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39th Loy H. Witherspoon Lecture Featuring Jolyon Thomas, Ph.D.

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Date and Time for this Past Event



Religion and education, when considered together in the context of juvenile education, have produced an enduring sense of tension in American culture, and across its political spectrum. Imagine the effect on a society when the relationship is proscribed by an outside culture, such as when the United States and other Allied nations played an active role “reconstructing” Japan to meet the norms of Western nations. Jolyon Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania adopts a supranational approach to this analysis when he tracks the fallout of the 1947 Settlement, a post-World War II agreement that ostensibly clarified the relationship between religion and education in the new society. Instead, the settlement elicited considerable confusion and fueled debate over patriotic ritual, moral instruction, vocational training, and sex education. Thomas also upends some conventional narratives about late twentieth-century “secularization,” while showing how religious studies offers indispensable tools for understanding some of the most vexing legal and political dilemmas of our time.│

Feb. 15; 6 p.m. with a reception at 5 p.m.; The Dubois Center