Namibia and South Africa as Examples of Religious and Moral Education in Changing Societies

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Abstract

A report is given of ways in which Namibia and South Africa have dealt with “Religious and Moral Education” within the context of rapid and fundamental change. The paper is based on the conviction that successful dialogue rests on openly shared experiences and a common humanity, irrespective of vast differences. Even though the South is only now facing the challenges of modernity/post-modernity, social theorists, speaking of the “de-secularization of the world”, point out that also in the West religion is claiming renewed relevance. The current curricular processes, dealing with worldview issues and value education, illustrate how emerging constitutional democracies are finding ways to guarantee freedom of religion and pluralism, while avoiding its divisiveness. Dialogue partners from South and North face different changes and challenges, but share the task of overcoming one-sided aspects of “Enlightenment” (individualism, consumerism, ecological destruction, economic injustice). A culture of human rights should have human dignity at its core (as in Ubuntu philosophy) and not personal entitlement.