Teaching Religion in Schools

Topics: Religion, Christianity, Hinduism Pages: 9 (3166 words) Published: June 2, 2013
A religion is a set of spiritual beliefs about two key aspects of life: concern with the ultimate meaning of human existence; and identification with a supernatural power beyond the limits of the human and natural worlds. The religious studies is the recognition that religions are collections of ideas, practices, values, and stories that are all embedded in cultures and not isolated from them. Just as religion cannot be understood in isolation from its cultural manifestations, it is impossible to understand culture without considering its religious dimensions. In the same way that race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality are always factors in cultural interpretation and understanding, so too is religion. Whether explicit or implicit, religious influences can always be found when one asks “the religion question” of any given social/historical experience. Religious Studies is an academic and multi-disciplinary enterprise. The term Religious Education refers to the knowledge, awareness and skills that are required to teach the subject in schools. Religious Studies is a means of learning about and interpreting all religions (Newlands, 2011/12). Context

Teaching Religions in School is always been a matter of debate. It has been discussed in many different situations because it is of very important aspect of making a school curriculum and setting a school culture. The topic of Religious illiteracy is defined in this document as a lack of understanding about the following term like of the basic tenets of the world’s religious traditions and other religious expressions not categorized by tradition; the diversity of expressions and beliefs within traditions and representations; and the profound role that religion plays in human social, cultural, and political life historically and today. Findings

The school curriculum, legal systems are influenced by the dominant religion of the particular country. For example, Nepal was known as a Hindu nation for a long period of time and its culture is dominion by the Hindu faith. Nepal’s History is considered very old. From the very beginning of the human civilization in Nepal people’s behavior and conducts were regulated by the Vedas. Every dynasty ruled over Nepal were Hindus except Kirants. However, Hindus also believe and respect Kiranteshor as their God. The practices of Kirants and Hindus are similar but perhaps because of their different language they are considered different. After Kirants, Hindus were in the throne of Nepal for 1700 years. They ruled according to Hindu scriptures, traditions, values and practices. There was never secular law in Nepal until 1963. Even today several laws of Nepal have been found adopted patriarchal Hindu value. The king is considered as God even today. Several religious practices are based on Hindu religion, long and most of the government holidays are formulated according to Hindu religion. From the above mentioned facts and findings, Nepal’s legal curriculum system is considerably developed and influenced by Hindu religion (Aryal, 2003-2004). Western Education mostly Europe is influenced by Christian faith (religion). EUROPE IS A REGION WITH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION IN STATE SUPPORTED SCHOOLS. However there are a few exceptions, mainly France with a strict separation of state and religion "laicité" France, Constitution de la Republique, Article 1: La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Elle assure l'égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances.Where you have a dominant religion in a country you can ask how minority religions are treated in public schools. Where you have a close relationship between culture and religion in a country’s history and even today, the value of religion in education might be different from a country where religion has been valued by the society or the political system as absolutely private or...

References: 1. Newlands, T. (2011/12 ) PGCE professional handbook religious studies
3. Schreiner, P. (1999) Different approaches to RE/RS in European schools – the Scandinavian approach in a European context in N.-Å. Tidman (ed) Into the third Millennium... EFTRE conference August 1998 in Copenhagen, pp. 111-129.
4. Schreiner, P. (2002) Münster / Germany Teaching for tolerance, respect and recognitation in relation with religion or belief Oslo, 7 – 9 December 2002
6. Hay, D. (1990) Widening Horizons – the religious education teacher as deindoctrinator, in Hammond, J., Hay, D. et al, New Methods in R.E. Teaching: An Experimental Approach, Harlow, Oliver & Boyd
10. Bell, R. and Hall, R. (1991) Impacts: Contemporary Issues and Global Problems, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane. Cited in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future
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