The Cincinnati “Bible War” of 1869–1873

Steven K. Green

in The Bible, the School, and the Constitution

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827909
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932849 | DOI:
The Cincinnati “Bible War” of 1869–1873

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This chapter discusses the first significant controversy involving the banning of Bible reading in the public schools. The controversy transpired in Cincinnati, Ohio, between 1869 and 1873 and attracted public attention nationwide. The chapter discusses the ensuing public debate over Bible reading and the role of religion in education generally, a debate that fractured along many perspectives. It concludes with an analysis of the Ohio Supreme Court decision, Minor v. Board of Education, upholding the exclusion of unmediated Bible reading in the public schools.

Keywords: Cincinnati; “Bible War”; Bible reading; Judge Alphonso Taft

Chapter.  20965 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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