In Response to Chancey
Thank you for Mark A. Chancey's article on "Bible Courses in Public Schools: SBL's Response to a Growing Trend ."
As one who taught at the Presbyterian School of Education in the 1960s when responsible non-sectarian Bible courses were being developed for use in the public schools, I found the article informative and heartening.
Professor Chancey's findings about the state of this particular art in a time of resurgent interest in it gave me information I did not know, but the discovery that "most courses in Florida were taught from a sectarian perspective" and that in Texas "most were taught by teachers with no background in biblical studies, were full of factual errors, and were usually taught from a sectarian perspective" was far from heartening.
I also learned, however, that the SBL has a Working Group on the Bible and Public Education that has identified what needs to be done and has articulated a three-pronged programmatic response whereby the SBL can help to rectify the situation. It is heartening to know that the Society is prepared to bring its intellectual resources to bear upon a societal problem that is at the same time an educational opportunity.
Lamar Williamson, Jr., Professor emeritus of Biblical Studies, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education
Citation: Lamar Williamson, Jr., " In Response to Chancey," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited May 2007]. Online:http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=669