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History, Remembrance and Religious Education

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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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Introduction

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Abstract

This introductory chapter seeks to provoke reflection on the concepts that provide the theme for the volume overall: history, remembrance and Religious Education. It begins by setting out some epistemological and methodological questions concerning the writing of history, and demonstrates their ethical significance, specifically with regard to the Holocaust. It then exemplifies some historiographical considerations of pertinence to the present volume by drawing upon archival, oral life history and published documentary data collected during research into the history of Religious Education in England. Recent public pronouncements from David Bell, Richard J. Evans and Michael Gove are then discussed to highlight issues pertaining to the acts of remembrance concerning the 100th and 70th anniversaries of the start of the First World War in 1914 and the passing of the Butler Education Act (England and Wales) in 1944 respectively. It is argued that we have a moral obligation to engage with historical discourses and to participate in acts of remembrance. Lastly, the chapter outlines the contents of the remainder of the volume and summarises the various ways in which the contributing authors have addressed the theme of ‘History, Remembrance and Religious Education’. ← 1 | 2 →

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