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The provision and justification of a volunteer-based religious education programme

Marshall, Craig L (1986) The provision and justification of a volunteer-based religious education programme. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This study considers voluntary religious education for adolescents, provided by Christian Churches in England. It provides justification for such programmes through the comprehensive demonstration of an urgent need; it argues that existing provision in the churches is generally poor; finally, it shows that a solution to the challenge is possible, with a detailed analysis of one particular programme. Since the emergence of schools as a public, rather than a church responsibility, there has been tension and controversy over religious education. Various historical developments have been important in shaping the present unsatisfactory situation. The nature of religion and education ensures that state schools will never be able to provide a complete religious education, satisfactory to everyone; however in the past they have provided a comprehensive -basic grounding in Protestant Christian theology. As a result of changing educational philosophy and practice, they no longer do so. Thus the churches have inherited a large gap in the religious education of their youth, which has only recently been fully recognised. The response to this by the churches is generally inadequate, and their focus tends to be with infants and children. Some advances have been seen in curriculum and teacher training courses, but generally the provision for teenagers is poor. The Seminary programme of the LDS Church has operated in this country since 1968, and continues to expand. It serves the fourteen to seventeen age group, and was originally devised to replace school-based religious education. Success is partly because of the commitment of the Church, for historical and doctrinal reasons, to religious education, though many other strengths and weaknesses were identified, the most encouraging of which is the high level of personal motivation shown by the teenagers involved.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1986
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:50

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