In this publication the contributions made by the individual differences tradition of psychology over the past 50 years to research in religious education are reviewed and assessed. In this context religious education is conceived broadly to embrace what takes place in schools, within religious communities, and within households across the age span. The opening section roots the analysis within the tradition of developmental psychology and the research that flourished in the area of religious development during the 1960s. It is from these foundations that current interest in the individual differences approach emerges. Subsequent sections examine the centrality of the attitudinal dimension of religion, discuss the place of personality in the individual differences tradition, explore sex as a core individual difference in religion, map the correlates, antecedents and consequences of individual differences in religious affect or attitudes, review research into the distinctiveness and effectiveness of church schools and the family in religious nurture, identify the factors that account for individual differences in attitude toward religious diversity, explore the relevance of the individual differences tradition for adult religious education, and explore the implications of the individual differences tradition for biblical hermeneutics and discipleship learning.
This text explores the re-assertion of right-wing populist and fascist ideologies as presented and distributed in the media. In particular, attacks on immigrants, women, minorities, and LGBTQI people are increasing, inspired by the election of politicians who openly support authoritarian discourse and scapegoating. More troubling is how this discourse is inscribed into laws and policies.
Despite the urgency of the situation, the Left has been unable to effectively respond to these events, from liberals insisting on hands-off free speech policies, including covering "both sides of the issue" to socialists who utilize a tunnel vision focus on economic issues at the expense of women and minorities. In order to effectively resist right-wing movements of this magnitude, a socialist/Marxist feminist analysis is necessary for understanding how racism, sexism, and homophobia are conduits for capitalism, not just ‘identity issues.’
Topics addressed in this text include an overview of dialectical materialist feminism and its relevance and a review of characteristics of authoritarian populism and fascism. Additionally, the insistence on a colorblind conceptualization of the working class is critiqued, with its detrimental effects on moving resistance and activism forward. This was a key weakness with the Bernie Sanders campaign, which is discussed. Online environments and their alt-right discourse/function are used as an example of the ineffectiveness of e-libertarianism, which has prioritized hands-off administration, allowing right-wing discourse to overcome many online spaces. Other topics include the emergence of the fetal personhood construct in response to abortion rights, and the rejection of science and expertise.
Abortion in the media continues to escape the grasp of sound feminist analysis for a variety of reasons. This chapter asserts that the construct of fetal personhood has been used to objectify women as vessels for carrying children, erode solidarity among working class women, dismantle the social safety net, and increase surveillance of women’s bodies. A historical overview of the development of abortion law and policy is presented, along with important facts about the need for this essential reproductive health service.
This chapter examines what went wrong with the promising Bernie Sanders campaign. In particular, the insistence on a colorblind economic message meant to appeal to young college students and white male workers at the expense of what were dismissed as “identity politics” is critiqued. Much of what was seen from Sanders followers was similar to what women and minorities experienced in the leftist activist movements in the 1960s, so a historical overview of these activist movements will be presented.
There is much conflation of fascism with authoritarian populism, which makes fighting these movements more challenging. An overview of characteristics of right-wing movements are presented, including rampant misogyny and racism. This chapter discusses what each has in common, but also presents important differences. The common media approach of equating historical events to the present will also be critiqued for its role in hyperbole and spreading confusion.
This chapter presents a fierce defense of the need for science in the era of questioning of expertise and knowledge. An examination of the political functions of conspiracy theories, which serve up the target of the “big guy” to take the pressure off of capitalism and its effects, is included. The dislike and distrust of “big government” with its emphasis on isolationism and individualized solutions is part of an ongoing attack on the public commons.
This introductory chapter opens with the assertion that the left has been woefully inadequate in combatting the recent rise of fascism and right-wing populism, primarily because it retains faith in tenets of liberalism (unrestricted free speech, including racist speech; belief in rationally presenting the facts; and clinging to a colorblind economic analysis). Several examples from current events/media will be presented to orient the reader to the rest of the book.
An overview of socialist feminism and the rationale for this dialectical approach is presented, along with support for its use in critically examining media. The history of feminism(s) in this chapter will illustrate different competing narratives in terms of fighting capitalism.
Online spaces are a socialist feminist issue that must be addressed, especially since the structure of the tech industry itself impacts attitudes toward women and minorities. This chapter outlines the abuse that women, minorities, LGBTQ people, and the disabled face as they inhabit online contexts. A major contributing factor to this environment is a form of “hands off” e-libertarianism, where those who fight back against toxic discourse are told to “log off if you don’t like it.” The fact that the Internet and social media are now essential spaces for one’s livelihood only heightens the need for a militant response. An overview of authoritarian and fascist organizing within online spaces is presented as well.