456 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 12 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4848-4
Published: May 2019
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4847-7
Published: May 2019
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4849-1
Published: March 2019
Buy this Book
Free E-Exam Copies
While notions of what makes something religious or secular are crucial to those who study religion, they have special significance in the realm of public and legal norms. They affect how people experience their lives, raise their children, and navigate educational systems. The question of religion in public education, Brown shows, is no longer a matter of jurisprudence focused largely on the establishment of a Protestant Bible or nonsectarian prayer. Instead, it now reflects an increasingly diverse American religious landscape. Reconceptualizing secularization as transparency and religious voluntarism, Brown argues for an opt-in model for public-school programs.
About the Author
Candy Gunther Brown, professor of religious studies at Indiana University, is the author of several books including The Word in the World and The Healing Gods.
For more information about Candy Gunther Brown, visit the Author Page.
"What’s the harm in having kids do mindfulness meditation or sun salutations in homeroom? . . . . Like many of us, Brown believed that these were secular applications until she examined the historical and religious context for herself. This book is a thorough history of mindfulness and yoga in public schools, related court cases, and legal analysis that led Brown to advocate an opt-in model as a way to maintain the separation of church and state."--Tricycle
“The massive popularization of yoga and mindfulness in the United States has extended into the nation’s public schools, and cultivating those practices in the classroom has raised a series of complex establishment clause questions—just as prayer and Bible reading did in the 1950s and 1960s. No one has explored those complexities more fully and carefully than Brown does here. It is no easy task to untangle the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’ in contemporary forms of yoga and mindfulness meditation, but Brown offers a comprehensive, analytically rigorous account with an eye toward practical insights for parents, judges, educators, and religious practitioners. The case she makes for greater transparency and public scrutiny is compelling—and will generate a lot of lively debate.”—Leigh E. Schmidt, Washington University in St. Louis
“In a nice blend of academic theorizing and real-life courtroom experience, Candy Brown questions the rise of yoga and mindfulness programs in public schools under the assumption that they are secular, and from that offers reflections on the nature of the secular-religious divide itself. The book demonstrates, in painstaking detail, how these programs are portrayed to the public-school-attending public as secular, curricular, and scientific, despite having religious origins and modern religious practitioners.”—Christopher C. Lund, Wayne State University