Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal for the Study of Religion]]> vol. 27 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Preface</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Roux-volution - from religious studies to human rights in education for diverse cultural, religious and gender contexts</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Religion education, intercultural education and human rights: A contribution for Cornelia Roux</b>]]> In this article, I draw on my own experience as a researcher, writer on theory and pedagogy of religion education┬╣ and contributor to European policy documents. This provides a basis to discuss some issues pertinent to Cornelia Roux's personal and professional journey as a researcher in religion education and related fields, including intercultural education, human rights education and citizenship education. I refer to our meetings over the years, both in and beyond South Africa, especially in the context of the International Network for Interreligious and Intercultural Education, and to the development of Professor Roux's ideas on Religion in Education (RiE), Religion and Education (RaE). An attempt is then made to articulate a view on the question of liberalism in relation to human rights, which connects to a stance on intercultural education and to religion education and values education more widely. The position developed is consistent with the approach to empirical research developed by Professor Roux and her team. The article concludes by relating Cornelia Roux's personal journey to some of the themes considered above. <![CDATA[<b>Pushing the conceptual boundaries in researching religion in education in diversity: A critical appraisal of Cornelia Roux's work</b>]]> This article emanates from a global analysis of the many articles, book chapters and research reports written by Cornelia Roux from 1988 to 2013. The article is a critical appraisal of Roux's contribution to the fields of religion and human rights in education in South Africa as 'scholar-activist'. An analysis of Roux's published work indicates that she was conscious of changes in political and social paradigms especially where religion in education is concerned, and consequently the need for 'paradigm shifts' before effective learning and teaching religion in diverse religious and cultural educational contexts could occur. Given the influences of her Reformed Christian upbringing, growing up and being educated in apartheid South Africa, Roux was ever conscious of the need to challenge patriarchy, bigotry, religious intolerance and cultural particularism. Consequently, key themes are evident in her work that would contribute significantly to the debates on religion in education in South Africa and abroad. The article covers the following themes in Roux's work: the significance of values in education and in collaborative research, the need for paradigm shifts for effective learning and teaching religion and values; the teacher as facilitator/ mediator of learning; creative and appropriate pedagogies for diversity and learning to understand 'the other'; classroom praxis and research as praxis; religion and belief as a human right in a diverse society; and finally a critical discussion of Roux's research projects as collaborative and consciousness-raising endeavours. <![CDATA[<b>The paradigms of contemporary religious education</b>]]> The word 'paradigm' appears in a number of Cornelia Roux's published works (Roux 1998; 1998a; 2003; 2008; 2009; 2011). This article re-examines her use of 'paradigm' in the light of Thomas Kuhn's (1996) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on recently published work on religion and education (Gearon 2013; 2014), I elaborate why researchers and educators alike require a more rigorous theoretical conceptualisation of the underlying paradigms of contemporary religious education. Outlining how a satisfactory understanding of the paradigms in religious education require an understanding of the epistemological grounds of each, the article presents, by way of demonstration, a critical outline of six such paradigms: the scriptural-theological; the phenomenological; the spiritual-experiential; the philosophical-conceptual; the socio-cultural; and the historical-political. <![CDATA[<b>From religious education to worldview education and beyond: The strength of a transformative pedagogical paradigm</b>]]> A core concept in Cornelia Roux's writings is the term 'paradigm shift'. We can for example notice pleas for paradigm shifts in teaching religion, in dealing with the multicultural situation, in concretizing citizenship education, and finally her plea for a paradigm shift towards human rights education. In this essay I will first elaborate on some of Roux's paradigm shifts with a special focus on the role and place of religious education. Then, I will follow up with a plea for strengthening the transformative paradigm in pedagogy. A plea fully combinable with Roux' s views, but especially necessary today as a critical pedagogical counter-voice against dominant neoliberal rhetoric in respect to pedagogy, politics and practices. In a transformative paradigm the aim of education is formulated as personhood formation. It implies that schools assist students in the double process of socialization and individuation, of becoming competent members of communities of practice. Presentation and representation of information, norms and values are interpreted from the perspective of how students are able to transform this into elements of their own participation, in the process of their own personhood formation. A transformative paradigm is inclusive by definition, thus addresses all students. One of the consequences of this inclusivity is that instead of using the term ' religious education' I prefer to use the notion of ' worldview education', and going beyond this I conceptually relate the latter notion in the final section to the concept of ' citizenship education' too. Inspired by the work of Cornelia Roux my plea is even broadened in that section to an intertwinement of worldview education, citizenship education and human rights education, thus reconciling the sacred, the civic and the just within a transformative pedagogical paradigm. <![CDATA[<b>From dialogue to trialogue: A sociocultural learning perspective on classroom interaction</b>]]> Dialogues in multireligious public schools do not run smoothly by simply gathering a plural group of learners in the same classroom. Classroom studies show that many conversations go on in circles around provocative statements from a few students creating a debate to make the lesson pass quickly to avoid the teacher from teaching. The discussion in this article will be based in a sociocultural perspective on learning and addressing the teacher's responsibility to facilitate the dialogue whether the degree of diversity she faces in Religious Education (RE) is high or low. Her task is to achieve a development of the dialogue from a repetitive exercise towards a learning experience. Dialogue is usually understood as an encounter between two persons exchanging views, in an oral dia-logue. The trialogue is defined by an intentional extension of the dialogue by introducing a mediating tool between the two persons, a third 'voice'. The third voice might be a material artefact or a practical task. The mediating tool is a cultural entrenched tool which makes the dialogue more informed and creates a common ground for negotiation. The teacher is the one that sets up the rules for the dialogue in the classroom, creates a safe space, and chooses what educational material to give attention. There is a need to discuss some age specific strategies on how to facilitate this informed dialogue or trialogue during compulsory education in the ages of 6-15. <![CDATA[<b>Mapping the curriculum-making landscape of religion education from a human rights education perspective</b>]]> With the advent of democracy in South Africa, religious education became a contested topic in the education sector. Contestation stemmed from the desire to embrace religious plurality rather than Christian National Education (CNE) that dominated the curriculum pre-1994. This contestation initiated the reconceptualisation of religion in curriculum-making. Together with other scholars, Roux, a scholar-activist, has played a seminal role in conceptualising religion in the curriculum as religion in education (RiE) and more recently, religion and education (RaE). In disrupting the boundaries of religion, she has also made human rights the departure point for engagement with RaE. The concomitant blurring of the boundaries between religion education (RE) and human rights education (HRE), has made it necessary to explore the complexities of the foundations of human rights. In response, this article uses Roux's work to extend the argument by exploring the possibilities of human rights literacy (HRLit) in curriculum-making for HRE. To conclude, this conception of HRLit is considered juxtaposed to Roux's most recent scholarship, which interrogates gender as a specific position within HRE. In engaging with this scholarship, this article takes a critical HRLit perspective so as to embrace Roux's work through an alternative theoretical lens. <![CDATA[<b>'Why was she born into this white skin?' Curriculum making for remembrance as critical learning in postconflict societies</b>]]> South Africa is essentially a traumatised society in which remembrance of the past evokes many different emotions. This traumatised state is partly the result of the contradicting and confusing remembrances that individuals have of the past and how these translate into the present. This article proposes that remembrance should not be reduced to a strategic practice of viewing the past as a reconciliatory possibility for the future. Instead it proposes the past be seen as an opportunity for a critical form of learning. This requires attention to questions such as: How do we need to view curriculum to do justice to the notion of remembrance as critical learning? What method should we use to realise the ideals of critical learning of this kind? In considering these questions, the memory narratives of two students were explored and theorised in terms of intracategorical complexity. I argue that curriculum making for remembrance as critical learning could begin with eliciting individual memories through memory work and disrupting these remembrances through intersectionality and intracategorical complexity. <![CDATA[<b>Reflections on gender identity in a safe space for transforming classroom praxis</b>]]> Why, nearly two decades into a new political democratic dispensation, with a well-established constitution and legal system, is gender inequality still perpetuated? The education of learners in this regard has been identified as critical. Teaching-learning of gender equality could be challenging for teachers who have not reflected on their own gender identity.This article focuses on the findings of a recent empirical study which explored the lived experiences of patriarchy of selected female teachers situated in four provinces in South Africa. The findings show that the participating teachers' gender identity is shaped by their religious and cultural discourses. Working within a feminist paradigm, narrative inquiry was employed as the research methodology. Creating a safe space, the opportunity was provided to hear the teachers' voices in response to the master narrative of patriarchy. Sharing their self-narrative both with an internal audience (in their 'society-of-mind') and with an external audience allowed them to reclaim themselves as they discovered the extent to which it is possible to become disentangled from their 'other' (men). This process initiated self-empowerment of the teachers and contributed to building 'identity capital' as they reflected on their gender identity, adopting a 'counter-position' to patriarchy. Increased extent and strength of 'gender identity capital', enabling the articulation of gender identity transformation in every domain of their lives, personal, social and professional, holds the possibility of developing teachers' classroom practice into classroom praxis. Effective teaching-learning about gender equality has the potential of informing the development of female and male learners and to be transformative for South African society. <![CDATA[<b>Different children, equal citizens and a diverse team of teachers: A safe space for unique persons and equal citizens</b>]]> 'I see no differences between my pupils, I treat them all equal'. This sentence is frequently quoted - a statement that meets approval from most of the teachers and parents. However, a teacher who does not see any difference, won't be able to acknowledge the uniqueness of each child either. What remains is a classroom full of middle-of-the-road pupils, or - even worse - a classroom full of children of whom at least half of their identity is not visible. In my contribution I argue that it is the difference, the in-equal-ity, that has to be articulated in order to stimulate the development of an authentic worldview of pupils as future citizens in contemporary societies that are characterized by cultural diversity and subsequently different life orientations. Not only the difference between pupils, but even more so the diversity amongst teachers should be promoted to present to pupils a variety of role models as examples of good practice of (future) equal citizenship. The collaboration with Cornelia Roux made me aware of the huge importance and relevance of Human Rights and more specifically Children's rights. So I start my contribution referring to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in which it is stated that every child has the right to be stimulated in spiritual, moral and social development, and has the right to enjoy the own culture, religion or language. The Vygotskian elaboration on the constructive role of contrasting in-equal-ities for the development of pupils is an important and inspiring source for our plea for 'teaching and learning in difference'. Next to that I give a brief description of the multicultural character of the Dutch society and its consequences for citizenship education including children's rights. I will argue that included in 'freedom of thought, conscience and religion' is the right to learn from various religious and secular worldview traditions (cf. Morgan 2007); the right to be educated in difference. Awareness of difference stimulates development (Vyggotsky 1978). In a similar way the encounter with the otherness of 'the other' challenges the construction of an own authentic worldview. Teachers as role models are of pivotal importance, creating a safe space and a rich learning environment to learn about and from differences in life orientations and from the encounter with 'the other' (Arendt 2004; Duyndam & Poorthuis 2005). I present an example of teacher behaviour showing in an RE class on citizenship education that 'to be different is just normal' (a vivid example of the child's right to be different/ unique), and 'living together: just do it!' (a vivid example of a teacher's attitude of openness towards 'the other'). I conclude with a plea for diversity in teams of teachers representing, acknowledging and actively tolerating cultural and religious diversity - as such exemplifying a safe space of human rights in vivo: teaching and learning in difference to become unique persons and equal citizens. <![CDATA[<b>Religious identity and plurality amongst Australian Catholics: Inclusions, exclusions and tensions</b>]]> In recent years, the Catholic Education Offices in the State of Victoria, Australia, have collaborated on a large research project with the Catholic University in Leuven that focuses on Catholic Identity. This is an interesting situation when there are, indeed, multiple Catholic identities evident in Australian society. This article, discusses the fluid and changing multicultural context that has shaped Australian Catholic identity by drawing on a variety of sources including research and statistical data, content analysis as well as snapshots of the lived experience of Australian Catholics from different backgrounds. The discussion will raise the question about a possible colonization of Catholic identity when a specific Catholic identity in a community is preferred while ignoring pluralistic identities in that community. The discussion will also attempt to offer some insights into the significant role that identity may or may not have in a pluralistic climate and its relevance for religious education. <![CDATA[<b>Moving towards understanding one an-other: Cornelia Roux on religion, culture and human rights</b>]]> Professor Roux is a pioneer in the field of interreligious, intercultural and human rights education. This article will focus on her contribution to understanding diversity in humankind and to enhancing inclusivity. An overview of her work demonstrates that she envisioned an understanding of diversity through education. She identified human rights values as common denominators within cultural and religious spaces of fear and resistance. She also focused on interreligious and intercultural dialogue in education as a means to enhance empathetic and caring interactions with others. In recent years, Roux has initiated three projects: The first was titled Understanding Human Rights through Different Belief Systems: Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue (2005 - 2008). A follow-up project, Human Rights Education in Diversity: Empowering Girls in Rural and Metropolitan School Environments (2010-2013), focused on gender equity and social justice as priorities to facilitate an understanding of diversity (Roux 2012). An awareness of the importance of human rights literacy and human rights education in creating a sustainable environment for human rights and understanding within a multi-religious and multi-cultural society lead to the development of a third project titled Human Rights Literacy: A Quest for Meaning (Roux & Du Preez 2013). Drawing on Bauman's (1994) conceptualisation of moral responsibility and relations of proximity and distance, our article uses data from this latest project to demonstrate how human rights literacy could facilitate moving towards understanding one another. Qualitative comments from participants, which were probed during the focus group discussions, seem to indicate that freedom of choice and association are often used to mask exclusion and protect spaces of sameness and distance. Some students' quest to move to understanding the other and in being responsible for the other, was illustrated by their description of the consequences of finding comfort in rights and the security of codes of conduct. <![CDATA[<b>African philosophy of education as a response to human rights violations: Cultivating <i>Ubuntu</i> as a virtue in religious education</b>]]> Human rights violations on the African continent have emerged as a predicament for human flourishing. This article reconsiders the notion of an African philosophy of education as a response to human rights violations, in particular how the notion of Ubuntu (human interdependence and humaneness) can be used to counteract violence. It is argued that Ubuntu in becoming - with reference to the thoughts of Giorgio Agamben - can counteract human rights violations. In this way, Ubuntu, as an instance of African philosophy of education, can respond more positively to genocide, tribal conflict and wars, and the rape and abuse of women and children on the continent. And, as a tribute to Cornelia Roux, specifically her seminal work on religious and human rights education in South Africa, it is also argued that religious education ought to be constituted by the virtues of deliberative human engagement and cosmopolitan action, which constitute an Ubuntu in becoming that can offer pathways to enhancing religious education. <![CDATA[<b><i>Homo ethicus:</i></b><b> Understanding the human nature that underlies human rights and human rights education</b>]]> The themes of human rights and human rights education in South Africa's multi-cultural society are central to the work of Cornelia Roux. This article discusses the human reality and ethics underlying those themes, using an approach based on a view of human nature. It has six sections, starting with an introduction that states the aims of the article, central to which is fostering debate and research with the goal of enhancing the ethical quality of society. The second section gives grounds for holding that significant ethical enhancement is achievable. Then there is a third section setting out a view of ethics, understood as practice as distinct from the academic discipline of that name. This is followed by a section containing an updated working hypothesis about homo sapiens stemming from earlier research by the author on human nature, arguing that it exhibits a drive to maximize well-being. The fifth section links the hypothesis to the ethical dimension of human nature, while the final section provides short accounts of a range of research questions related to ethical enhancement where further research is needed.