Cart 0 Log In
SBL Press Bookstore
The Bible in American Education
David Barr, Piediscalzi; David L. Barr, Nicholas Piediscalzi, editors
Publication Date
October 1982


Classic essays now back in print

One of six titles in The Bible in American Culture series published to celebrate the Society of Biblical Literature's centennial, this volume focuses on the interplay between the Bible and education. Essays focus on how this relationship shifted over time from the Bible's central role in education during the seventeenth century through its decline in the twentieth century. With the debate about the role of the Bible in education arising anew in states around the country, this book lays contextual groundwork for anyone interested in the shape of public and private education in the twenty-first century.


  • Exploration of how the Bible has shaped culture and how cultural changes have shaped the Bible’s interpretation
  • Essays cover the role of the Bible in public and private schools as well as Sunday schools

David L. Barr is Professor Emeritus from the Department of Religion at Wright State University. He is the author of New Testament Story: An Introduction (Wadsworth, 4th edition 2009) and the editor of The Reality of Apocalypse: Rhetoric and Politics in the Book of Revelation (Society of Biblical Literature, 2006).

Nicholas Piediscalzi is Professor Emeritus and the founding member of the Department of Religion at Wright State University. He is the author of The Study of Religions in the Social Studies Curriculum (Heldref, 1993), and Teaching about World Religions: NCRPE Curriculum Resource Guide (Iowa State University, 1990).

“The title is apt. The subject is relevant. The book is a delight to read. With remarkable clarity and brevity the editors and contributors have attempted ‘to trace the long, complex, and often confused interaction between the Bible and education’ (Intro, p. 2.). … An impressive group of contributing authors gives variety and authority to the chapters. The vigor of presentation and thoughtful analyses of factors inducing change and reactions to new studies will provide stimulation for further reading in areas new to the reader as well as require review and rethinking in topic areas with which he/she is familiar. Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish educators will find historical material in each of these fields and also stress on the changes taking place in community attitudes toward the Bible which led to changes in institutions and to the court decisions prohibiting the reading of the Bible in public schools, even without comment. A creative approach to ‘Intellectual Ferment and Instruction in the Scriptures: The Bible in Higher Education’ offers insight through six famous teachers of Bible at this level. Extensive bibliographic listings of works consulted after each chapter give avenues for further exploration and challenge.”
— L. Calista Olds, Religious Education