Cover image for Taking religion to school : Christian theology and secular education
Taking religion to school : Christian theology and secular education
Webb, Stephen H., 1961-2016.
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Brazos Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
253 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
LC111 .W43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In the modern university, religion is often taken to school--primarily in the sense of being critiqued, disciplined, and domesticated. In this provocative book, Stephen Webb steps into the middle of current controversies about the place of religion in secular high schools and colleges. Speaking explicitly as a Christian theologian, but also as one who accepts the reality of religious pluralism, Webb argues that the teaching of religion is itself a religious activity, that teachers of religion should not disguise their own faiths in the classroom, and that high schools and universities should allow more--not less--space for religious voices.

Author Notes

Stephen H. Webb is associate professor of religion and philosophy at Wabash College (Crawfordsville, Indiana).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Webb (Wabash College) issues a call for taking religion to public schools at high school, college, and graduate levels. He begins with a "pedagogical autobiography," including his struggles as an evangelical student in secular education. For Webb, taking religion to school means taking Christianity to school. He makes three arguments: (1) The teaching of religion is a religious activity; (2) Before teaching religion, it is of utmost importance that teachers think through the intersection of theory and practice, reason and faith, in their own lives; (3) At all levels of education, students need to find their "religious voices." His approach to teaching religion is theo-pedagogy--endowing students with a religious imagination. Teaching is Christological, and the classroom becomes a trinitarian community. Students receive a voice, and discussion focuses on the questions that interest students. Webb is especially concerned that "evangelical" students have a voice in the religion class and that teachers entertain theological questions rather than make classes character education or moral ethics. "Objectivity" is simply a safe haven for teachers who "teach around religion." Interesting anecdotes are the cohesive for the book. Easily readable, Webb writes for a general audience, providing little documentation and no bibliography. J. W. McCant Point Loma Nazarene College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 7
Introduction: Teaching Religion Religiouslyp. 11
1. Confessions of a Theologian: How I Learned Why I Teachp. 23
2. Religion Lost and Found in Public Educationp. 59
3. The Theology of Teaching and the Teaching of Theologyp. 95
4. Classroom Confessions: Redeeming a Theological Trope for Pedagogyp. 119
5. Religion Amid the Ruins of the Postmodern Universityp. 145
6. The Mystery of the Disappearing Chaplain: A Case Study of Wabash Collegep. 161
7. Teaching the Freedom to Believe: A Dialogue with William C. Placherp. 189
8. Theology and Religious Studies: How Every Religion Teacher is a Theologian Nowp. 205
Notesp. 243