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a journal of analysis and comment advancing public understanding of religion and education
(more on the Journal)

Fall 2008
Vol. 35 No. 3

Editorís Preface

As this fall issue comes off the press, George W. Bush concludes his tenure as President—a period of time coincident to date with my editing Religion and Education.  Our first issue from the journal’s new publishing venue at the University of Northern Iowa appeared in what now seems to have been a more innocent pre-9/11 spring.  Now, nineteen issues and some 2100 pages later, the US and larger world communities are looking to the horizon through the eyes of the new leadership of Barack Obama.  A large part of the constituency that lifted Obama to this pinnacle was a record number of young voters.  Americans being notably religious, we thought that a view into the way religion figures into collegiate ways of viewing the world might be instructive as the baby boomers pass the torch to a younger generation.  In this fall issue we offer the first of two installments of a study by Professor Jim Norwine of undergraduate worldviews.  Part two is scheduled for the Spring 2009 issue.

Our second article is from Hannah Dick on the experience of religious clubs at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, as they “resist marginalization and re-centralize religion . . . by negotiating the secular and pluralist terrain of the campus.” (p.66)  Nine traditions—Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Ba’hai and others—provide a rich milieu for this study.

The concluding article is a review essay of several high profile books that have appeared recently whose authors have been called “the new atheists.”  Contributor Emeritus Professor Lynn Brant carefully studied Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennett, and a critique of them in Roman Catholic theologian John Haught’s God and the New Atheism.  The resulting review essay is a comprehensive analysis of the new cluster of ruminations on an enduring conundrum.

The cover art for this issue is Sunday Morning by Antionette Simmons Hodges. It was part of the October 2001 Exhibit, A Question of Faith, at the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art.

Michael D. Waggoner, Editor
Religion and Education
Fall 2008
mike.waggoner@uni.edu