This volume presents findings from recent research focusing on young people and the way they relate to religion in their education and upbringing. The essays are diverse and multidisciplinary - in terms of the religions they discuss (including Christianity, Islam and Sikhism); the settings where young people reflect on religion (the classroom, youth club, peer group, families, respective religious communities and wider society); the different perspectives which relate to religious education and socialisation (the teaching of RE, the role of teachers in pupils’ lives, the way teachers’ personal lives shape their approach to teaching, school ethos and social context, and the place and rationale of RE); the contexts within which the authors work (different national settings and various academic disciplines); and the methodology used (qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method approaches).
The authors make important contributions to the debate about the role of religious education in the curriculum. They demonstrate the crucially important formative influence of religious education in young people’s lives which reaches well into their adulthood, shaping religious and other identities, and attitudes towards the ‘other’ - whatever that ‘other’ may be.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Beliefs & Values.
Table of Contents
Preface Linda Woodhead
Introduction: Religion in education: findings from the Religion and Society Programme Elisabeth Arweck and Robert Jackson
1. Relationships between local patterns of religious practice and young people’s attitudes to the religiosity of their peers Julia Ipgrave
2. Contextuality of young people’s attitudes and its implications for research on religion: A response to Julia Ipgrave Olga Schihalejev
3. Young people’s attitudes to religious diversity: quantitative approaches from social and empirical theology Leslie J. Francis, Jennifer S. Croft, Alice Pyke and Mandy Robbins
4. Religious diversity, empathy, and God images: perspectives from the psychology of religion shaping a study among adolescents in the UK Leslie J. Francis, Jennifer S. Croft and Alice Pyke
5. Failures of meaning in religious education James C. Conroy, David Lundie and Vivienne Baumfield
6. More purpose than meaning in RE: a response to James Conroy, David Lundie, and Vivienne Baumfield Christina Osbeck
7. Seeing and seeing through: Forum theatre approaches to ethnographic evidence David Lundie and James C. Conroy
8. ‘We’re all in this together, the kids and me’: beginning teachers’ use of their personal life knowledge in the Religious Education classroom Judith Everington
9. Teachers only stand behind parents and God in the eyes of Muslim pupils Jenny Berglund
10. Keeping the faith: reflections on religious nurture among young British Sikhs Jasjit Singh
11. Christian youth work: teaching faith, filling churches or response to social need? Naomi Stanton
12. Religious young adults recounting the past: narrating sexual and religious cultures in school Sarah-Jane Page and Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip
Elisabeth Arweck is Senior Research Fellow in the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU), Institute of Education, University of Warwick, UK, and the Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Religion. Her recent research has focused on young people’s attitudes to religious diversity and the religious socialisation and nurture of young people. She is author of Researching new religious movements in the West (2007).
Robert Jackson is Professor of Education at the University of Warwick, UK, Director of Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, and Professor of Religious Diversity and Education at the Council of Europe-related European Wergeland Centre in Oslo. He was Editor of the British Journal of Religious Education.