This book is concerned with re-imagining Religious Education (RE) as this is practiced in schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK and in a wide variety of international educational contexts.
On the basis of a critical analysis of current theory and practice in RE the authors argue that this educational framing is no longer plausible in the light of new theoretical developments within the academy. A new educational approach to RE is outlined that challenges students to think and practice differently. This includes a ‘becoming ethnographer’ approach that can acknowledge socio-material relations and engage the broader literacies necessary for such study.
Part One examines how RE has been constructed as a discipline in historical and spatial terms that abstract its study from material concerns. Part Two offers some new starting points: Spinoza, Foucault and feminist theory that differently foreground context and relationality, and 'Islam' read as a discursive, located tradition rather than as 'world view'. Finally, Part Three proposes a new trajectory for research and practice in RE, with the aim of re-engaging schools, colleges and universities in a dialogue that promotes thinking and practice that – as educational - is continually in touch with the need to be critical, open-ended and ethically justifiable.
Part I: diagnostic
1 Diagnosing indifference: an historical analysis
2 Assembling RE: spaces, relations, and translations
Part II: thinking otherwise – resisting indifference
3 Thinking otherwise: Spinoza and Foucault
4 Thinking otherwise: gender in the mix
5 Thinking otherwise: the anthropology of islam
Part III: remediation – beyond indifference
6 Remediation: imagining otherwise
7 Teasing out the cross-cutting themes