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)

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