Cathy Byrne presents the secular principle as a guiding compass for religion in government schools in plural democracies. Using in-depth case studies, historical and contextual research from Australia, and comparisons with other developed nations, Religion in Secular Education provides a comprehensive, at times confronting, analysis of the ideologies, policies, pedagogies, and practices for state-school religion. In the context of rising demands for students to develop intercultural competence and interreligious literacy, and alongside increasing Christian evangelism in the public arena, this book highlights risks and implications as education develops religious identity – in individual children and in nation states. Byrne proposes a best practice framework for nations attempting to navigate towards socially inclusive outcomes and critical thinking in religions education policy.
Cathy Byrne, Ph.D. (2012), Macquarie University, is a researcher, writer and project manager. In her work she calls for critical thinking to be applied in religions and ethics education. As a lecturer Byrne teaches ethics, religions and culture studies.
Educators, parents, curriculum and policy writers, scholars of religious history and politics, and those (religious and non-religious) concerned about the need for intercultural competence and critical thinking in religions education.