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The Rose O'Neill

Literary House

Faculty Tea & Talk with Professors Deckman and Prud’homme

Date: 4:30pm EST March 4, 2014

Professors Melissa Deckman and Joseph Prud’homme will be giving a lecture at the Rose O’Neill Literary House called “Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools.” This event is part of the Spring series: “Writing for (and about) Young Adults.”

Their talk examines the role of the Bible and religion in contemporary public school curriculum, particularly the growth in recent years of Bible classes as public high school electives.  They examine the political success of this movement, the motivations of the political actors pursuing elective Bible courses, and whether these sorts of courses are constitutionally and normatively sound.  They also revisit the role that religion is playing in two perennial “culture wars” concerns often raised by conservative Christian parents—evolution and sex education.
Melissa Deckman is the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs and chairs the Political Science Department at Washington College.  The author or co-author of more than a dozen scholarly articles and invited book chapters, she has also written or co-written four books, including School Board Battles: The Christian Right in Local Politics, winner of the American Political Science Association’s Hubert Morken Award for the best work on religion and politics.  She is also an Affiliated Scholar with the Public Religion Research Institute.  Her current research focuses on the nexus between gender and religion in the Tea Party movement.
Joseph Prud’homme is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College. He works in the areas of political philosophy, legal studies and theoretical approaches to religion in public life.  He received his PhD in the Interdepartmental program in Political Philosophy at Princeton University.