TOWARDS AN ETHICAL-DIALOGICAL APPROACH TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: A THEORETICAL ANALYSIS FROM THE CASES OF IRELAND AND ENGLAND
Keywords:Religious Education, Ethical-Dialogical Approach, England, Ireland, Multiculturalism
This article draws on the experiences of Ireland and England, which support different conceptions and practices of religious education (RE), in order to provide a normative framework for the organisation of RE in multicultural states. This analysis consists in an assessment of three conceptions of religious education: the liberal conception, which emphasises neutrality and objectivity; the pragmatist conception, which is egalitarian in character; and the tradition-oriented conception, which is based on a substantive ethics. Rejecting the view that religious education should be only informative and free from criticism of content, I will make the case for an ethical-dialogical approach to RE, whereby pupils can learn from each other’s beliefs and experiences, as availed by their own cultural traditions, without setting aside their capacity to evaluate different moral claims. This approach to RE is especially designed to multidenominational schools that recognise the ethical potential of learning from religion, but are sensible towards issues of conscience in plural environments.
Copyright (c) 2021 Tarcisio Amorim Carvalho
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