Multi-faith RE: a theoretical and practical conundrum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the theoretical and practical conundrum inherent in multi-faith Religious Education (hereinafter, multi-faith RE). Drawing on practical teacher/researcher experience and extant research, it problematizes understandings of multi-faith RE. It demonstrates how the epistemological hegemony in power structures on the interface between majoritised and minoritised religions legitimizes and delegitimizes religion in multi-faith RE. Existing on an exclusion-inclusion continuum this situation frustrates the ideals of positive religious pluralism to which contemporary societies aim to replicate in education. This is because ‘texts’ (policy guidance, curriculum and textbooks) and classroom discourse in multi-faith RE are premised on ‘selective tradition’ and ‘limited pluralism’. If multi-faith RE is to facilitate a truly transformational experience for children from diverse religious backgrounds (and none), then it must be conceptualised and actualised within a rights-based inclusive agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebates in Religious Education
EditorsL. Philip Barnes
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2022


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