Essays & Reports

This section of Religious Education & Security links to longer essays and reports related to the theme of this blog.

 

Challenges to Educational Approaches that Prevent Violent Islamic Extremism in Denmark

by Max Barrett Werner

With the recent terrorist attack in Paris, and stories of young European Muslims leaving for Syria to join ISIS, Islamic extremism has become one of the most debated subjects in the West.  Accordingly, Western governments have attempted to combat this latest wave of ideological extremism by a variety of means, such as the “War on Terror” and through increased surveillance of their Muslim citizens.  Among the softer approaches, education has emerged as a long-term method of curtailing extremism through the promotion of tolerance, mutual understanding, and religious diversity.  As former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair asserted in a speech to the UN security council in 2013: “In the 21st century education is a security issue.”

Click  here to continue reading Werner’s article.

Religious Education and the Chaplain’s Role

by LCdr Carol Bateman

PA2012-0054-023 (2)The role of Religious Education (RE) in countering religious extremism is a concept with which a chaplain employed with the Canadian Armed Forces should be familiar. Any chaplain who has deployed with Canadian troops in the last decade has been exposed to soldiers working with Army programs such as Psychological Operations (PsyOps), Influence Activities, and Canadian Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) work as well as chaplain developed Religious Leader Engagement (RLE) and Religious Area Assessment (RAA) practices. Each of these programs uses an educational approach in countering the messages of extremism (CVE).

Click here to continue reading Bateman’s article.

Inclusive Study of Religions and Other Worldviews

by Robert Jackson

bobportraitThis article outlines some issues in incorporating the study of religions, or the study of religions together with non-religious worldviews, into the curricula of publicly-funded schools in democratic states. The issues are discussed in general, but particular attention is given to examples from England and from work conducted within the Council of Europe, including a Recommendation from the Committee of Ministers dealing with this topic and a text designed to assist policymakers and practitioners in interpreting and applying ideas from the Recommendation.

Click here to continue reading Jackson’s article.

Cultural Hurdles, Religious & Spiritual Education, Countering Violent Extremism

by Peter Nixon

peter_nixonWe climb several mountains during our lifetime.  All of these “development mountains” start with self.  Self-development begins with the ability to calm the mind to the point of presence from where you can observe, recognise and learn from what is happening within and around you.

Religious and spiritual education, whether formal or informal, alwyas include some aspect of slowing down and reconnecting with oneself from which point your presence enables you to connect with God, the Spirit or emptiness, depending on your tradition.  This stillness leads to feelings of calm serenity and happiness.

Click here to continue reading Nixon’s article.

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