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Science vs ReligionWhat Do Scientists Really Believe?$
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Elaine Howard Ecklund

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195392982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392982.001.0001

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Suppression or Engagement

Suppression or Engagement

How Scientists Handle Religion in the Classroom

(p.71) Chapter 5 Suppression or Engagement
Science vs Religion

Elaine Howard Ecklund (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

More than any other venue, university classrooms are the front lines of any science professor’s conflict with the American public. Scientists are pressed by their students to respond to religion in the classroom—what Ecklund calls environmental push. She shows that scientists use different cultural scripts (blueprints or road maps that tell them what to do) for handling religion in the classroom. Some use language focusing on the separation of church and state to suppress all discussion of religion. Others are loath to address a topic so far outside their specialty. Still another group believes that religion is just irrelevant to science. But Ecklund also describes the group of scientists who do want positive engagement with religion while teaching in university classrooms. These professors think they simply cannot be effective teachers when they ignore student concerns about religion. This chapter responds to their dilemma by highlighting the kinds of scripts some scientists (religious or not) have developed to discuss religion in science classrooms.

Keywords:   teaching, religion, university classrooms, scientists, cultural scripts, environmental push

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