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The purpose of this paper is to articulate a new perspective on British multi-faith religious education that both complements and, in part, subsumes existing critiques. My argument, while controversial, is straightforward: it is that British religious education has misrepresented the nature of religion in efforts to commend itself as contributing to the social aims of education, as these are typically framed in liberal democratic societies. Contemporary multi-faith religious education is placed in context and its underlying theological and philosophical commitments identified and criticised. It is concluded that current representations of religion in British religious education are limited in their capacity to challenge racism and religious intolerance, chiefly because they are conceptually ill equipped to develop respect for difference.
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Keywords: British education; multi-faith religious education; multiculturalism; respect for difference; tolerance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: King's College London

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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