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Introduction: Becoming a Religious Education Teacher

Religious Education is flourishing: brash, bold and self-confident. The old assumption that the subject is no more than a missionary wing of the Christian churches is fading fast. Those still subscribing to such a dogma must rely increasingly on memory rather than appeal to current reality in sustaining their argument. Similarly the misplaced reaction against RE as Christian nurture, which led to the reduction of the subject to forms of personal and social education, is itself quickly becoming a thing of the past. Admittedly not without effort, RE has learnt to resist the temptation to replace religion with mere morality The last quarter of a century has seen the emergence of a third way, in the form of a modern RE committed to the integrity of its subject matter and to the professionalism of the task of teaching religion. This book is designed to support PGCE students at secondary level who, recognising the sea change that has swept the subject, have chosen to embark on a professional career as teachers of RE. It is also hoped that it will contain much of value for established professionals.