In secular usage, religious education (RE) is the teaching of a particular religion (although in the United Kingdom the term religious instruction would refer to the teaching of a particular religion, with religious education referring to teaching about religions in general) and its varied aspects: its beliefs, doctrines, rituals, customs, rites, and personal roles. In Western and secular culture, religious education implies a type of education which is largely separate from academia, and which (generally) regards religious belief as a fundamental tenet and operating modality, as well as a prerequisite for attendance.
The secular concept is substantially different from societies that adhere to religious law, wherein "religious education" connotes the dominant academic study, and in typically religious terms, teaches doctrines which define social customs as "laws" and the violations thereof as "crimes", or else misdemeanors requiring punitive correction.
Religious education is controversial worldwide. Some countries, such as the United States, do not publicly fund religious education nor make it part of compulsory schooling. In other contexts, such as the United Kingdom, an 'open' religious education has emerged from Christian confessionalism that it is intended to promote religious literacy without imparting a particular religious perspective. This kind of religious education has drawn criticism because, it is argued, there is no neutral perspective from which to study religions and any kind of compulsory schooling is likely to impact on the formation of a student's religious identity
Since people within a given country often hold varying religious and non-religious beliefs, government-sponsored religious education can be a source of conflict. Countries vary widely in whether religious education is allowed in government-run schools (often called "public schools"). Those that allow it also vary in the type of education provided.
People oppose religious education in public schools on various grounds. One is that it constitutes a state sponsorship or establishment of whatever religious beliefs are taught. Others argue that if a particular religion is taught in school, children who do not belong to that religion will either feel pressure to conform or be excluded from their peers. Proponents argue that religious beliefs have historically socialized people's behavior and morality. They feel that teaching religion in school is important to encourage children to be responsible, spiritually sound adults.
In traditional Muslim education, children are taught to read and sometimes speak Arabic and memorize the major suras of the Qur'an. Many countries have state-run schools for this purpose (known as Madrasah Islamiyyah in Arabic; meaning "Islamic school"). Traditionally, a settlement may pay a mullah to teach children. There is a historic tradition of Sufi mullahs who wander and teach, and an ancient tradition of religious universities. However, the study of Islam does not suffice. Students must pass the state mandated curriculum to pass. Religious scholars often serve as judges, especially for criminal and family law (more rarely for commercial law).
Pertaining to Jewish religious education in a secular society, Michael Rosenak, an Israeli philosopher of Jewish education, asserts that even when non-religious Jewish educators insist that the instruction of Judaism is not only a religious matter, they agree that “the religious factor” was very important to its culture before secularism dawned on society, and that “an understanding of natural history and literature requires a sense of historical Jewish sensibility.
In New Zealand, "Religious Education" refers to the academic teaching of religious studies. "Religious Instruction" refers to religious faith teaching, which occurs in private religious schools, integrated (religious) state schools or sometimes within Secular NZ State Primary Schools if directed by the individual schools' Board of Trustees. In 2017 around 40% of NZ State Primary Schools carried out religious instruction classes. There are no officially recognised syllabuses as the school has to be officially closed in order to allow the classes to go ahead. There are organised groups such as the Secular Education Network and the NZ Association of Rationalists and Humanists, who are actively lobbying Government to have legislation changed to remove the classes from state primary schools.
In the People's Republic of China, formal religious education is permitted. Religious education usually occurs in scheduled sessions in private homes. Religious teachers usually move on a weekly or monthly circuit, staying as guests in private houses in exchange for teaching.
In India, there are a number of private schools run by religious institutions, especially for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains and Buddhists. During the era of British rule, Christian private schools were quite prominent and widely attended by both UK (British) and Indian students. Many of the schools established during this era, especially in areas with a heavy Christian population, are still in existence today.
The school teaches academic education according to the standard UK curriculum, alongside devotional subjects of bhajan/kirtan singing and instrumentation and also Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy. ISKCON has instituted a number of seminaries and schools of tertiary higher education. In addition to typical formal education, ISKCON also offers specialized religious/spiritual instructional programs in scriptural texts, standardized by the ISKCON Ministry for Educational Development and the GBC committee on Vaisnava Training & Education, categorized by level and difficulty; in India, they are primarily provided by the Mayapur Institute for Higher Education and Training and the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education. ISKCON also offers instruction in archana, or murti worship and devotional ceremony, through the Mayapur Academy.
In addition to regular formal education, a number of religious institutions have instituted regular informal religious/spiritual education programs for children and adults. ISKCON temples have established a number of such
In Japan, there are many Christian schools and universities with mandatory religious education. Any religious education at private middle and high schools requires the teacher to be accredited by a university teaching the religious education standards. Private schools with a traditional connection to Buddhist sects generally do not mandate any religious study. Religious or political education, or clubs that promote a specific religious or political group, are prohibited at public schools.
In Thailand, Burma and other majority Buddhist societies, Buddhist teachings and social decorum are sometimes taught in public school. Young men are expected to live as monks for several months at one time in their lives during which they can receive religious education.
Because of Austria's history as a multinational empire that included the largely Islamic Bosnia, Sunni Islam has been taught side by side with Roman Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox classes since the 19th century. However, children belonging to minority religions, like Jewish, Buddhist and Latter Day Saints also study religious education in their various denominations. At many schools, secular classes in Ethics can be attended alternatively.
In Finland religious education is mandatory subject both in comprehensive schools (7–16 years) and in senior/upper secondary schools (16-18/19 years). Most of Finnish students study Evangelical Lutheran religious education. A student can receive religious education according to his or her own religion if the denomination is registered in Finland. Since religious education is a compulsory subject, pupils who do not belong to any religious group are taught Ethics. Also some non-Lutheran pupils participate in the Evangelical Lutheran religious education.
In France, the state recognizes no religion and does not fund religious education. However, the state subsidizes private teaching establishments, including religious ones, under strict conditions of not forcing religion courses on students and not discriminating against students according to religion. An exception is the area of Alsace-Moselle where, for historical reasons (it was ruled by Germany when this system was instituted in the rest of France) under a specific local law, the state supports public education in some religions (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish) mostly in accord with the German model.
Historically, the various confessions in Germany have contributed to primary and secondary education and do so still. Education in Germany still embodies the legacy of the Prussian education system introduced by Frederick the Great in 1763. The curricula of the various states of Germany since then have included not only basic technical skills but also music (singing) and religious (Christian) education in close cooperation with the churches. This has led to the churches being assigned a specific status as legal entity of public law, "Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts" in Germany, which is a legacy of a 1919 Weimar compromise still in force today.
Most of the federal states of Germany, which has a long history of almost even division between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, have an arrangement whereby the religious bodies oversee the training of mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish religious education teachers.
In one of the federal states this includes Orthodox Christian teachers as well. In Berlin, Bremen (see Bremen clause) and Brandenburg, religious education is not mandatory. E.g. in Bremen, state-authorized "Bible studies" were offered which were not supervised by a specific confession.
The training is supposed to be conducted according to modern standards of the humanities, and by teachers trained at mostly state-run colleges and universities. Those teachers teach religion in public schools, are paid by the state and are bound to the German constitution, as well as answerable to the churches for the content of their teaching. Children who are part of no mainstream religion (this applies e.g. to Jehovah's Witnesses and members of the New Apostolic Church) still have to take part in the classes of one of the confessions or, if they want to opt out, attend classes in Ethics or Philosophy instead. The Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands, an atheist and agnostic association, has adopted to the legal setup of the churches and is now allowed to offer such classes. From the age of 14, children may decide on their own if they want to attend religion classes and, if they do, which of those they are willing to attend. For younger children it is the decision of their parents. The state also subsidizes religious and Waldorf education schools by paying up to 90% of their expenses. These schools have to follow the same curricula as public schools of their federal state, though.
The introduction of Islamic religious education in Germany has faced various burdens and thresholds, but it is being introduced currently. While there are around three million Muslims, mostly of Turkish origin, now in the country (see Islam in Germany), not many of them are members of a legal entity with which the states could arrange such matters (unlike the Christian churches' representatives and the humanists). In 2013, for the first time in German history, the state of Hessen acknowledged a Muslim community, the reform-oriented Ahmadiyya, as Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts for all of Germany, which has been deemed a historical milestone. Ahmadiyya applied for the status just to be able to offer religious education in state schools, but is allowed now to maintain its own cemeteries and have its members' fees collected by the state's church tax system.
In Greece, students at public primary and secondary schools (typically ages 6-17) learn the basics of the Greek Orthodox faith using the official curriculum. In accordance to EU's religious freedom rules, their parents can opt them out of the religious classes by requesting it in paper without any additional justification. Students above the age of 18 can opt out by themselves. The students that opt-out attend alternative (non-religious) courses.
Universities (which are mostly public) don't have any religious content unless it's related to the studies.
In Latvia, since 2004 parents of the primary school students (grades 1 to 3) can choose Christian classes or the ethics. Christian classes are interdenominational (based on common Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Old Believer grounds).
In Poland, religious education is optional in state schools. Parents decide whether children should attend religion classes or ethics classes or none of them. Since 2007, grades from religion (or ethics) classes are counted towards the grade point average.
Religious education is optional in Romanian state schools. Parents can freely choose which religion their children will study, but a majority of religious classes focus on the Romanian Orthodox faith, which is the majority religion in the country.
Institutional education in general, and religious education in particular, is centralized in Turkey. This approach began with the Unity of Education Law, which was first drafted in 1924 and preserved in subsequent legal reforms and constitutional changes. Due to the secular revolution, previous practices of the Ottoman education system were abandoned. The newer Unity of Education Law was interpreted as totally excluding religious instruction from public schools.
In 1956, as a result of multiparty democracy, a new government led by the former Democratic Party was established. This new government introduced a religion course into secondary schools. After the military coup in 1980, religious education in school was transformed. The new program of the "Culture of Religion and Knowledge of Ethics" integrated the course with the purposes and principles of general education to educate students to be critical and active participants in the educational process. The content of religious education is still prepared by the state. The state ensures that children are first exposed to accepted interpretations of Islam before exposing them to other religious teachings.
In the United Kingdom, Catholic, Church of England (in England) and Jewish schools have long been supported within the state system, with all other state-funded schools having a duty to provide compulsory religious education. Until the introduction of the National Curriculum, religious education was the sole compulsory subject in state schools. State school religious education is non-proselytising and covers a variety of faiths, although the legislation requires it to include more Christian content than other faiths. The Church of Scotland does not have schools, although it does often have a presence in Scottish non-denominational institutions. There is no National Curriculum for Religious Education in state schools in England. In England and Wales, the content of the syllabus for state schools is agreed on by local education authorities (LEAs), with the ratification of a Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) comprising members of different religious groups, teachers and local councilors. Parents with children in state schools can withdraw them from all or part of the lessons on religious, sex and relationship education if they want.
Small-scale research suggests religious education may be unpopular with students of minority religious backgrounds because it distorts and misrepresents religious traditions and their adherents .
In Canada, religious education has a varying status. On the one hand, publicly funded and organized separate schools for Roman Catholics and Protestants are mandated in some provinces and in some circumstances by various sections of the Constitution Act, 1867. On the other hand, with a growing level of multiculturalism, particularly in Ontario, debate has emerged as to whether publicly funded religious education for one group is permissible. For example, Newfoundland withdrew funding for Protestant and Roman Catholic schools in 1995, after a constitutional amendment. Quebec abolished religious education funded by the state through the Education Act, 1998, which took effect on July 1 of that same year, again after a constitutional amendment. Quebec re-organized the schools along linguistic rather than religious lines. In Ontario, however, the move to abolish funding has been strongly resisted. In the 2007 provincial election, the topic of funding for faith-based schools that were not Catholic became a major topic. The provincial conservative party was defeated due, in part, to their support of this topic.
In the United States, religious education is often provided through supplementary "Sunday school", "Hebrew school", or catechism classes, taught to children at their families' places of worship, either in conjunction with worship services or some other time during the week, after weekday school classes. Some families believe supplementary religious education is inadequate, and send their children to private religious schools, called parochial schools when they are affiliated with a specific parish or congregation. Many faiths also offer private college and graduate-level religious schools, which may be accredited as colleges. Under U.S. law, religious education is forbidden in public schools, except from a neutral, academic perspective. However, in a minority of communities, released time is granted once a week to make religious education more convenient without violating the separation of church and state. For a teacher or school administration to endorse one religion is considered an infringement of the "establishment clause" of the First Amendment. The boundaries of this rule are frequently tested, with court cases challenging the treatment of Eastern religion meditation programs for students, traditional religious holidays, displays of religious articles and documents such as the Ten Commandments, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance (which since 1954 has described the U.S. as "one nation under God"), and how prayer should be accommodated in the classroom.
Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.. 1923 Estonian religious education referendum
A referendum on restoring voluntary religious education to state schools was held in Estonia between 17 and 19 February 1923. It was approved by 71.9% of voters with a turnout of 66.2%.BYU Religious Education
Religious Education at Brigham Young University (BYU) (formerly called the College of Religious Education) administers programs related to Latter-day Saint religious teaching at the university. In the past it has granted various master's degrees and Doctor of Religious Education degrees. Currently its only degree programs are an MA in religious education, primarily aimed at full-time Church Educational System employees, and an MA program for military chaplains, while most students who take courses with Religious Education are studying other topics. Undergraduate BYU students have to take the equivalent of one religion course per semester.Bachelor of Theology
The Bachelor of Theology degree (BTh, ThB, or BTheol) is a three- to five-year undergraduate degree in theological disciplines. Candidates for this degree typically must complete course work in Greek or Hebrew, as well as systematic theology, biblical theology, ethics, homiletics, hermeneutics and Christian ministry. It does not require a thesis but is often a year longer than a Bachelor of Religious Education or Bachelor of Arts. In some denominations, notably the Church of England, it is considered sufficient for formal ordination.
In some schools, the BTh is a three-year degree for mature students pursuing ordination, who do not hold a degree and for whom the requirement of a Master of Divinity has been waived.Catechesis
Catechesis (; from Greek: κατήχησις, "instruction by word of mouth", generally "instruction") is basic Christian religious education of children and adults. It started as education of converts to Christianity, but as the religion became institutionalized, catechesis was used for education of members who had been baptized as infants. As defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 5 (quoting Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi tradendae, §18):
Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.In the Catholic Church, catechist is a term used of anyone engaged in religious formation and education, from the bishop to lay ecclesial ministers and clergy to volunteers at the local level. The primary catechists for children are their parents or communities. Protestant churches typically have Sunday School classes for educating children in religion, as well as adult classes for continuing education.
In ecclesiology, a catechumen (; via Latin catechumenus from Greek κατηχούμενος katēkhoumenos, "one being instructed", from κατά kata, "down" and ἦχος ēkhos, "sound") is a person receiving instruction from a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism. The title and practice is most often used by Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic Christians. Ecumenical organisations such as the North American Association for the Catechumenate are helping to, across several denominations, "shape ministries with adult seekers involving an extended time of faith formation and a meaningful experience of adult baptism at Easter."Catholic Home Missions
The Catholic Home Missions is an organization founded in 1924 by the American Board of Catholic Missions (ABCM) with the aim of helping and supporting poor dioceses in the United States. Their effort focuses principally on providing religious education. Since 1998 U.S. bishops have conducted an annual appeal in parishes across the country, with the proceeds going to dioceses in the United States and its territories.Catholic school
Catholic schools are parochial schools or education ministries of the Roman Catholic Church. As of 2011, the Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system. In 2016, the church supported 43,800 secondary schools, and 95,200 primary schools. Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education as a core subject within their curriculum.Community school (England and Wales)
A community school in England and Wales is a type of state-funded school in which the local education authority employs the school's staff, is responsible for the school's admissions and owns the school's estate.In the mid-19th century, government involvement in schooling consisted of annual grants to the National Society for Promoting Religious Education and the British and Foreign School Society to support the "voluntary schools" that they ran, and monitoring inspections of these schools. The Elementary Education Act 1870 imposed stricter standards on schools, and provided for the setting up of locally elected school boards in boroughs and parishes across England and Wales, empowered to set up elementary-level board schools where voluntary provision was insufficient.
A number of voluntary schools, especially those of the BFSS, chose to become board schools. Parents were still required to pay fees, though the fees of the poorest were paid by the board.The Education Act 1902 abolished school boards, transferring their functions to counties and boroughs acting as local education authorities. The board schools were thus renamed county schools. The act also introduced county secondary schools, which were greatly expanded during the 20th century. The schools were renamed community schools in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. In 2008 approximately 61% of the state-funded primary and secondary schools in England were community schools.Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) is an association established in Rome in 1562 for the purpose of giving religious education. Its modern usage is a religious education program of the Roman Catholic Church, normally designed for children. In some parishes, CCD is called PSR, meaning Parish School of Religion.Education in Brunei
Education in Brunei is provided or regulated by the Government of Brunei through the Ministry of Education (Kementerian Pendidikan) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kementerian Hal Ehwal Ugama). The former manages most of the government and private schools in the country where as the latter specifically administers government schools which provide the ugama or Islamic religious education.Formal education comprises compulsory, post-secondary and higher education. Compulsory education may be of two types: general education which takes twelve years and consists of pre-school, primary and secondary; and Islamic religious primary education which lasts seven years and is compulsory for Muslim pupils in Brunei. General education may be attained in government or private schools, where as religious education is attained in government religious schools.
Post-secondary education may consist of sixth form, which is an extension of secondary and allows direct entrance to higher education; and technical and vocational education which are provided in government institutions and private colleges. Higher education from bachelor's degree is provided in four government universities. Schooling for compulsory education is fully subsidised by the government for the citizens of Brunei and it usually extends to post-secondary and university.Although Malay is the official language of Brunei, English is the main medium of instruction in most primary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities. Nevertheless, Malay is the medium of instruction for Malay- and Brunei-related subjects, as well as in religious primary schools. The latter also adopts Jawi alphabet, a Perso-Arabic script, instead of Roman alphabet. Arabic is used in Arabic religious schools and Islamic universities. Chinese may be used as a medium of instruction or as a subject in Chinese private schools.FaithWay Baptist College of Canada
FaithWay Baptist College of Canada is a private Baptist Bible college in Ajax, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1983 by
Dr. Robert D. Kirkland and Dr. James O. Phillips, and officially recognized by the province of Ontario as a private university under the FaithWay Baptist College of Canada Act, 1991.Iskander Pora, Jammu and Kashmir
Iskander Pora is a village in district Budgam, tehsil Beerwah of Jammu and Kashmir State. It is located about 29 km towards West from district headquarters Budgam and about 34 km towards West from State capital Sinagar.Jemaah Tarbiyah
Jemaah Tarbiyah, also known as the Tarbiyah movement or the Dakwah movement, is an Islamic religious movement based in Indonesia. Jemaah Tarbiyah was an active movement during the 1980s to 1990s and consisted of university students, aimed at the religious education and da'wah (proselytizing). The movement is considered to be influenced by the teaching of Muslim Brotherhood. It is considered an important influence for Islamization of Indonesia. The movement became the bedrock of the Islamist party Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) which was founded in 2002.Master of Education
The Master of Education (M.Ed. or Ed.M.; Latin Magister Educationis or Educationis Magister) is a master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. This degree in education often includes the following majors: curriculum and instruction, counseling, school psychology, and administration. It is often conferred for educators advancing in their field. Similar degrees (providing qualifications for similar careers) include the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed. or M.A.E.) and the Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed. or M.S.E.). The Master of Arts in Teaching, however, is substantially different.National Society for Promoting Religious Education
The National Society for Promoting Religious Education, often just referred to as the National Society,and since 2016 also as The Church of England Education Office (CEEO) is a Church of England body in England and Wales for the promotion of church schools and Christian education.
It was founded on 16 October 1811 as the "National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church in England and Wales". Its aim was that "the National Religion should be made the foundation of National Education, and should be the first and chief thing taught to the poor, according to the excellent Liturgy and Catechism provided by our Church." One of the principal founders was Joshua Watson.
Historically, schools founded by the National Society were called National Schools, as opposed to the non-denominational "British schools" founded by the British and Foreign School Society.
According to the Society's website, "Five thousand Church of England and Church in Wales schools, educating almost a million children and young people, are the heirs of that proud tradition."National school (England and Wales)
A National school was a school founded in 19th century England and Wales by the National Society for Promoting Religious Education.
These schools provided elementary education, in accordance with the teaching of the Church of England, to the children of the poor.
Together with the less numerous British schools of the British and Foreign School Society, they provided the first near-universal system of elementary education in England and Wales.
The schools were eventually absorbed into the state system, either as fully state-run schools or as faith schools funded by the state.Oaklands Catholic School
Oaklands Catholic School/Academy is a Roman Catholic voluntary aided co-educational school and sixth form college with academy status located in Waterlooville, Hampshire, United Kingdom. It opened in 1966, although its history can be traced back to 1902. Around 1400 students attend the school with over 150 in the Sixth Form.
Oaklands has been a Specialist Humanities College since September 2005.Parochial school
A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school affiliated with a religious organization, and whose curriculum includes general religious education in addition to secular subjects, such as science, mathematics and language arts. The word "parochial" comes from the same root as "parish", and parochial schools were originally the educational wing of the local parish church. Christian parochial schools are often called "church schools" or "Christian schools". In Ontario, parochial schools are called "separate schools".
In addition to schools run by Christian organizations, there are also religious schools affiliated with Jewish (Hebrew), Muslim and other groups. These, however, are not usually called "parochial" because of the term's historical association with Christian parishes.Religious Studies Center
The Religious Studies Center (RSC) is the research and publishing arm of Religious Education at Brigham Young University (BYU), sponsoring scholarship on Latter-day Saint (LDS) culture, history, scripture, and doctrine. The dean of Religious Education serves as the RSC's director, and an associate dean oversees the two branches of the RSC: research and publications.Rochester College
Rochester University is a private university in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The college was founded by members of Churches of Christ in 1959.
Rochester University is primarily undergraduate (though it offers some graduate programs, such as the Master of Religious Education) and includes both residential and commuting student populations. The university also offers a degree completion program for adult students. The university is governed by a board of trustees. The Ennis and Nancy Ham Library provides service to students, faculty, staff, and others.
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