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Title: The integrity and provenance of religious education : modernism, deconstruction and critical realism
Author: Wright, Andrew William
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis focuses on contemporary religious education within the state system of England and Wales. It explores the influence upon religious education of epistemology, theological and religious formulations, and educational philosophy in the context of the decline of modernism and concurrent emergence of programmes of post-modernism and critical realism. Within this developing context the question of the ability of religious education to make possible the emergence of authentic religious understanding is asked. In Part One, the provenance of religious education between 1944 and 1988 is identified as being that of the tradition of liberal modernism that grew out of the Enlightenment. The basic dualistic epistemological contours of modernism are identified, and it is shown how these give rise to a liberal experiential-expressive understanding of the nature of religion. In similar fashion, modernism engenders specifically modem forms of educational philosophy. Religious education has elected to work within this modernist provenance, making uncritical assumptions that are dependent upon modem philosophical, religious and educational debate, and as a result is unable to uphold the integrity of its subject matter. In Part Two, the nature of deconstructive post-modem responses to the limitations of modernism are outlined, together with the understanding of the nature of religion that such a reaction produces. It is suggested that the implementation of a programme of religious education within this alternative setting would also fail to do justice to the integrity of religion. In Part Three, the response of critical realism to modernism is set out, and the implications of this for an understanding of the nature of religion are explored. A philosophy of education within critical realism is proposed, together with a revised framework for religious education, one able to uphold the integrity of religion, both in terms of its intrinsic diversity and its intrinsically realistic self-understanding
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Epistemology; Educational philosophy Education Philosophy Religion