email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God50 Voices of DisbeliefA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Frightening LoveA Mirror Is for ReflectionA Mirror Is for ReflectionA People's History of ChristianityAdieu to GodAn Ethics for TodayAristotle's ChildrenAugustine's "Confessions"Bad FaithBehind the GospelsBeyond the SelfBig DreamsBig GodsBody Piercing Saved My LifeBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBuddhism and ScienceBuddhist Boot CampConfucianismConfucianismConfucius and ConfucianismContemplative ScienceCorporal Punishment, Religion, and United States Public SchoolsCourage to SurrenderCross and KhoraDarwin's Gift to Science and ReligionDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDeeper Than DarwinDivinity of DoubtEmbracing MindEncountering the DharmaEngaging BuddhismEsalenEscape Your Own PrisonEvidence for PsiEvilEvolution and ReligionExplorations in Neuroscience, Psychology and ReligionFaithFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFingerprints of GodFor The Bible Tells Me SoForgivenessFrom Shame to SinGodGod & TherapyGod Is Not GreatGod Is Not OneGod: The Failed HypothesisHereticHidden DimensionsHooked!Hours with the MysticsHow to See Yourself As You Really AreHow Would Buddha Act?Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyInto Great SilenceIslam and the Future of Tolerance: A DialogueJewish DharmaLife After FaithLiving DeeplyLiving with a Wild GodLiving with DarwinMaking Chastity SexyMedicine and Health Care in Early ChristianityMedicine and ReligionMedicine of the PersonMorals Not KnowledgeMysticism & SpaceNature and the Human SoulNothingOn AnimalsOn Life After DeathPanpsychism and the Religious AttitudePathways to SpiritualityPeaceful Death, Joyful RebirthPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical Myths of the FallPorn UniversityPray the Gay AwayPsychotherapy without the SelfPurgatoryRadical GraceReason, Faith, and RevolutionRecruiting Young LoveReligion without GodReligious and Spiritual Issues in Psychiatric DiagnosisSaving GodScience and NonbeliefScience and Religion at the CrossroadsScience and SpiritualityScience vs. ReligionSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSelf Hypnosis for Cosmic ConsciousnessSelf, No Self?Sex and the Soul, Updated EditionSmile of the BuddhaSong of RiddlesSpirit, Mind, and BrainSuperstitionTen Lectures on Psychotherapy and SpiritualityThe Accidental MindThe Belief InstinctThe Bodhisattva's BrainThe Cambridge Companion to AtheismThe Cambridge Companion to Science and ReligionThe Case for GodThe Chosen OneThe Dao of NeuroscienceThe Dark Night of the SoulThe Darkening AgeThe Delight of Being OrdinaryThe Forgotten CreedThe Fundamentalist MindsetThe God DebatesThe God GeneThe Hero with a Thousand FacesThe Improbability of GodThe Joy of SecularismThe Language God TalksThe Language of GodThe Meaning of BeliefThe MiracleThe New AtheismThe New Religious IntoleranceThe Philosophy of ReligionThe Power of FaithThe Power of ForgivenessThe Power of Religion in the Public SphereThe Psychology of Religious FundamentalismThe Psychology of SpiritualityThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Secular OutlookThe Sense of SelfThe Spirit of the BuddhaThe Spirit of Tibetan BuddhismThe Tibetan Book of the DeadThe Trauma of Everyday LifeThe Watkins Dictionary of Religions and Secular FaithsThe Watkins Dictionary of SymbolsTheology, Psychology and the Plural SelfThoughts Without A ThinkerTop SecretUnifying HinduismWays of KnowingWhat Is Buddhist Enlightenment?What Should I Believe?When the Impossible HappensWhy I Left, Why I StayedWilliam James on Ethics and FaithWriting as a Sacred PathYoga, Karma, and RebirthZealot
With Corporal Punishment, Religion, and United States Public Schools, Jane Hall Fitz-Gibbon offers us a welcome addition to broaden and further nuance our understanding of education in American schools. While the United States admittedly falls far behind other developed nations in the academic quality of its public education system, few scholars as yet have specifically addressed the methods applied to "school" American children for behavior modification, which as Fitz-Gibbon demonstrates, is often deeply rooted in religious belief, as opposed educational philosophy. Since the mid-1800s, Western societies have increasingly frowned upon the use of, and ultimately legislated out of practice, corporal punishment across many regions of social exchange, including in the military, prisons, in the home, and in schools, recognizing its limited effectiveness as a tool for altering behavior and the paradox of its likelihood to undermine the moral high-ground of the punishing agent or institution. However, schools in the United States once again lag sadly behind much of the developed world in its continuing use of physical violence, in the form of corporal punishment, against the most vulnerable of their society, the children.
Fitz-Gibbon writes from a stunningly rich background as: the abbess of a faith community; a foster mother who has seen more than three decades of foster kids successfully pass through her home; a teacher of enlightened approaches to fostering; and a full time educator of special needs children—all this while completing a doctorate in Theology, enriched by three years as a Visiting Scholar at the SUNY Center for the Development of Human Services Research. Only a rare life such as this could offer a thinker the breadth of experience and the richness of theory to address this thorny social issue with philosophical and ethical rigor, yet a deep appreciation for the complex nature of the problem and a standard of care that does not demean the religious convictions that underlie the continuing use of violence in schools.
Fitz-Gibbon's argument essentially follows Plato's: that harming people never makes them better. Further, corporal punishment, by definition a form of violence, administered by adults in a position as carer, to children who are in their care, cannot help but cause emotional, as well as physical harm, and psychological confusion to the victims. Corporal punishment detracts not only from the wellbeing of the students but places in question the moral status of the punisher, since it requires that they fail in their ethic of care. To fairly and sympathetically judge the matter, Fitz-Gibbon applies what she calls "a redemptive hermeneutical triad," which draws together a more nuanced reading of sacred texts, the theological tradition of nonviolence, and the Eastern philosophical principle of Ahimsa or "no harm-doing." Taken together and argued with philosophical delicacy, Fitz-Gibbon delivers a damning argument for the abolition of corporal punishment in United States' public schools.
© 2017 Wendy C. Hamblet
Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. (Philosophy), North Carolina A&T State University.
Welcome to Metapsychology.
Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.
We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and
We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.
Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send
review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank
you for your support!
Join our Google Group!
Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology?
To apply, write to our editor.
Metapsychology Online Reviews
Promote your Page too
Metapsychology Online Reviews