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a journal of analysis and comment advancing public understanding of religion and education
(more on the Journal)

Fall 2005, Vol. 32 No. 2

Editor’s Preface

The faith-based coloration of the Bush presidency raised the profile of conservative Christianity in the United States bringing a mix of attention—some favorable, some unflattering—to this segment of society. A number of labels have been used to describe members of this group: fundamentalist, evangelical, religious right. What we know, of course, is that conservative Christians are no more monolithic than most other groups including that historically presumed more liberal block known as "mainline" Christians.

In this issue of Religion and Education, we focus on conservative Christianity in education: PK-12 and higher education. While not an exhaustive treatment, the articles included here do provide windows onto some of the issues related to conservative Christians in educational environments they often perceive to be challenging if not overtly hostile. We hope that publishing these pieces will encourage further exploration of not only conservatives in the Christian tradition, but of other groups across the theological spectrum and from other faith traditions as they consider their religious values and beliefs in relation to education issues and environments.

This fall issue marks five years of Religion and Education being published by the University of Northern Iowa, College of Education and as my serving as editor. The university recently reaffirmed its continuing commitment to publishing the journal as have I to its editing. As we look forward to continuing the dialogue within these pages, I am pleased to relate a few new developments regarding the journal. First, we were contacted by the Modern Language Association (MLA) with a request to index Religion and Education in their bibliography. They will be going back into the mid-90s for their indexing and this will greatly extend the reach of the journal to more readers and researchers. Second, the number of high quality manuscript submissions has increased to the point that we have decided to add a third issue each year beginning in 2006. We will publish in February (Winter issue), May (Spring issue), and October (Fall issue). To help with the cost of adding a third issue, a modest subscription price increase will be necessary from $25 to $39 for individuals as well as institutions. Third, we are introducing an expanded Table of Contents with abstracts of the articles. And fourth, each issue will conclude with an indication of topics and articles you can expect in coming issues. We are also exploring electronic availability for library subscribers to provide greater access to an institution’s users. We welcome ideas from readers about other features and services you would like to see.

Since this issue focuses on issues in the Christian tradition, we carry that theme into the cover art. This fall issue comes out near Los Dias de los Muertos, a time remembering the deceased and collectively observed by All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day, and All Soul’s Day. The photograph on the cover is Keith Holmes’ "All Souls Day" (Zagreb, Croatia, 1993). It was part of the October 2001 exhibit, "A Question of Faith," at the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art.

Michael D. Waggoner, Editor
Religion and Education
Fall 2005