chapter  16
12 Pages

Transcendence and transformation

This chapter begins by investigating the potentially transformational role of a religious pedagogy driven by the post-modern commitment to alterity, one concerned primarily with questions of transcendence and ultimate truth. Modernity has been characterised as the secular rejection of religious transcendence in favour of an immanent humanistic world-view, driven at least in part by a fear of the unknown, and of powerlessness in the face of a threatened descent into nihilistic chaos. The critical philosophy of religious education defended here seeks to turn pupils into just such discontented philosophers. Critical religious education sets out to gift students the possibility of viewing our mundane and all-too-human comedy of errors sub specie aeternitatis - as part of potentially profound divina commedia. Just as naturalism eclipses the horizon of religious transcendence by offering a reductive materialistic account of religion, so romanticism threatens to undermine that same horizon with a similarly reductive psychological account of religion.