The place of religion in the modern world has changed significantly over the past two decades. This has been partially reflected in the academic study of religion, but little, if at all, in religious education. In addition, the place of RE in schools has been the subject of intense debate due to changes to the curriculum and school structure, as well as being part of wider debates on religion in the public sphere.
Written by two highly experienced leading practitioners of RE, Does Religious Education have a Future? argues for a radical reform of the subject based on principles of pedagogy set free from religious concerns. It challenges teachers, researchers and educators to rethink their approaches to, and assumptions about, religious education, and enables them to see their work in a larger context that includes pedagogical ideas and political forces.
The book offers readers fresh, provocative and expertly informed critical perspectives on:
- the global context of RE, debates about religion in public places, religion’s response to modernity, violent extremism, science and secularism;
- the evolving educational rationale for RE in schools;
- the legal arrangements for RE and their impact on the teaching of the subject;
- the pedagogy of teaching approaches in RE and their effect on standards and perceptions of the subject;
- the educational commitment of faith/belief communities, and how this influences the performance of RE.
Does Religious Education have a Future? proposes a new attitude to the subject of religious education, and a new configuration of both its role and content. This book is essential reading for academics, advisers and policy makers, as well as teachers of RE at primary and secondary levels and trainee and newly qualified teachers.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The politics and discourse of RE Section 1. Representations of religion and education: critical enquiries 1. The global context of religion and belief 2. The conflicted context of education Section 2. Diagnosing RE's pedagogy, provenance and politics 3. The heart of the enterprise: a pedagogical problem 4. Phenomenology and anthropology: the advocacy of religion as an approach to RE 5. Discourse and dissonance in contemporary paradigms of RE 6. The politics of English RE: a portrait of disfunctionality Section 3. The case for a radical transformation of RE 7. The doors of pedagogical perception: pedagogy as existential stance 8. Towards an educational economy of religions 9. Between education and catastrophe: The futures of RE
Mark Chater is Director of Culham St Gabriel's, a trust supporting research, development and innovation in religious education. He was senior adviser with responsibility for RE at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, and before that, a teacher and trainer of RE.
Clive Erricker is a consultant and researcher in the fields of education and religion. Prior to this, he was County Inspector for Religious Education, History and Community Cohesion in Hampshire, and was previously Head of the School of Religion and Theology and Reader in Religion and Education at the University of Chichester, UK.