This month, Routledge will publish Education, Religion and Diversity: Developing a New Model of Religious Education by L. Philip Barnes (King’s College London, UK). The publisher’s description follows.
The challenge of diversity is central to education in modern liberal, democratic states, and religious education is often the point where these differences become both most acute and where it is believed, of all curriculum subjects, resolutions are most likely to be found.
Education, Religion and Diversity identifies and explores the commitments and convictions that have guided post-confessional religious education and concludes controversially that the subject as currently theorised and practised is incapable of challenging religious intolerance and of developing respectful relationships between people from different communities and groups within society.
It is argued that despite the rhetoric of success, which religious education is obliged to rehearse in order to perpetuate its status in the curriculum and to ensure political support, a fundamentally new model of religious education is required to meet the challenge of diversity to education and to society. A new framework for religious education is developed which offers the potential for the subject to make a genuine contribution to the creation of a responsible, respectful society.
Education, Religion and Diversity is a wide-ranging, provocative exploration of religious education in modern liberal democracies. It is essential reading for those concerned with the role of religion in education and for religious and theological educators who want to think critically about the aims and character of religious education.