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.
Table of Contents
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
Mary Shanahan is Lecturer in Education (Religious Education) at St. Angela’s College, Sligo. She has also taught philosophy, religious education, and religious studies at: University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Mater Dei Institute (Dublin City University), St. Patrick’s College (Drumcondra), Church of Ireland College of Education, and St. Patrick’s College (Thurles). She received a B. Ed. from Mater Dei Institute of Education (2004) and an M.A. in Philosophy from University College Dublin (2005), where she also completed her Ph.D. (2011). Her recent publications include: An Ethics of/for the Future? (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014); ’A Pregnant Space: Levinas, Ethics, and Maternity’ in An Ethics of/for the Future? (2014); co-edited with Ian Leask et al, The Taylor Effect: Responding to a Secular Age (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010); ’Establishing an Ethical Community: Taylor and the Christian Self’ in The Taylor Effect: Responding to a Secular Age (2010); ’Responsible Reciprocity: Ethical Friendship in Plato and Levinas’, Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society No. 10 (February, 2010). She is also a Member of the Royal Irish Academy Ethical, Political, Legal and Philosophical Studies Committee, Committee Member of the Irish Philosophical Society, a member of the Irish Centre for Religious Education, and a member of the Council for Justice and Peace (Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference).