Religious Education as a Dialogue with Difference: Fostering Democratic Citizenship Through the Study of Religions in Schools, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Religious Education as a Dialogue with Difference

Fostering Democratic Citizenship Through the Study of Religions in Schools, 1st Edition

By Kevin O'Grady


202 pages

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Hardback: 9781138479920
pub: 2018-12-13
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Religious Education as a Dialogue with Difference addresses current issues over the study of religion in publicly maintained schools. Are liberal, inclusive approaches to the study of religion suited to the aims of education in a democracy? Do liberal democratic aims offer the right framework for the study of religion? By presenting research on English secondary school pupils' motivation in religious education, this volume argues that religious education is best understood as a democratic dialogue with difference. The book offers empirical evidence for this claim, and it demonstrates how learners gain in religious literacy, both through the exercise of democratic citizenship in the classroom and towards the goal of life-long democratic citizenship.

Table of Contents


1. Motivation in RE: beginnings

2. RE, adolescence and creativity

3. Action research, ethnography, epistemology and ethics

4. RE as a dialogue with difference

5. Democratic citizenship or religious literacy? Aims and values for RE

6. Dialogue and conflict in RE

7. Democratic citizenship and RE revisited

8. Does RE Work?

9. Review, recommendations, questions for the future and final remarks

About the Author

Kevin O’Grady is an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Education Studies at University of Warwick, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Religion and Education

The Routledge Research in Religion and Education series aims at advancing public understanding and dialogue on issues at the intersections of religion and education. These issues emerge in various venues and proposals are invited from work in any such arena: public or private education at elementary, secondary, or higher education institutions; non-school or community organizations and settings; and formal or informal organizations or groups with religion or spirituality as an integral part of their work. Book proposals are invited from diverse methodological approaches and theoretical and ideological perspectives. This series does not address the work of formal religious institutions including churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples. Rather, it focuses on the beliefs and values arising from all traditions as they come into contact with educational work in the public square.


Please send proposals to Mike Waggoner ( and Elsbeth Wright (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
RELIGION / Education