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Fundamentalist Religion and Gender: The Case for an Inclusive Secular Education

  • Lynn Davies
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the paradox of the role of women in fundamentalist religions. It looks first at the arguments that religion acts to control women, through concepts of purity and sacred domesticity which denies them rights. It then examines why religion appeals to women, outlining attractions of identity, psychological safety, material safety, addiction, cognitive closure in globalised times and a sense of political purpose. Concerns for education relate to questions of autonomy, the support for patriarchy and education’s role in peace and violence. A case is made for an inclusive state secularism in education, which can accommodate diverse religions but is not relativistic about morality. Secular, critical, rights-based education encourages alternative worldviews, provides a cross-cutting international value system and enables a range of political activism, as well as fostering critiques of fundamentalism itself. Religion can be harnessed for good and for the good of women, but education must be a bulwark against when religion is being harnessed for harm.

Keywords

Muslim Woman Catholic School Psychological Safety Religious Movement Religious Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Centre for International Education and ResearchUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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