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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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10 Religious Education and Mission: Historical Links and Present Challenges



Organized Christian mission has often included strong educational and especially religious-educational efforts. Often the aims, contents and methodological shaping of these (religious) educational efforts reflected different influential factors. For example, approaches to Religious Education reflected the country of origin of missionary educationalists as well as their understanding of ‘mission’. Remembering this way of (ab-)using Religious Education within a missionary framework seems to be an important task not only for educationalists dealing with theories of Religious Education (who should be historically enlightened) but also for pupils. At least at high school level, reflecting on former ways of Religious Education (in this case focused on the so-called Third World) might be a suitable occasion to think about appropriate principles and intentions of Religious Education in the present. Reconstruction of this forgotten aspect of the history of Religious Education should be a major priority. This chapter will outline the German ‘missionary’ engagement in Palestine from the nineteenth century until today. It will discern different patterns of ‘Religious Education’ in the past and present from a philanthropic-paternal to a contextual one. Thus, reconstructing the history and remembering the missionary use of Religious Education confronts the forgotten aspects of the inculturation of Religious Education and its – sometimes unexpected – historical outcomes. A symmetric and critical dialogue between Religious Educationalists requires this kind of historical sense to be developed as a fundamental aspect of Religious Educational research. ← 233 | 234 →

Some preliminary remarks

The heading ‘Religious Education and...

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