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History, Remembrance and Religious Education


Edited By Stephen G. Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis

How should the Holocaust be taught in schools, and to what end? What role should religious education play in recounting and remembering this human catastrophe? How has the nature and purpose of religious education changed and developed over time? What contribution should religious education make to identity formation, particularly regarding the role of memory, heritage and tradition? The scholarly reflections in this volume, drawing upon historical, theoretical and empirical perspectives, provide insights into past, present and potential future developments in religious and values education in a range of national contexts, including Germany, Israel, Norway, Canada and South Africa. The chapters fall under three headings: fostering a culture of remembrance; historical perspectives on religious education; and history, tradition, memory and identity. Together they form a unique collection of international perspectives upon these interlocking themes.
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4 Teaching the Holocaust Within the Domain of Religious Education



The aim of this chapter is to analyse how the messages of the Holocaust can be incorporated into Religious Education. This will enable educators to draw general conclusions in regard to the implementation of ‘culture of remembrance’ into the scholarship of Religious Education globally. The article analyses the role of memory in the Jewish religious tradition. It suggest a typology that investigates the periodization of the process of the development and shaping of the memory of the Holocaust in Israel’s public sphere and its possible implications for the conceptualization of educational processes in general and in Religious Education specifically. The Holocaust is considered one of the main issues that cause people to think about God. In fact, Holocaust Education has affected the goals of Religious Education because it changed the way in which we perceive and define human beings. It has also changed the perception of human beings as being made in God’s image. A strong element of religious belief is the concept of freedom of choice between good and evil. The Holocaust should not be viewed as a unique historical issue that relates to a specific nation but rather as a moral and religious threat to liberal values and human rights that was committed by apparently ‘civilized people’ who chose to cling to that evil. ← 79 | 80 →


The power of choosing good and evil is within the reach of all.

— ORIGEN, 184–253

The Holocaust...

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