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About Nathan C. Walker
Nate has published five books, including "The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers' Religious Garb" (Routledge 2019), which Kirkus Reviews called "a thorough, magisterial account of a timely and historically important legal debate."
In November 2016, Publishers Weekly listed Nate's "Cultivating Empathy (Skinner House Press 2016) as one of the top "six books for a post-election spiritual detox."
In endorsing his book "Exorcising Preaching," the Rev. Meg Riley says that "Nate Walker is boldly creative--a visionary, on-the-edge kind of thinker."
Nate coedited with Michael D. Waggoner of "The Oxford Handbook on Religion and American Education" (Oxford University Press 2018), with a foreword by Martin E. Marty. Reading Religion writes that Waggoner and Walker "have accomplished an impressive feat by bringing order to this topic without sacrificing scope... I recommend it highly."
He coedited with Edwin J. Greenlee the book, "Whose God Rules?" (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), which Cornel West called "provocative and pioneering."
He also coauthored with Lyal S. Sunga the policy report, Promoting and Protecting the Universal Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief through Law (IDLO 2017), which was presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Nate was formerly a resident fellow in law and religion at Harvard University and received his doctorate in First Amendment law from Columbia University, where he received his Masters of Arts and Masters of Education degrees. He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, currently serving as the community minister for religion and public life at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
He lives with his husband Vikram Paralkar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His website is www.NateWalker.com.
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Walker presents a series of revealing essays about his wrestlings with personal and cultural conflicts and his commitment to stop "otherizing"—which occurs when we either demonize people or romanticize them. His remedy for these kinds of projections is to employ the moral imagination as an everyday spiritual practice. Through his engaging and thought-provoking vignettes, he endeavors to find connection with skinheads, murderers, homophobic preachers, privileged 1-percenters, and Monsanto executives. As he experiments with this approach, he shows a model that can help us all nurture greater empathy for those we have previously held in contempt.
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education brings together preeminent scholars from the fields of religion, education, law, and political science to craft a comprehensive survey and assessment of the study of religion and education in the United States. The essays in the first part develop six distinct conceptual lenses through which to view American education, including Privatism, Secularism, Pluralism, Religious Literacy, Religious Liberty, and Democracy. The following four parts expand on these concepts in a diverse range of educational frames: public schools, faith-based K-12 education, higher education, and lifespan faith development.
Designed for a diverse and interdisciplinary audience, this addition to the Oxford Handbook series sets for itself a broad goal of understanding the place of religion and education in a modern democracy.
Examining the twelve-decade legal conflict of government bans on religious garb worn by teachers in U.S. public schools, this book provides comprehensive documentation and analysis of the historical origins and subsequent development of teachers’ religious garb in relation to contemporary legal challenges within the United Nations and the European Union.
By identifying and correcting factual errors in the literature about historical bans on teachers’ garb, Walker demonstrates that there are still substantial and unresolved legal questions to the constitutionality of state garb statutes and reflects on how the contemporary conflicts are historically rooted. Showcased through a wealth of laws and case studies, this book is divided into eight clear and concise chapters and answers questions such as: what are anti-religious-garb laws?; how have the state and federal court decisions evolved?; what are the constitutional standards?; what are the establishment clause and free exercise clause arguments?; and how has this impacted current debates on teachers’ religious garb?, before concluding with an informative summary of the points discussed throughout.
The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb is the ideal resource for researchers, academics, and postgraduate students in the fields of education, religion, education policy, sociology of education, and law, or those looking to explore an in-depth development of the laws and debates surrounding teachers’ religious garb within the last 125 years.
The prominence of religion in recent debates around politics, identity formation, and international terrorism has led to an increased demand on those studying religion to help clarify and contextualise religious belief and practice in the public sphere. While many texts focus on the theoretical development of the subject, this book outlines a wider application of these studies by exploring the role of religious studies scholars and theologians as public intellectuals.
This collection of essays first seeks to define exactly what makes an intellectual "public". It then goes on to deal with a few questions of concern: How do public intellectuals construct knowledge in religious and theological scholarship? What is the link between public intellectuals of higher education and their role in society? Do higher education institutions have a responsibility to endorse public intellectualism?
Looking at the individual and collective role of religious studies scholars and theologians in public life, this book will be of great interest to all scholars and academics involved in religious studies and theology across the academy.