Religious Education for social cohesion

31 05 2012

The word “instrumentalism” caught my (Katja’s) eye in the following journal article about RE for social cohesion. How does this apply to higher education and our outward looking activities?

Religious Education in England After 9/11; Daniel Moulin;  Religious Education Vol. 107, Iss. 2, 2012

“In the ten years following 9/11 there was unprecedented interest in, and commitment to, religious education in the school curriculum in England. Politicians, academics, and professionals all argued that learning about religion could foster “social cohesion” and even prevent terrorism. Accordingly there were a number of national and international initiatives to develop religious education as a part of intercultural education. With a focus on England, but taking full consideration of landmark transnational collaborations, this article examines developments in policy and professional discourse concerning religious education that occurred after, and sometimes as a direct result of, the events of 9/11. It is argued that this emphasis, often instigated at the behest of politicians, led temporarily to an increased status of the curriculum subject in England, but that this influence may have also led to increased instrumentalism, and with it, associated risk to the subject’s intellectual autonomy and integrity.” (article abstract)


Outward Looking postdoctoral training

16 05 2012

Here is a plug for a training event at the University of Kent which seems to be related to our themes:


Researching the contemporary moral landscape: concepts, methods and approaches to public engagement

An intensive residential training programme for doctoral students and early career researchers run by the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, University of Kent in conjunction with the RSA

Monday 10th – Friday 14th September, 2012

The AHRC’s Care for the Future research theme emphasises the importance of studying the ‘ethical, moral, cultural and social landscapes’ of contemporary life. How do we engage with this challenge conceptually, though, or practice research in ways that engage effectively with these complex phenomena? What public audiences do these questions matter to and how can we communicate our work in creative and useful ways?

This week-long intensive training workshop, delivered in conjunction with the RSA, will provide doctoral students and early career researchers with a unique opportunity to address these questions through workshop sessions with a range of experienced researchers. The programme content will include a range of disciplinary perspectives and will aim not so much to provide a comprehensive framework, but diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives which can act as a stimulus for participants’ future research.

Includes training sessions which will explore different approaches to public engagement through print, digital and broadcast media.

Further information can be accessed here.