chapter  12
Why study religions in publicly funded schools?
WithRobert Jackson
Pages 15

The processes of secularisation, pluralisation and globalisation have influenced discussion about the place of religion in publicly funded schools, leading to some policy developments and changes in the education systems of various countries. The relationship between theory, and its associated methodology, to policy and to general practice in schools is not straightforward to determine. The interpretive approach is complementary to various dialogical approaches, which aim to help students to communicate with one another, in a civil way, about their various personal understandings and experiences of religions and non-religious world views. Reasons have been given for the emergence of a non-faith-based approach to teaching about religions in inclusive, publicly funded schools. Using scholarly sources, from the history of the portrayal of religion and religions in western literature. The approach is equally critical of simplistic representations of cultures and of the relationship between religion and culture which see religions and cultures as homogeneous.