Научная статья на тему 'Religious pluralism and treatment of religious minorities in religious education'

Religious pluralism and treatment of religious minorities in religious education Текст научной статьи по специальности «Медицина и здравоохранение»

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РЕЛИГИОЗНОЕ ОБРАЗОВАНИЕ / РЕЛИГИОЗНЫЕ МЕНЬШИНСТВА / РЕЛИГИОЗНЫЙ ПЛЮРАЛИЗМ / СВОБОДА СОВЕСТИ

Аннотация научной статьи по медицине и здравоохранению, автор научной работы — Miroshnikova E.M.

В центре широкой дискуссии о религиозном образовании, прежде всего, стоит вопрос о публичном статусе религии. Я обращаю внимание на религиозное образование в государственных школах и не рассматриваю в данной статье подготовку специалистов в религиозных образовательных заведениях. Решение проблем религиозного образования в государственных школах требует изучения, в первую очередь, правовых основ его реализации. Существует две основные модели религиозного образования в современном мире: конфессиональная и неконфессиональная. В свою очередь различают три основных подхода государственной политики в области религиозного образования: запрет на религиозное образование в государственных школах, разрешение неконфессионального религиозного образования, разрешение конфессионального религиозного образования. Будучи составной частью общего образовательного процесса, религиозное образование имеет ряд специфических особенностей. Это не только передача определенных знаний ребенку, но это выбор религиозного и нравственного воспитания. Я бы хотела обратить внимание на международные нормативные правовые акты, которые подчеркивают первостепенную роль родителей и семьи в вопросах религиозного воспитания. В условиях глобализации государства пытаются использовать укоренившиеся исторически религии для сохранения своей культурной и национальной идентичности, ограничивая при этом другие конфессии. В такой ситуации не столь важна сама модель религиозного образования. Наиболее значимую роль приобретает нейтралитет государства и его действия по защите свободы совести, снижение уровня политизация религии, уважение и любовь к детям. После двух лет работы вместе с моим американским коллегой профессором Дереком Дэвисом над международным проектом, объединившим усилия почти шестидесяти участников и одного из ведущих мировых издательств Routledge, вышла в свет в 2013 году книга The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education. Уникальность издания заключается в том, что впервые проблема религии и образования рассматривается на мировом уровне. В результате удалось осветить все современные основные подходы в этой сфере.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Religious pluralism and treatment of religious minorities in religious education»

RELIGIOUS PLURALISM AND TREATMENT OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ( THE SPEECH ON THE ICLARS ( AUGUST, 2013, RICHMOND VA, USA) )

УДК 376.7

Miroshnikova E.M. (Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University) Tel.: (4872) 35-74-37, e-mail: miro shnikovaem@gmail. com

The main distinctive point of the bride discussions on Religious pluralism and treatment of religious minorities is first of all in the public status of religion, including the religious education in public schools. Religious education has become a topic of great relevance as a result of the world globalization. The extraordinary politicization of religion in modern society appears to be somewhat desperate and disputable both from a theological and political point of view. Does this tendency represent an attempt to strengthen the influence of religion in society, or is it an attempt to promote the improvement of democracy?

Ultimately, religious education favors the role of religion in society and increases its public status. Young people always have been and always will be objects of attention for religious organizations since their orientation toward religion will affect the future of society in general and the future of the religious organization in part. But the realization of the right for religious education should be accomplished legally, otherwise human rights of freedom could be compromised, and respect on the part of state authorities for a particular religion could be damaged.

The International Routledge Handbook of Religious Education (2013)-the result of 2-years of intensive job of the big international team is unique in that it is the first to address religion and education from an international perspective. Religion and education is only one component of the broad field of church and state, but regrettably is a somewhat neglected dimension of church-state inquiry, especially on an international scale. The contributors to the volume are academic scholars who live in the countries and regions about which they have written. There are 50 national essays and 3 regional (Asia, European Union, and Latin America) essays included. A separate essay for each of the nearly 200 nations in the world could not be provided without compiling a multi-volume set. Thus we have had to make difficult choices about which nations to include. In short, we have attempted to cover every region of the world and to cover enough nations that ensure adequate attention to all of the world's major religions that are predominant in various sectors of the globe.

Keywords: Religious education, religious minority, religious pluralism, freedom of conscience

According to the UN Convention on children's rights, religious education in a poly-confessional society can only be considered successful if the child is brought up in a spirit of "readiness for a responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, sexual equality, and friendship among nations, and ethnic, religious and national groups."

I would like to stop here for a while. Before thinking of the treatment of religious minorities in Religious Education, I would like to ask WHY? Why we should analize so deeply this sort of education? Is it only the task of religious education to educate such a person? What about secular education?

In my country this Question is very acute. There are many people who thinks the secular education can realize all these goals for sure, and the history of Sovjet educational system is a very good evident of this fact. I remember the reaction of Texan citizen about me, educated in Sovjet time: they looked at me with very clear natural Question in their eyes: how is it possible to grown up without religious education? And by the way, that was my own goal to understand: What is it, the religious education, and why the modern world need it?

As Juan Navarro points out freedom of education in Argentina is understood generally as the right to exercise the rights to teach and learn according to one's own religious tradition. Parents in many situations can choose for their children religious education at a confessional private school, or they can choose to send their children to state schools. What is lacking is the right to choose at the same time religious or secular education in state schools, where the religious issue is excluded even if the great majority believes in a God. Education is incomplete for that reason, and many cultural trends, religious as well as secular, are not able to be understood.

In order to study the evolution of religion and its institutions in a modern multicultural society, it is important to scrutinize the influence of globalization in general, and immigration processes in particular. When national and cultural characteristics are obliterated, religion becomes the only way to express national and cultural identity both for native citizens and for immigrants. The reality is that there are no modern societies that are completely homogenious religiously. As Cole Durham in his Introduction notes, the easy of travel, the pull of economics opportunity across borders, and population shifts due the war and other factors have all combined to create a world in which every country has substantial religious diversity, including a growing percentage of the population that lacks religious belief or is religiously indifferent.

A meta-analysis the Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity (Miron Zuckermann, Jordan Silbermann, Judith A.Hall), (USA) of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the

general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices. (Newsru.com 14 August 2013. A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations)

But nevertheless, the education system can not avoid taking religious difference into account as Merelin Kiviorg in Estonia chapter notes, religious education is a precondition for protection of freedom of religion or belief. I would add, of freedom of conscience. Religious education helps in order students understand the world, its cultures, and the role of the religious dimensions in human life.

As the European Court of Human Rights stated in "Serif v. Greece": That tension is created in situations where a religious or any other community becomes divided,.. .this is one of the unavoidable consequences of pluralism. The role of the authorities in such circumstances is not to remove the cause of tension by eliminating pluralism, but to ensure that the competing groups tolerate each other.

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My understanding is that the education of tolerance is the main task of Religious education.

Being an integral part of the general globalization process, religious education, nevertheless, has some particularities. It is not just about the transference of knowledge acquired by the mankind to children, but of their choice of religious and moral education.

There are serious problems in realization of religious education in poly-confessional society? what to teach? On religion or about religions? What are the criteria for the choice of religions? How to get the respect of different religious traditions by the education of the moral citizen? How to realize the right to freedom of conscience and religious freedom? What model of religious education in public school is more effective and perspective today?

However, there are different opinions as to how religious education should be conveyed. Views have differed regarding the age at which religion needs to be introduced in schools and by whom it should be taught. There are some additional practical and structural problems which relate to the school curriculum and teaching methods as a whole. Regarding religious education specifically, the major concern has been its content and purpose. Concerns have been expressed about how to strike a balance between introducing the main religion (s) and other worldviews

As Silvio Ferrari in his European Summary says, there are 3 main models of Religious Education. I think we can apply this structure to the rest of the world. In short, I would like to note the mail treatment of religious minorities in the framework of every model.

First, there are some countries where no teaching of religion is offered (Japan, China, USA, Canada, Urugway, Argentina, Vietnam, Cuba, Mexico, South Korea, New Zeland) A good example is France: references to religion are part of the teaching of other school subjects like history, geography, language, arts, philosophy, and are given by the teachers of these disciplines. As Tahir Mahmood points out in his Summary on Asia, in both secular countries, Nepal and India the state- aided schools and high level institutions are free to impart and organize re of all sorts without compulsorily imposing it on unwilling pupils.

A second pattern is provided by the countries that offer a "non-denominational teaching about religion. (UK, Estonia, Norway, Turky). The non-confessional model is based on the transference of knowledge to schoolchildren about different religions, including the study of non-religious points of view, in order to help them determine their own worldview. Even there where great care and good faith is evident in attempting to structure a neutral course, it is important to understand, that different parents and children may nonetheless experience the course as a challenge to their conscientious belief and, when that is the case , reasonable opt-out opportunities should be provided.

The situation with religious education in Norway, written by Ingvill Torson Plesner, is especially illustrative. The decisions of ECHR ("Folgero et al v. Norway") on Norway's Christian Knowledge and Religious Ethical Education (CKREE), and Zengin v. Turky (both in 2007) are very important in this context.

Finally, there are countries with a denominational teaching of religion, that is the teaching of a specific religion. Germany, Greece, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil. Romania Bulgaria, Finland.

The confessional model is based on the organization of religious instruction for students from a particular religious background. The main accent in this education is placed on describing one specific religious tradition. The main responsibility for the curriculum, textbooks, and teacher training is carried by the religious organization. At the same time schoolchildren and their parents have the right to be exempt from religious lessons or to choose an alternative subject, for example, ethics or philosophy.

None of these three models is able, alone, to meet the challenge posed by the growing religious plurality. Recently the tendency to strengthen an ecumenical and pluralistic approach has been gaining momentum, namely, a tendency to move in the direction of the non-confessional model.

The main problems of the denominational Religious Education, in the context of the treatment of religious minorities in Religious Education, are following:

The duty to make a choice for the alternative instruction for those, who does not want to take part on Religious education. Why these people have to make a choice, if they don't want to take part in this process in principle? Besides, there is a tendency to humiliate the secular culture, the attempt to offer it as a militant secularism .

The guarantee of the parents's right. In fact it is very difficult to realize the equality of Religious Education, in the public school, first of all technically and organizationally, but nevertheless there is the strong influence of the social- political factor.

The decision of the European Court on Human Rightsd «Lautsy v. Italy» is very importnat in this context.

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Besides, a very important role in the treatment of religious minorities is played by the organizational aspect, namely, the solution of the following problems:

The status of religious instruction. By this I mean if religious education is compulsory, non-compulsory, or elective. In other words, schools must deal with issues like the number of schoolchildren in a group, scheduling, criteria used to evaluate achievement, the form of instruction (teaching of the whole class or of some part of it), teacher training, the conditions for being able to opt out of the lessons, etc.

The determination of the party responsible for religious education. This is a critically important point for religious education. Who is responsible for the implementation of religious education? The school? Religious organizations? Both? Who is responsible for the textbooks, teacher training, renting facilities, etc.?

The location of the religious instruction. In the majority of European countries religious education is taught at schools. In France, there is no compulsory religious education in state schools, but in Alsace and Lorraine, it takes place outside the schools, namely, in religious organizations. In the USA with the principle of separation of church and state, the number of people who belong to a church is particularly high (about 70%). While in European countries, the number is 7-8%.

Therefore it is necessary to combine models of Religious Education, in ways that answer the different cultural traditions. As Silvio Ferrari notes, if the religious communities are not able to develop an inter-denominational and inter-religious education (and they are still far from that), the only viable alternative would be a non-denominational education about a plurality of religions. A model for such instruction has been indicated in the recommendation Religion and Democracy of the 1999 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: promoting a better knowledge of different religions through the teaching of comparative history of religions, history and philosophy

of religion. In this perspective a non-denominational teaching about religions and non-religious conceptions of life and world would become mandatory and would be organized and delivered according to the standards of other school teachings (that is without any control of religious authorities on teachers, programs, books and so on), although some kind of cooperation and consultation with the different stakeholders (families, religious communities, associations of teachers, etc.) would be advisable.

What is more important deal of this topic: the child's interests are not realized by the child himself or herself (which is understandable from the point of view of age and social maturity), but by other people, his parents or guardians, the state, school directors, and religious organizations. As a result, often each of the people and the organizations mentioned above consider themselves to be the most important, and sometimes the child is forgotten in the process. There is the good example in German experience. Children have their own right of self-determination regarding religion. If a married parent decides to take a child which has completed its tenth year of life out of Religious Education, the child must obey. At the age of 13 a child can no longer be forced by its parents and against its will to adopt another faith. At the age of 14 a child is considered religiously independent or rather has "religiously come of age." By the end of their 14th year, children have the right to decide their religious faith autonomously.

In this context one of the most important Question in the religious education in general, and on treatment of religious minorities in Religious Education, WHO is the teacher? This Question is of very respect in Germany chapter. As Udo Schmelzle in his Gerrnany chapter points out, the schools had the task of developing conflict models in situations where the values and standards of parents and those in authority in schools cannot be reconciled. The historically growing distance between familial and school education increasingly leads to conflicts. This also applies to questions of sexual education, choice of school, determining secondary education of pupils, and last but not least Religious Education. The fact that schools are moving away from solely educational goals and relinquish the up-bringing of children is the pragmatic result.

The scholars of Enlightenment, which stressed moral and patriotic education as being the duty of the state, justified the separation of home and school with the class identity bias of parents. Children should be shielded from their parents. Schools should treat all children equally and thereby contribute to overcoming the class-based society. This touches the roots of anti-familial models in pedagogical field, which in the assessment of parental education did not follow J.J. Rousseau, who in the first book of "Emil" develops a positive picture of "the father as an educator": "As the mother is the true wet nurse, the father is the true teacher. The child is passed from the hands of one into the hands of the other. It is better to be educated by a decent, even if uneducated father, than by the best teacher in the world: since it is easier to replace talent with diligence, than diligence with

talent." (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emil oder uber die Erziehung, 7th ed. (Paderborn 1985), 22.). I would like to emphazise this moment, because of great influence of Rousseau on my worldknown countryman Leo Tolstoy. In 1860-s Leo Tolstoy has organized his own school in Jasnaja Poljana for peasant's children. Great experience, but for the separate talk.

Recently I would like to direct our attention once more to the experience of international legislation and actions, which cite the parents' role and the family to be of primary importance in religious education issues.

The situation in modern Russia is also complicated, and the Russian position is quite clear and natural, willing to prevent its culture, where the Russian Orthodox Church is the leading confession. Freedom turned out to be a heavy burden for us. Against the background of the acute tolerance shortage, the desire to live according to one and the only one idea becomes more widespread. And the example of the law enforcement practice of the current Russian education is a vivid example of serious problems of the Russian state-church relations. Now religious organization, first of all the main religions, are looking for the ways of the most efficient and optimal expression of their public role in the conditions new to them. That is why serious 'problems of growth'. But at the same time there are some facts, causing deep concern.

In fact , in 2012 the approbation course has became a mandatory one as a mix from confessional and non-confessional models ("two in one") for the students of the forth level (10-11 years old). The most favorite course between 6 parts (The basics of Orthodox culture, The basics of Islamic culture, The basics of Buddhist culture, The basics of Jewish culture, The basics of world religious cultures, The basics of secular ethics) is the secular ethics .

Russia Moscow SPetersburg

Basics of Orthodox Culture 31,7% 23,43 9,46

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Basics of Islam Culture 4% 1,02 0,07

Basics of World religions Culture 21,2% 27,7 37,7

Basics of secular Ethics 42,7% 47,4 52,6

To my mind, it will be logically to realize the non-confessional model, to put in the curriculum these instructions for the whole class of students without any division of groups according the faith. Unfortunately, many citizens in Russia exhibit little tolerance and respect for those who are outside the Orthodox tradition and have differing beliefs.

But even in the religion of majority there are many problems form one side, and there are so great people, who is trying to realize the religious education in fact, just due to Christian love and duty. I am glad to have known one of such person. The prist of ROC Pavel Adelgeim from the

small Orthodox church in Pskov region. I ve met him on the conference in Moscow in 2011. He spoke about the social service of ROC, and in particular, on problems that exist in the modern parish clergy of ROC MP, the ones that are associated with total dependence of the parish prists and the parish as whole from the ruling bishop. This create a significant obstacle to social ministry, including RE, of the orthodox prists. Based on the personal experience Pavel Adelgeim showed how he initiated and brought about some social projects in the past twenty years and how it had been systematically destroyed by the diocesian bishop. First of all his school for children by the church.I am speaking about him in past time. He has been knifed on 5 August by one creazy jung man. So intelligent Person, and he is gone. My reaction was to find in Internet what I can about him, his interviews and his sermons. I ve got a real religious education. I can hardly remember myself, when I was so involved into the Word of GOD.

What for to create so many problems in public schools of poly-confessional society, when there is so simple, but so natural way to learn the word of God-to go to Church.

The international experience shows, that the mandatory character of the religious instruction in public schools is not the basic reason to achieve the goals of religious education. The necessity of religious education is beyond any doubt. The question is, what should be included into religious education and who can realize it.

As a feedback to the globalization, the state is trying to use traditional religions to protect its cultural identity, thus limiting the rights of other confessions. In this situation religion acquires new forms of its social expression, as if becoming the symbol of national and cultural identity. It is not so important which model is established. The most important is the state's real neutrality and activity on freedom of conscience, the less politization of religious institutions, and the respect and love of parents to their children.

Мирошникова Е.М.

РЕЛИГИОЗНЫЙ ПЛЮРАЛИЗМ И ОБРАЩЕНИЕ С РЕЛИГИОЗНЫМИ МЕНЬШИНСТВАМИ В РЕЛИГИОЗНОМ ОБРАЗОВАНИИ (ВЫСТУПЛЕНИЕ НА МЕЖДУНАРОДНОМ КОНСОРЦИУМЕ ПО ПРАВУ И РЕЛИГИИ (АВГУСТ, 2013 Г., РИЧМОНД, США)

В центре широкой дискуссии о религиозном образовании, прежде всего, стоит вопрос о публичном статусе религии. Я обращаю внимание на религиозное образование в государственных школах и не рассматриваю в данной статье подготовку специалистов в религиозных образовательным заведениях. Решение проблем религиозного образования в государственным школах требует изучения, в первую очередь, правовыгх основ его реализации.

Существует две основные модели религиозного образования в современном мире: конфессиональная и неконфессиональная. В свою очередь различают три основных подхода государственной политики в области религиозного образования: запрет на религиозное образование в государственных школах, разрешение неконфессионального религиозного образования, разрешение конфессионального религиозного образования.

Будучи составной частью общего образовательного процесса, религиозное образование имеет ряд специфических особенностей. Это не только передача определенных знаний ребенку, но это выбор религиозного и нравственного воспитания. Я бы хотела обратить внимание на международные нормативные правовые акты, которые подчеркивают первостепенную роль родителей и семьи в вопросах религиозного воспитания. В условиях глобализации государства пытаются использовать укоренившиеся исторически религии для сохранения своей культурной и национальной идентичности, ограничивая при этом другие конфессии. В такой ситуации не столь важна сама модель религиозного образования. Наиболее значимую роль приобретает нейтралитет государства и его действия по защите свободы совести, снижение уровня политизация религии, уважение и любовь к детям.

После двух лет работы вместе с моим американским коллегой профессором Дереком Дэвисом над международным проектом, объединившим усилия почти шестидесяти участников и одного из ведущих мировых издательств Routledge, вышла в свет в 2013 году книга The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education. Уникальность издания заключается в том, что впервые проблема религии и образования рассматривается на мировом уровне. В результате удалось осветить все современные основные подходы в этой сфере.

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Ключевые слова: Религиозное образование, религиозные меньшинства, религиозный плюрализм, свобода совести