Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

In more ways than one, the Modesto City School District made this book possible. The incredible dedication, diligence, and hard work that Modesto’s school administrators, teachers, and community leaders showed in enacting a world religions course encouraged a dedication on my part to record their triumph. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

Over four years had passed since the Hindu temple where he worshiped had been the victim of vandalism, but Parmanand Tiwari, a respected leader in the Hindu community in Modesto, California, vividly recalled the details of the event in our phone conversation. ...

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1. The Distinctive Paradox of Religious Tolerance

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pp. 17-61

Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address is perhaps the most subtle declaration of America’s most subtle political thinker. Having urged Northern soldiers to stay faithful to the spirit of America’s founding ideals and fight to extend equality to all men in the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln strikes a more conciliatory tone in the second inaugural. ...

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2. Teaching Good Faith

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pp. 62-104

The history of universal state-run education is too often a story of power, not principle. Its origins lie less in a humanitarian impulse to spread knowledge and opportunity to all social classes than in the state’s desire to harness the energies of its citizens more effectively for its own ends and to favor the privileged and powerful many over the vulnerable few. ...

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3. A Cultural Mystery in Modesto

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pp. 105-148

Alittle over a decade ago, gay high school students in Modesto, California, began complaining of discrimination and wanted to form a student club for support. Modesto lies only 90 miles west of San Francisco, but the cultural distance is far greater. Modesto has a large evangelical Christian population, and many residents have taken to calling the city and its surrounding...

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4. An Intelligent Democratic Design to Teaching about Evolution

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pp. 149-192

Science emphasizes observation and evidence, but you might not know that from reading various evolutionary biologists’ appraisals of creationism’s future. Writing in the immediate aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, Harvard biologist Ernest Mayr boasted that “this trial was the end of the fundamentalist attacks on evolution” (Larson 1997, 228). ...

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5. The Limits of Consensus and the Civil Politics of Teaching about the Bible

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pp. 193-234

“The Swede,” the protagonist of Phillip Roth’s American Pastoral, yearns for his own Eden. Born Seymour Irving Levov in Newark, New Jersey, he embraces his Scandinavian nickname earned by athletic prowess, marries a beauty queen runner-up, and moves her and his young daughter, Merry, to a dream home in a genteel hamlet in 1950s rural New Jersey. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 235-248

Chapter 5 addresses how the proposals in this book would respond to and avoid the problems with the curricular treatment of religion in public schools in the past. But recent developments in national politics present unique opportunities and perils for the future of American religion and democracy. ...

Notes

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pp. 249-282

References

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pp. 296-309

Index

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pp. 297-310