chapter  11
18 Pages

Religious education and moral education

ByBrenda Watson

This chapter begins by putting the relationship between religious education (RE) and moral education into some historical perspective before discussing a major reason for the difficulties both face: the challenge of relativism, itself based on what may be called a fact/opinion divide. It discusses what RE uniquely has to offer moral education, and vice versa, and describes by suggesting ways of teaching which heighten genuine involvement in class without the risk of over-influencing pupils. The Education Act of 1944 designated RE a compulsory subject in the curriculum on the assumption that RE provides the underpinning for moral education. Moral education concerns moral awareness of the rightness of what is good and the wrongness of what is evil. Moral awareness rests on truly foundational values which can be applied in all situations. The philosopher Christopher Bennett shows how moral relativism is incoherent by discussing women's rights.