In the current climate, and in an age of increasing hostility towards religion and the study of religion, religious education is a much-debated area. Bringing together an interdisciplinary team of contributors from the USA, Britain and Ireland, and Australia, representing a variety of religious perspectives, Does Religious Education Matter? provocatively demonstrates that it is vital that religious education is presented as it ’really’ is: a valuable and rich resource that, when taught and engaged with appropriately, stimulates essential qualities for global and responsible citizenship: critical thinking, tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding.
Part 1: The Distinctness of Religious Education
1 A Space like no Other
2 What sort of Religious Education is needed? And why is it so Important Today?
3 Interpreting ‘between privacies’: Religious Education as a Conversational Activity
Part 2: Religious Education in the School Context
4 Does Religious Education Matter? What do Teachers Say?
5 Living the Questions: The Spirituality of the RE Teacher According to Henri J.M. Nouwen
6 Going below the Surface of Grow in Love: Some of the Theological Presuppositions in the New Catholic Religious Education Primary Programme for Ireland
7 Eclipses and Reclamations: The Question of Religion in Educational Experience
8 Does Religious Education Matter to Teachers in Catholic Primary Schools? Concerns and Challenges
Fiona Dineen and David Lundie
9 Religious Education in Catholic Second-level Schools in Ireland Today: An Invitation to Love, Understanding, Commitment, Hospitality, and Dialogue
10 The Role of Religious Education Teachers: Perspectives from the Field
Hafiz Printer and Arzina Zaver
11 Reclaiming our ‘Own Selves’: Fragmentation, Christian Religious Education and the New Junior Cycle
12 Does Religious Education Matter in Non-Denominational Schools in Scotland?
Stephen J. McKinney and Raymond McCluskey
Part 3: Exploring the Potential of Religious Education
13 Democracy, Political Salvation, and the Future of Religious Education
L. Philip Barnes
14 Sartre’s Kierkegaard: Existential Philosophy and the Irish Primary School
15 Religious Education and Emerging Technologies: A Post-Worldview Flâneur
James E. Willis and Viktoria A. Strunk
16 Religious Education through an Experiential Lens: Inclusivity and Subjectivity in the Writing and Literature Classroom
Gavin F. Hurley
17 Educational Exclusion: A Fundamental Layer of Social Exclusion
18 Religious Education in Ecclesiological Perspective
19 Religion in the Latina/o Community: History, Identity, and Conscientization through Religious Education
20 Lessons for Religious Educators from the ‘Good Teacher’ (Luke 18:18) of the Synoptic Gospels