1st Edition

Does Religious Education Matter?

Edited By Mary Shanahan Copyright 2017
    278 Pages
    by Routledge

    290 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.



    Mary Shanahan

    Part 1: The Distinctness of Religious Education

    1 A Space like no Other

    John Sullivan

    2 What sort of Religious Education is needed? And why is it so Important Today?

    Graham Rossiter

    3 Interpreting ‘between privacies’: Religious Education as a Conversational Activity

    Sandra Cullen

    Part 2: Religious Education in the School Context

    4 Does Religious Education Matter? What do Teachers Say?

    Ros Stuart-Buttle

    5 Living the Questions: The Spirituality of the RE Teacher According to Henri J.M. Nouwen

    David Torevell

    6 Going below the Surface of Grow in Love: Some of the Theological Presuppositions in the New Catholic Religious Education Primary Programme for Ireland

    Daniel O’Connell

    7 Eclipses and Reclamations: The Question of Religion in Educational Experience

    Pádraig Hogan

    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

    Gareth Byrne

    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

    Amalee Meehan

    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

    Jones Irwin

    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

    Ali Selim

    18 Religious Education in Ecclesiological Perspective

    Anne Codd

    19 Religion in the Latina/o Community: History, Identity, and Conscientization through Religious Education

    João Chaves

    20 Lessons for Religious Educators from the ‘Good Teacher’ (Luke 18:18) of the Synoptic Gospels

    Diane Corkery


    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).