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Religious education, a matter of understanding? reflections on the final report of the Commission on Religious Education

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In this article we offer reflections on the final report of the Commission on Religious Education (CoRE) that was published in England in 2018. We expose and problematise the prominent place of understanding in the report, not only as an educational method, but also the underlying world view of the report itself, a world view which we characterise as ‘hermeneuticism’. We raise educational, theological and political concerns about the particular approach taken in the report. We propose instead that religious education (RE) should be considered first of all in terms of what it means to live with a religious or non-religious orientation, conceived in existential terms rather than in terms of beliefs or practices or objectified world views. Educationally we show that what we term a non-hermeneutic way of viewing our humanity would open different possibilities for RE and its future.
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Keywords: Commission on Religious Education (CoRE) final report; hermeneuticism; hermeneutics; religious education (RE)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service, Hampshire County Council, Winchester, UK 2: Department of Education, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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