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ERIC Number: ED432531
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-14
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Are U.S. Textbooks Right about the Religious Right?
Romanowski, Michael H.
Current history textbooks include Christianity when discussing U.S. history. A study systematically examined the content of 10 secondary U.S. history textbooks to evaluate how Christianity is portrayed. Selection of the textbooks was based upon information supplied by the Texas Education Agency and the American Textbook Council and represented the textbooks used in most public high schools. References to Christianity in contemporary U.S. history (post World War II) were analyzed and recurrent themes were sought. Findings support Gilbert Sewall's argument that the public perception that religion is absent from U.S. history textbooks is simply outdated. It is clear that textbook authors do address Christianity. Authors, however, make little effort to highlight the importance of the relationships among faith, religion, and historical events. For example, the textbooks examined fail to provide discussions regarding the essential beliefs of "born-again" Christians, or even define the term. The textbooks surveyed used a variety of terms when discussing Christianity and the Religious Right. Authors were also simplistic in their definitions of fundamentalism, failing to adequately define the term. Regarding the portrayal of religion, 9 of the 10 textbooks examined included Christianity in the discussion of contemporary U.S. history. To provide students with a more complex understanding of religion, however, authors need to incorporate within the text the role of religion in individual lives and within society. Contains 5 notes and 28 references. (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A