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Discover Key Research from the Journal of Beliefs & Values

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'What constitutes a 'religious education'?'; 'What should religious education include?'; and 'What is the purpose of religious education?'. 

These are some of the big questions linking articles which have received the most online attention of those published in the Journal of Beliefs and Values.  This Virtual Special Issue (VSI) of the journal makes these articles freely available to readers for their wider consultation, as it seems to me that the promotion of debate around these questions needs to be informed by rigorous thinking and research evidence. Thus, the long-debated question about the place of, what we now commonly term, 'non-religious' worldviews in religious education, and the case for Humanism in religious education is eloquently put here by David Aldridge. Two articles here use the terminology of religious literacy to refine rather than replace religious education as a subject name, but each give substance to the question of what it is that religious education is for. Moreover, if there is to be religious education, its utility in the public school may well be to explore the different shades of religious perspective, including those religiously driven impulses which lead to violent extremism. Similarly, if religion in education is about making a concrete difference, perhaps that difference is in forming the morals and values of those who participate in it, teachers as well as students. I hope this selection of articles goes some way to shaping subsequent debate in these areas. 

- Professor Stephen Parker

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