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

Fall 2007
Vol. 34 No. 3

Editorís Preface


            Increasing attention to spirituality in higher education has come in recent years from a project by the same name at UCLA. This has opened the way for more scholarly work in this area and our lead article is such an example. John Cecero and Giselle Esquivel offer a study of faculty spirituality and its relationship to teaching style, filling a gap in the research that to this point has focused on psychological well-being and character values as opposed to the teaching-learning experience.

            The second article takes us into the high school environment by examining the experience of student teachers in the Program for Religion and Secondary Education at the Harvard Divinity School. Michael Evans studied the experiences of novice teachers learning to teach about religion in the classroom. He elucidates the resources perceived as being most supportive of the effort.

            Our third article may be considered in the same vein as Cecero and Esquivel. In this case, the focus is more at the macro or institutional level. What difference does a faith tradition make in a program – in this case, a teacher education program? Sally Galman studied a Quaker college as it prepared teachers. Interviewing students, faculty, and administrators, she identifies and connects the tenets of the Society of Friends with the challenges and opportunities of preservice teacher preparation.

            In the fourth article, Michael Maher, Linda Sever, and Shaun Pichler take the pulse of college students on their attitudes toward war and religious discrimination since September 11, 2001. The campus of Loyola University Chicago was near the scene of high profile government raids against US Muslim charities suspected of being conduits for terrorist organization funding and large scale Chicago protests in the early months of US action in Afghanistan and Iraq. This study examines attitudes of a number of faith traditions in this predominantly Catholic institution.

            The concluding article reviews one of the major curricula vying for adoption in the PK-12 schools, The Bible in History and Literature. (This curriculum is discussed in the context of competing such curricula and state legislative adoption battles in Mark Chancey’s article in the Winter 2007 issue of Religion and Education). Brennan Breed and Kent Richards, Executive Director of the Society of Biblical Literature, thoughtfully review this curriculum for the assumptions that seem to underpin its perspective— weighed in the balances and found wanting.

            The cover art for this issue is called Self-Portrait as Pagan Fire God by Chuck Richards. 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 & Education

Fall 2007