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Religious Education – reform, not abolition: a reply to Matthew Clayton and David Stephens

Easton, Christina ORCID: 0000-0001-7018-7112 (2019) Religious Education – reform, not abolition: a reply to Matthew Clayton and David Stephens. Theory and Research in Education, 17 (1). pp. 100-111. ISSN 1477-8785

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1477878519831675


This article is a reply to Matthew Clayton and David Stephens’s 2018 article ‘What is the point of religious education?’ I begin by problematising the ‘acceptability requirement’ used to justify the authors’ conclusions. I then disambiguate the key claim made in the article. If interpreted broadly, as an attack on curricula that teach about religions, then their claim is implausible, and not one that the authors themselves should endorse. However, if interpreted narrowly, as an attack on the prioritisation of religion at the expense of non-religious views, then their view is one that is already widely endorsed. I then clear up some relevant empirical considerations about current Religious Education policy and practice in England and Wales. I suggest that there are sufficiently weighty, non-partisan reasons for a curriculum subject not dissimilar to what is currently taught in schools. While Religious Education is in need of reform, it would be the wrong conclusion to draw from their paper that Religious Education should be abolished.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 08:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:38

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