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Enacting critical hermeneutics in religious education: epistemological tensions, contextual realities, and teachers’ challenges

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This article investigates Greek-Cypriot primary school teachers' challenges to enact critical hermeneutics in religious education (RE) within a confessional context. Critical hermeneutics combines elements from critical and hermeneutical theories, emphasising the importance of grounding the conceptualisation of religious and secular truth-claims in historical and cultural interpretation. The data comes from a collaborative action research study with six teachers. The findings show how teachers engage with and respond to critical hermeneutics in their teaching practices, particularly their difficulties but also the transformative potential of critical hermeneutics. Finally, the article discusses how this study may inform present knowledge about critical and interpretive approaches of teaching RE at the levels of theory/research, teaching practice, and teacher professional development.
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Keywords: Critical hermeneutics; Cyprus; pedagogies; religious education (RE); teachers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Educational Studies, Open University of Cyprus, Latsia, Cyprus 2: Association for Historical Dialogue and Research, Nicosia, Cyprus

Publication date: October 2, 2018

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