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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: What should religious education aim to achieve?: An investigation into the purpose of religious education in the public sphere
Author(s): Hannam, Patricia M
Supervisor(s): Biesta, Gert
I'Anson, John
Keywords: action
Arendt, H.
Biesta, G.
Cox, E.
continental construction
Erricker, C.
existential religious education
human togetherness
intellectual humility
Jackson, R.
Peters, R.
religious education
Tagore, R.
Weil, S.
Wright, A.
Issue Date: Jan-2016
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis is concerned with the question of what religious education should aim to achieve in the public sphere, and from that comes an interest in what is it that the teacher of religious education should aim to do. My enquiry is located, theoretically as well as conceptually, in the sphere of education. It is an educational study into religious education and situated in what can be termed a ‘Continental construction’ of educational research. I identify that since the inception of religious education in public schools in England, persistent assumptions have been made about both religion and education. I show how this has led, in my view, to conceptualisations of religious education which have been, and continue to be, incomplete. The central chapters of my thesis consider first religion and then education. This allows me to introduce my theoretical base, which is especially but not exclusively drawn from the work of Simone Weil and Hannah Arendt. I develop an argument suggesting that by also understanding religion existentially as faith, rather than as only belief or practice, will open new ways of considering the role of religious education in the public sphere. This is alongside an argument I develop with Arendt for education being conceptualised as bringing the child to action rather than to reason. This thesis argues for a broader understanding of religion, and therefore what it means to live a religious life, in religious education than has previously been considered. I bring this broader way of understanding what it means to live a religious life together with my argument for conceptualising education as bringing the child to action. This enables me to make a new proposal for what religious education should aim to achieve in the public sphere.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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