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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Gothard’

Record: Michael J. McVicar, Christian Reconstruction: R. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Summary:  McVicar, who teaches in the Religion department at Florida State, here provides us with a  book-length biography of one of the most important early U.S. homeschooling leaders.  Rushdoony is not always put in the same tier of standout leaders as John Holt and Raymond and Dorothy Moore, but I argued in my 2008 history of the movement that he should be.  McVicar’s lively and detailed account of the life, ideas, and influence of Rushdoony confirms me in my original belief and offers a wealth of new information not only about Rushdoony and homeschooling but about his broader significance for post-WWII American education, politics, and law.

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Record: Julie J. Ingersoll, Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015) [Available Here]

Summary: Ingersoll is in a unique position to write a book like this.  As a young woman she was married to one of the sons of prominent Reconstructionist Bob Thoburn and was very active in several Religious Right organizations.  She and Mark Thoburn divorced in the early 1990s and Julie spent most of that decade earning a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, eventually becoming a professor at the University of North Florida.  Her dissertation was published in 2003 as Evangelical Christian Women: War Stories in the Gender Battles. This is her second book.

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This post reviews Quinn Cummings, The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling (New York: Penguin, 2012).

I decided that since this book has been getting so much media attention I should review it.  Cummings is a fascinating woman–Academy Award nominated child star, prolific blogger, and author of now two entertaining memoirs.  This book, her most recent memoir, has been featured on the Diane Rehm Show, in Time Magazine, on Fox News, and all over the internet.

What, if anything, does it offer to homeschool researchers?  Well, first it offers a lot of fun.  (more…)

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This post reviews T. Jeremy Gunn, Spiritual Weapons: The Cold War and the Forging of an American National Religion, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2009).

Gunn, director of the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief (among many other assignments), here constructs a fascinating if flawed argument that the Cold War led to the unique blend of Christianity, militarism, and capitalism that is now the dominant religion in the United States.  First I’ll lay out his argument and then say why I think it’s flawed.  What does all of this have to do with homeschooling?  I think conservative Christian homeschoolers are perhaps the purest expression of the sort of religion Gunn is chronicling here–fiercely committed to the idea that the United States is (or was and should be again) a Christian and capitalist nation, and strongly pro-military.  Why are so many conservative homeschoolers like this?  Here’s Gunn’s explanation:

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I don’t have a piece of research to review for this week so instead I’ll briefly comment on a few homeschooling-related stories that have recently made the news or appeared in trade magazines.

First, there’s a great story in this week’s Sports Illustrated (28 September 2009) about Bonnie Richardson, who single-handedly won the class 1A Texas state track championship for her teeny school Rochelle High.     (more…)

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This post reviews Kathryn Joyce, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement (Boston: Beacon Press, 2009).

Joyce, a freelance journalist based in New York City, here pens an important book on one of the most dynamic subcultures within the homeschooling world: “quiverfull” families where father is patriarchal lord, mother is submissive breeder of as many children as God provides, sons are trained to be arrows used in battle against secularism, and daughters are given a sex-specific home education to prepare them to be obedient wives and dutiful mothers.  (more…)

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This post reviews Laura Li-Hua Sun, “Dare to Home School: Faith and Cultural Experiences of Chinese Christian Mothers” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Biola University, 2007). [Link to dissertation here]

Sun begins by explaining how important formal education is to the Chinese, who see it as a means of maintaining their privileged status as “children of the dragon” over other people groups.  Yet despite this powerful cultural tradition, some Chinese Christian mothers are choosing homeschooling.  Why?  (more…)

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