ERIC Number: EJ821528
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
Should Religious Education Be a Compulsory School Subject?
British Journal of Religious Education, v26 n2 p151-164 Jun 2004
Britain is an increasingly secular society, yet religious education is a compulsory school subject. Is its compulsory status justifiable? Religious education was made compulsory in 1944 partly so as to support the moral values underlying democracy. This civic justification faded after the war, but even today one official justification of religious education is in terms of moral education. Another has to do with understanding and respecting other religions and beliefs. This essay examines both justifications and concludes that neither is strong enough to support the continued existence of religious education as a separate, compulsory subject. The same verdict is passed on a third justification, based on a recommended switch in the content of religious education classes to the critical analysis of religious claims.
Descriptors: Ethical Instruction, Democracy, Criticism, Moral Values, Religious Education, Compulsory Education, Foreign Countries, Educational History, Course Content, Educational Policy, Educational Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom