"He Drew a Circle That Shut Me out": Assimilation, Indoctrination, and the Paradox of a Liberal Education

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Publication Title "He Drew a Circle That Shut Me out": Assimilation, Indoctrination, and the Paradox of a Liberal Education
Description Jurists and scholars have long misapprehended or avoided a complaint by fundamentalist Christians and other insular communities that "liberal" Western education violates their cultural integrity by exposing their children to alternative lifestyles. In essence, they claim that rationalist, subjectivist education indoctrinates them in tolerance. Courts have generally either ignored this critique or responded that "mere" exposure cannot constitute indoctrination because it leaves the exposed free, perhaps freer, to choose her own way of life. But this response is inadequate, for it is exactly this intellectual freedom to pick one's own lifestyle that the fundamentalists see as an injurious violation of free exercise. In this Article, Professor Stolzenberg exposes the inability of our traditional philosophical tools to deal with our society's paradoxical intolerance of the intolerant. Through an analysis of Mozert v. Hawkins County Public Schools, Professor Stolzenberg traces the evolution of Christian fundamentalism to demonstrate that the fundamentalists' claim - however foreign to mainstream scholars - is neither hasty nor new. Indeed, an almost identical critique of emerging Western rationalism sparked the fundamentalist movement almost a century ago. Having explained the necessity of taking this claim seriously, Professor Stolzenberg then explores the justification offered by civic republican scholars and jurists for indoctrination in tolerance and concludes that neither this tradition nor the communitarian tradition adequately answers the fundamentalist complaint because both contain within them the same commitment to subjectivism that paralyzes the liberal response.
Publication Year January 1993
Publication Author Nomi Maya Stolzenberg
Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Harvard Law Review
Major Funders
Publication Link https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271790266_He_Drew_a_Circle_That_Shut_Me_out_Assimilation_Indoctrination_and_the_Paradox_of_a_Liberal_Education