Faith Schools in the Twenty-First Century

Faith Schools in the Twenty-First Century

Faith Schools in the Twenty-First Century

Faith Schools in the Twenty-First Century


Faith schools are in the news all over the world. Are they a good thing or a bad thing in a modern pluralist society? This volume examines that contemporary debate concerning faith schooling, using a variety of conceptual and educational lenses. Edited by Stephen McKinney, this collection provides a scholarly, in-depth, detailed examination of the key themes in the current debate. The contributions are not written from a particular form of faith schooling but reflect the great variety and diversity in faith schooling across the English speaking world. Each examines the debate from both internal and external perspectives. The book first provides an overview of the key features of the contemporary academic debate around faith schools. This is followed by an examination of the relationship and coherence between faith schools and the expectations of education within liberal democracy. Further on, it explores the interface between faith schools and citizenship, and discusses the challenges of including students who are not Catholics in Catholic schools. Faith Schools in the Twenty-first Century concludes by postulating possible futures for faith schooling. This is a collection that reflects the international dimension of the debate in the English speaking world. Contributions from leading academics in the UK are complemented by scholarly contributions from the US and Australia. As such, it will appeal to student teachers preparing to teach in faith schools, as well as to educational administrators grappling with a fierce debate.


This new addition to our series on Policy and Practice in Education is a collection of essays on the issue of faith schools. As Davis in the final chapter notes, it has been often popularly assumed that faith-based education is a historical legacy which would become less significant in a secular society. However, recent policies across the uk have led to a confirming of the place and contribution of faith schools in a national educational system and different faith communities are now seeking to establish their own schools. the position of faith schooling, nevertheless remains deeply contested, particularly against a backdrop of cultural diversity and concerns about an increase in social fragmentation.

The essays draw widely from current research and policy developments in the uk and makes an important contribution to the present policy debate. Stephen McKinney, as editor, and the contributors are not afraid to tackle the difficult questions: the issue of sectarianism in Scotland and the problems surrounding genuine inclusivity within faith schools. Some of the essays draw on recent empirical research to examine topics such as the issue of including pupils from outside the particular faith and the discourses underpinning the debates around faith schools. Other essays have a different approach, with Brighouse’s more speculative approach illuminating the tensions of faith schools in a liberal democracy, whilst Davis’ detailed reading of policy in England and Scotland enables him to look to the future of faith-based education in the uk.

Dr Jim O’Brien Dean and Director, Moray House School of Education, the University of Edinburgh

Christine Forde Professor of Leadership & Professional Learning, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, the University of Glasgow

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