Published in 1998, this book provides a much needed philosophical analysis of the political and educational issues that are raised when spiritual development is regarded as a central educational aim. The author examines the meaning of spirituality in the educational context and provides a suitable educational characterization following a detailed critique of certain ideas put forward by John Dewey, Alistair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor. In the second part of the book the author examines various attempts to derive policies concerning the personal education of pupils from cultural and political claims. The educational implications of a wide range of political perspectives are explored, including those of liberalism, communitarianism, conservatizm and pluralism. Particular attention is given to the constraints imposed on educationalists by the liberalisms of John Rawls and Joseph Raz and, in the final part, the author questions whether any nationally common conception of spiritual education is either educationally adequate or politically acceptable.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Spirituality, Religion and Education 3. Agency, Experience and Common Spirituality 4. Culture, Politics and Education 5. Varieties of Liberalism, Public Values and Education 6. Experience, Realism and Spiritual Development 7. Pluralism and the Limits of Common Schooling 8. Conclusions.
’Clear, thoughtful and spirited, Common Faith: Education, Spirituality and the State offers a provocative but fair analysis of how educators from the time of Dewey have sought to address the apparent spiritual desiccation of our Western society.’ Michael Totterdell, Institute of Education, University of London, UK ’...the author has spent a considerable time weighing up the philosophical and theoretical models relevant to the topic...will no doubt spark off a vigorous exchange of views between those whose hypotheses have been challenged.’ British Journal of Religious Education