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Title: Islamic tradition and the culture of dialogue : a case study of religious education at a Saudi university
Author: Bawazeer, Adel Abubaker
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 4475
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2018
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As a result of the increasing interest of the Saudi government in developing its people by education, it has begun in its projects and vision statements to promote a culture of dialogue; hence educators are now expected to make dialogue a routine practice in their work, particularly in the religious education curricula at Saudi universities. The present research makes both a theoretical and an empirical contribution to understanding the Saudi understanding of the concept of dialogue and in relation to one particular context through studying understandings of dialogue and its practices in an Islamic community. Theoretical understandings of dialogue include a consideration of the writings of Buber, Bakhtin, and Freire, and how understandings of dialogue are refracted differently when understood within the context of an ongoing tradition of inquiry, through the writings of MacIntyre and specifically Islamic traditions of inquiry, as investigated by Asad. Within the Islamic tradition, the significance of dialogue is analysed through the works of al-Ghazali. This study also investigated the practices of dialogue in religious education courses at a university and their relation to Saudi educational policy, the aims of establishing a center for national dialogue, and the current understanding and present practices of dialogue within the Saudi community and between university teachers and their students. The empirical research applied a case study methodology and took a sociocultural approach: data were collected via interviews, classroom observations and textual analysis. The findings indicate that, while Islam and the Saudi government are obviously interested in dialogue – with some restrictions – those concerned are unclear about the concept of dialogue and its practicing. This implies that the Saudi people need enough spaces to practice dialogue. The findings illustrate the value of higher education, its teachers, classrooms and activities which need to be improved in order to increase opportunities to practice dialogue.
Supervisor: I'Anson, John Sponsor: Saudi Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Islamic Tradition ; Dialogue ; Religious Education ; Higher education--Saudi Arabia ; Religious education--Saudi Arabia