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Religious education in the United States is a complex phenomenon. Religion and education both stand alone as multifarious entities that fail to lend themselves to simple definitions or broad consensus. It is unsurprising then that religious education holds no universal meaning. It is highly debated, contextually derived, interpreted, and reinterpreted. Understandings about religious education can be separated into two distinct categories: education in private, faith-based schools and education in public, state-supported schools. Nevertheless, the term religious education, although used widely, can be adequately explained only when rooted within its historical context.

Historical Context: Religious Education in the Nineteenth Century

Religious education as a highly contentious topic in the United States is not new. In fact, religious education has been a part of the American landscape, in different ...

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