Commitment, Character, and Citizenship : Religious Education in Liberal Democracy book cover
1st Edition

Commitment, Character, and Citizenship
Religious Education in Liberal Democracy

ISBN 9780415879743
Published May 21, 2012 by Routledge
308 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

As liberal democracies include increasingly diverse and multifaceted populations, the longstanding debate about the role of the state in religious education and the place of religion in public life seems imperative now more than ever. The maintenance of religious schools and the planning of religious education curricula raise a profound challenge. Too much state supervision can be conceived as interference in religious freedom and as a confinement of the right to cultural liberty. Too little supervision can be seen as neglecting the development of the liberal values required to live and work in a democratic society and as abandoning those who within their communities wish to attain a more rigorous education for citizenship and democracy. This book draws together leading educationalists, philosophers, theologians, and social scientists to explore issues, problems, and tensions concerning religious education in a variety of international settings. The contributors explore the possibilities and limitations of religious education in preparing citizens in multicultural and multi-religious democratic societies.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Hanan A. Alexander and Ayman K. Agbaria  Part I: The Case for Religious Education in Liberal Democracy  1. An Inquiry into the Justification for Full-Time Religious Schools in the Liberal Democratic State  Walter Feinberg  2. State Financial Support for Religious Schools: Issues and Models  Stephen V. Monsma  3. Between Memory and Vision: Schools as Communities of Meaning  Steven C. Vryhof  Part II: Religion, Education, and Unity versus Diversity in Liberal Democracy  4. Religion and Citizenship: The Prophetic Tradition and Public Reason  Kenneth A. Strike and Jeffrey K. Pegram  5. Religious Schooling and the Formation of Character  James C. Conroy  6. Maximal Citizenship Education and Interreligious Education in Common Schools  Siebren Miedema  7. Judaism and Democracy – The Private Domain and Public Responsibility  Rachel Elior  8. Why Did You Not Tell Me About This? Religion as a Challenge to Faith Schools  Farid Panjwani  Part III: Spirituality and Morality in Religious and Democratic Education  9. Religion, Character and Spirituality: Their Conceptual Relations and Educational Implications  David Carr  10. Religion, Reason, and Experience in Public Education  Hans-Günter Heimbrock  11. Competing Conceptions of Authenticity: Consequences for Religious Education in an Open Society  Hanan A. Alexander  12. Democratic Schooling and the Demands of Religion  Elmer John Thiessen  Part IV: Opening Up Religious Education for Democracy  13. Teaching Islam in Israel: On the Absence of Unifying Goals and a Collective Community  Ayman K. Agbaria  14. Between Traditional Interpretation and Biblical Criticism: A Case Study of Bible Teaching in Non-Orthodox Jewish Israeli High Schools  Iris Yaniv  15. The Contribution of Religious Education to Democratic Culture: Challenges and Opportunities  Mualla Selçuk  16. Constructive, Critical, and Mutual Interfaith Religious Education for Public Living: A Christian View  Jack L. Seymour

View More



Hanan Alexander is Professor in the Faculty of Education and Head of the Center for Jewish Education at the University of Haifa where he specializes in philosophy of education and curriculum studies. He is also a Sr. Fellow of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. His main research interests include political, ethical, religious, and spiritual education and the philosophy of educational research.

Ayman K. Agbaria completed his PhD in Educational Theory and Policy and International and Comparative Education at Penn State University. In the last fifteen years, Dr. Agbaria occupied senior positions both in academic and professional settings. He is currently a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa.