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Title: Philosophy and religious education : a critical study
Author: Felderhof, M. C.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis is a study of a divide in Philosophy, in particular one which pertains to its nature and method. The divide, which is shown to be deep and unbridgeable, is explored through four important topics in the Philosophy of Religion, specifically through: (a) the religious interest in immortality, (b) the understanding of myth as a form of religious communication, (c) the belief in miracles, and (d) the practice of prayer. It shows that depending on which understanding of the nature and methodology of Philosophy prevails, very different views of religion emerge. It further shows that there are serious practical implications (a) for Religious Education in school, and (b) for the legal prescription of an act of worship in school each day. This is due in part to the different views of religion that have emerged from the philosophical discussion, and in part due to the impact of the nature and methodology of philosophy on the way in which these issues are discussed by religious educationalists. For religious educationalists the important outcomes of this study are that reliance on an 'evidentialist' philosophy of religion may render RE indefensible on the school curriculum or invite pupils to become agnostics or atheists. On the other hand, by turning to 'Socratic' philosophy the educationalist is enabled to maintain a degree of impartiality and to invite pupils to deepen their understanding of religious life. Similarly for school worship, the reliance on an 'evidentialist' philosophy of religion turns worship into hypocritical practice but by turning to 'Socratic' philosophy, worship can transform one's understanding of education through the expression of its meaning. For philosophers the study is important because it serves as a reminder of the serious repercussions that their work can have.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available