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The Right to Inquire into the Religious

  • R. Scott Webster
Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks of Religion and Education book series (IHRE, volume 4)

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to offer a Deweyan perspective on inter-religious education which actively promotes human rights by adopting a democratic approach characterised by inquiry. In order to offer such a perspective this chapter is structured into four sections. The first will attempt to offer a brief background to the issues that Dewey was responding to in his writings. The purpose of this is to provide a context for his arguments regarding religious education. The second section will examine the ‘scientific’ approach to inquiry that Dewey argued should be adopted in all aspects of education, including religious education. The third section will specifically address his concerns with traditional religion and religious education in schools. The fourth and final section will endeavour to provide an account of the sort of inter-religious education that Dewey considered most appropriate for honouring individual agency and thus further promoting human rights and democracy. This particular educative approach of Dewey’s promotes an active engagement by learners to intelligently inquire into, think about and examine unifying principles which might give their lives sense and meaning. Because I am endeavouring to portray a Deweyan perspective I shall quote some of his key points at length in order to enable readers a more direct access to his writings without relying solely upon my own interpretations.

Keywords

Education Human rights Rights Religion 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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