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Embedded Identities and Dialogic Consensus: Educational implications from the communitarian theory of Bhikhu Parekh

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Abstract

In this article the author will investigate the extent to which Bhikhu Parekh believes that a person's cultural/religious background must be preserved and whether, by implication, religious schooling is justified by his theory. His discussion will explore—by inference and implication—whether Parekh's carefully crafted multiculturalism, enriched and illuminated by numerous practical insights, is socially tenable. The author will also consider whether, by extension, it is justifiable, on his line of reasoning, to cultivate cultural and religious understandings among one's own children. Finally, the author will contend that Parekh, notwithstanding his cautious, even-handed approach, commits several important errors, including conflating the culture of the parents with that of the children and insisting that cultural and religious persons ought to be allowed to defend their views in the public square on religious grounds.
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Keywords: Culture; cosmopolitanism; dialogue; diversity; liberalism; religion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Beloit College, Wisconsin

Publication date: 2005-08-01

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