Towards a New Integral and Transformative Model of Religious Education for Nigeria in the 21 st Century
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Religious education (henceforth RE) has been and continues to be seen as a powerful force that forms, reforms and reshapes pupils’ religious identities or philosophies of life, conflicts and crises of life. Also, RE if carefully and systematically taught in the classroom within the Christian preferential perspective, has the power to encourage pupils, especially, the young generation to develop their own religious identities or world-views and respond to plurality as to become members of a multicultural and multi-religious society without losing sight in their religious identity and particularity.
In the contemporary world, the challenging reality is how to teach and redefine RE to be dynamic and meaningful for young generation within the accelerating complexity of post-modern, secularised and individualistic contexts without undermining the particularity of the Christian identity. Religious education that is responsive to this challenging reality must not only take into account the plurality, the ideological perceptions of today’s world and the reality of different religious traditions, interpretations and cultural identities, but also invite young people to encounter the Christian tradition as a rich source of becoming humans. In this sense, RE as a formation is very necessary in (Catholic) schools because it integrates and influences people’s day-to-day lives with the local and global issues: human rights, social justice, peace education and conflicts resolution. It also opens a learning perspective that not only informs students about different religions, cultures and world-views but also confronts them to discover, understand, tolerate, appreciate and dialogue with different religious and cultural...