presented similarly to the scientific method; it starts with hypothesis and moves through the entire process from there. Some of his hypothesis sat that ???older, less educated, and rural individuals significantly more often support prayer in school and creationism than others??? or ???persons who report religion is very important in their lives, who attend religious services frequently, and who hold literal biblical Creationist beliefs more often support school prayer and creationist instruction in public school than others (Woodrum 311). His stance is that based on his evidence prayer in school should be allowed.

Kathan, Boardman W. “Prayer and the Public Schools: the Issue in Historical Perspective and Implications for Religious Education Today.”? Religious Education? 84.2 (1989): 232-248.? ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.

Kathan??™s thesis is an attempt to explain the persistence of the issue of school prayer and to provide a historical framework for understanding the changes in the issue over time. The conflict stems from different philosophies of education and understandings behind the relationship between Church and State. The purpose is to explain the foundation of both arguments and how they have changed. Kathan W. Boardman is an ordained minister who has studied at multiple universities, one of which is New York University. Boardman??™s field of study is Theology. He is writing for Theology scholars. In the conclusion he states three ways for religion to be in education, such as challenging religious institutions into teaching religion rather than public schools, to recognize that religion is not excluded from schools, and finally to reclaim the role of religious educators to the public (Kathan 248). His methodology is historical because he uses facts to show how religious education has evolved. His stance is that there are ways to solve the problem and it is up to religious organization to solve this issue. He believes these religious groups are make steps in the right direction and need to continue to.

“Prayer and the Bible in Public Schools – A Symposium.”? Reconstructionist? 29.11 (1963): 23-27.? ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.

The thesis stems from the idea that there are too many different circumstances to set a certain law on all practices. This article is written to show certain circumstances that a law might or might be difficult to interpret. Some of the topics they discuss are the nature of devotional exercise, the voluntary introduction of prayer, assembly program procedure, reverent silence and a few more. I cannot determine the authors back ground or field of study since they are not stated in the article. I would assume though that the field of study would be law. The audience would be modern Law scholars. The main points are the views of the four main doctor??™s views shown throughout the article. The methodology is personal because it is the views of four specific doctors. The only evidence is based on what these doctors say and how they feel about the given topics. The structure is that the author provides an argument and then the four doctors give their opinion for the given argument. The author does not put his stance he just allows these different doctors to give their stances on the argument.

“Prayer In School.”? Popular Issues – Web. 15 Nov. 2010.? 

The thesis of this paper is to inform readers on lawful guidelines to prayer in school. The author provides a background to the new laws related to practicing ones religion in school. The reason for writing the article is to inform the reader on the laws based around religion. The author is never stated so I am unable to identify the author??™s background or field of study. This author is most likely a Law scholar because they provide the reader with the ends and outs of practicing religion. This is written to a non scholarly audience and more so to the average citizen with little to no knowledge of the law. The methodology is empirical because the author takes the facts straight from laws. The author structures it by show different circumstances and then presents how the law would affect it. The author tells readers how to avoid breaking the law in such situations as organizing a group prayer, praying during non-instructional times, and the laws involving teachers and administrators. The author??™s stance is that the laws the law and no matter what we need to obey it.

“Pros and Cons of Prayer in School.”? History – Web. 16 Nov. 2010.

The thesis states arguments of those fighting for and against religion being a part of public school education. The purpose for writing this article is to inform the reader of both the positive and negative side of religion in public schools. I do not know the author??™s background or field of study since the author is not stated and the arguments are only opinions. This article is written to any audience that is not knowledgeable on religions involvement in public schools and wants to learn about the common views on the subject. The methodology is personal because the author never provides any of these arguments with evidence. He also never states why he is qualified to speak on the topic. Some of the arguments for religions involvement in school are it would result in many social benefits, it address the needs of the whole person or a person spiritual side. Some of the arguments against are in violates separation of church in state, it leads to intolerance of others, and there is no way to honor believers of all religions. His stance is indifferent because he just displays what he considers to be the facts on religions involvement in school.

“Religion in the Public Schools – Prayer in Public School.”? ADL: Fighting Anti-Semitism, Bigotry and Extremism. Web. 16 Nov. 2010.

The thesis of this article is that although many practices are common place, they may violate the constitution if practiced in a public school setting. The argument is based around the fact that many common practices in public schools violate the constitution. The author wrote this article to inform readers on if they were violating the constitutional rights of students. The author is never stated so I am unable to retrieve any information on the author??™s background. Although I was unable to find information about the author, I would assume the author has a background in Law because he shows knowledge of what is and is not constitutional. The audience would be teachers, coaches, parents, or any other person who has a great deal of involvement with children. The main points come when the author points out certain common situation that are unconstitutional but commonly practiced. The methodology is empirical. The author stance is that people need to realize when their actions are unconstitutional and change them.

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