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Posts Tagged ‘Calvinism’

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 Deb Esposito, World War Me: Soul Survivor(Cresco, PA: Monty Media, 2012).

In earlier reviews of children’s literature I have frequently had occasion to note that though conservative Christians make up the lion’s share of homeschoolers in this country, almost every piece of children’s lit that has homeschooling characters tends to feature the small minority who are drawn to the practice for more secular reasons ranging from hippie-type rejections of formalism and desire to live in nature to concerns for a child’s health.

Well, here is a book about Christian homeschooling.  (more…)

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This post reviews John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling (New Society Publishers, 2009).

John Taylor Gatto is a legendary figure in the world of homeschooling.  My bookon homeschool history describes how by the late 1980s secular and conservative Protestant homeschoolers increasingly became estranged.  The large Christian conventions and publications stopped inviting as speakers leaders who did not share their worldview.  Gatto is a standout exception to this generalization.  His stature is great both among conservative homeschoolers like those affiliated with HSLDA and among more liberal homeschoolers like those affiliated with Home Education Magazine, and he regularly keynotes conferences and conventions of all parties.

This, his latest book, is something of a grab-bag of classic Gatto themes.  My review here will not systematically work through his chapters but will use it as an excuse to make some comments on Gatto and his meaning for the homeschooling movement.  (more…)

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