Since religion plays such a big role in shaping events and cultural preconceptions in the world today, I believe that a good knowledge of comparitive religions should be taught. Additionally, and concurrently, I think that comparitive belief systems (paradigms or world views) should be explained along with it.
I do not think that I could teach it, for I am intuitively biased towards Christianity.
One may argue that anyone is intuitively biased towards one philosophy/theology or another, however!
I think it's a good idea - andf it's what happens in the better schools in this country - but there are practical problems, especially in the U.S.A.
Fistly you need teachers who are prepared to address the subject in a fair and accurate way. We've already seen that there are teachers in the U.S. who will not only use science classes to push their personal religious beliefs but will even threaten lawsuits (that have no merit and little chance of success) in an attempt to force the schools to go along with their demands. A subject like this is even more open to such abuse.
Secondly it will NOT in any way appease that subset of the Christian Right who want to bring their religion into schools. They will oppose it because it teaches about other religions.
Swedish schools teach a Religion class, normally during the 10th year. I am not sure if this is mandated or if it's up to each individual school, but I read it while training to be an electrician, so it's rather wide spread.
It was basically the same as reading world history or social studies.
If you can get past the practical problems (US is more geared toward a specific religion than Sweden) then I think it's something worth teaching, even if the interest for it might not be that high among all students.
Religious Education is par for the course in Scottish schools. It normally only constitutes perhaps 1 period a week - about 40 minutes. Of course it is generally regarded as a waste of time, by the pupils, and its breadth is quite dependent on the particular teacher.
A Philosophy-based area of study in public high schools would be excellent. I would love to see a class geared towards exploring all different types of religions and belief systems throughout history and the world. Would have loved to have that in my high school.
yes, but defiantly in social studies class and not in science. Just as its nearly impossible to understand some sciences without the ToE, it would be nearly impossible to understand sociology without knowledge of religion.
Unfortunately I think this would cause problems with parents in public schools, wasn't there a thread earlier about even a college student trying to sue a professor for talking about something against her beliefs?
This message has been edited by StormWolfx2x, 04-28-2005 05:20 PM
... it will NOT in any way appease that subset of the Christian Right who want to bring their religion into schools. They will oppose it because it teaches about other religions.
Not only do they want to bring their religion into the schools; they also want to bring it into government. They want a return to Monarchy: to install their King (Jesus) and make Christianity the state religion.
But Jesus will not appear, of course; so they will have to anoint someone to represent him: a 'vicar of Christ.' You know, a Protestant version of The Pope. I'm not sure this hasn't already begun with the current administration.
Theology is the science of Dominion. - - - My God is your god's Boss - - -
But we have not heard from many parts of the populus.
Would a Muslim object to having Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, as well as the philosophers from Greece to 20th. Century Germany taught alongside and in the same manner as Islam?
How would a Fundamentalist Christian see that?
Would the outcome be more tolerance and understanding?