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

Commitment, Character, and Citizenship

Religious Education in Liberal Democracy, 1st Edition

Edited by Hanan A. Alexander, Ayman K. Agbaria


280 pages

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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

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Please send inquiries or proposals for this series to one of the following:

Will Bateman: [email protected] – Editor, UK and Rest of World

Elsbeth Wright: [email protected] – Editor, North & South America

Vilija Stephens: [email protected] – Editor, Australia & New Zealand

Katie Peace: [email protected] – Publisher, Asia


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
RELIGION / Education