Although Religious Education (RE) is a legal requirement in UK schools, it is an oft-neglected and misunderstood subject. It is important to seriously re-think this key subject at this time of low religious literacy and rising extremism, to protect communities from the consequences of hatred and misunderstanding. This book promotes a public discussion of what exactly is needed from a new model of RE within our education system to benefit wider society.
In this edited collection, the chapters are diverse and future-facing, informed by theory and practice and written by a variety of key leading practitioners and emerging national leaders in RE. It covers the most pressing and urgent issues for RE such as hate speech, educational reform, and the weakening of moderate religious institutions. Linking the chapters together with recurring themes and joining passages, the editors create a flowing and coherent discussion about the state of RE and offer choices and routes for readers to consider in terms of its future course.
This diverse and accessible series of reflections provides an excellent route map navigating the complex terrain that is contemporary RE. It offers a range of radical solutions guaranteed to prompt debate about the future of the 'RE space' in a post-religious, post-secular contemporary world.
This book, in the words of two of its authors, does the same as effective RE in classrooms. It offers 'demanding material... a framework for talk, thought, misconceptions and deep engagement' and a discussion of 'unsafe topics'. It is timely and informed and everyone who cares about RE should read it.
This timely book assembles huge amounts of wisdom and experience. It is a valuable addition to a growing literature on the place of RE in our schools. I strongly endorse the message captured in the Postscript : be absolutely clear about the purpose of RE and teach it well. The rest will follow from this.
Mike Castelli is the executive chair of the Association of University Lecturers in Religion and Education.
Mark Charter is the director of a charitable trust supporting RE.
Professor Linda Woodhead, MBE
PART 1: CONTEXT
1. Time to Abandon Religious Education: Ditching an Out-of-Date Solution to an Out-of-Date Problem / Clive A. Lawton
2. A European Perspective: How Educational Reforms Influence the Place and Image of RE / Peter Schreiner
3. Religious Education and the 'Knowledge Problem' / Richard Kueh
4. Why We Need Legislative Change, and How We Can Get It / Mark Chater
5. The Future of Catholic Religious Education in the Context of Proposed Wider Reform / Andrew Lewis
6. RE-Dressing the Balance / Gillian Georgiou and Kathryn Wright
7· Towards a Core Integrity for Religious Education / Sushma Sahajpal
PART 2: FUTURES
8. Making the Case for More Demanding Religious Education / Mary Myatt
9. Principles and Procedures for Classroom Dialogue / Mike Castelli
10. Facing the Strange ISS / Phil Champain
11. Religious Education as a Safe Space for Discussing Unsafe Ideas / Neil McKain
12. The Role of Religious Education in Addressing Extremism / Adam Whitlock
13. Faith Communities as Stakeholders in Religious Education: A Commitment to Generous Hospitality / Derek Holloway
14. Does Research Matter in the Religious Education Classroom? / Dawn Cox
15. The 'Digital Tum': What Does RE Teachers' Online Engagement Mean for RE CPO? / James Robson
POSTSCRIPT: PURPOSING RE FOR A BETTER FUTURE / Zameer Hussain
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
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