By Ian MacMullen
May still a liberal democratic kingdom allow spiritual faculties? may still it fund them? What ideas may still govern those judgements in a society marked by way of non secular and cultural pluralism? In religion in Schools?, Ian MacMullen tackles those vital questions via either political and academic conception, and he reaches a few miraculous and provocative conclusions. MacMullen argues that oldsters' wants to teach their young ones "in the religion" must never be allowed to disclaim kids the chance for ongoing rational mirrored image approximately their values. executive should still guard kid's pursuits in constructing as self reliant individuals in addition to society's curiosity within the schooling of an rising iteration of voters. yet, he writes, liberal idea doesn't help a strict separation of church and nation in schooling coverage. MacMullen proposes standards to tell apart non secular faculties that fulfill valid public pursuits from those who don't. And he argues forcefully that governments should still fund all kinds of college that they enable, instead of favoring upper-income mom and dad by way of letting them purchase their method out of the necessities deemed compatible for kids expert at public rate. Drawing on mental study, he proposes public investment of a large variety of non secular basic faculties, simply because they could aid lay the rules for younger kid's destiny autonomy. In secondary schooling, in contrast, even deepest non secular colleges must be obliged to supply powerful publicity to the guidelines of alternative religions, to atheism, and to nonreligious techniques to ethics.
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Extra resources for Faith in Schools?: Autonomy, Citizenship, and Religious Education in the Liberal State
And yet we have excellent reason to believe that the requisite virtues will not arise spontaneously and that the cultivation of good civic character is a legitimate and indispensable role of the political community. The balance between cultivation and CIVIC EDUCATION, RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS 21 indoctrination may be difficult to define, but we must seek it if we believe in liberal democracy and want it to endure across generations. “To an extent difficult to measure but impossible to ignore, the viability of liberal society depends upon its ability effectively to conduct civic education” (Galston, 1989, p.
But schools where children from religious families do not routinely encounter persons of different faiths and of none, because the school’s membership is religiously homogeneous and the school does not seek outside opportunities for its students to engage with ethical diversity, are not providing an educational environment in which students can practice the virtues of liberal democratic citizens toward those with profoundly different values and beliefs. As Appiah puts it (1996, p. ” It is hoped that students will learn through their schooling not only to tolerate and respect members of other religions—important virtues to be sure, but ones that emphasize a kind of principled noninterference—but also to engage such people in an appropriate form of dialogue aimed at agreeing on fair terms of cooperation in spite of our differences.
Measuring the quality of liberal democratic citizens would be very different from measuring, say, the volume of their political participation—in terms of voting, attending meetings, giving time and money—as Verba, Schlozman, and Brady (1995) have done. Good liberal democratic citizenship is a normatively laden concept that can only be assessed by engaging with the substantive content of and reasons behind acts of political participation. As Gutmann (1999, p. 106) puts it, “the ability of students to reason, collectively and critically, about politics .