Religious education and religious choice

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Colleges, School and Institutes


According to the ‘religious choice case’ for compulsory religious education, pupils have a right to be made aware of the religious and irreligious paths open to them and equipped with the wherewithal to choose between them. A familiar objection to this argument is that the idea of religious choice reduces religion to a matter of taste. I argue, first, that this familiar objection fails and, second, that we nevertheless have good reason to reject the religious choice case. Religious and irreligious views have a core cognitive dimension that makes it inappropriate to talk of choosing between them. What I have elsewhere called the ‘possibility-of-truth case’ remains the strongest justification for compulsory religious education.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Beliefs and Values
Issue number1
Early online date20 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015