Education about Religions and Beliefs in Victoria
Keywords:interreligious relations, religions education, religion and state relations, social inclusion, countering extremism
AbstractWhile the role of religion in Australian schools has been vigorously debated since the 1870s, it has recently generated considerable controversy, particularly in the state of Victoria. This article provides a historical analysis of religious instruction (RI) in Victorian schools, particularly drawing on the 1974 Russell Report’s review of RI programs. It then focusses on more recent developments, notably the 2010 Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) case, Aitken and Others vs. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, which has reignited the ‘religion in schools debate’. Based on recommendations of the Russell Report and a number of recent Australian studies in this field, this article argues that a more inclusive model of education about religions and beliefs (ERB) is required for Australia’s Government schools to meet the needs of its increasingly multifaith and secular society. This research also suggests that ERB programs can be effective strategies for countering prejudices and building socially inclusive societies.
How to Cite
Halafoff, A. (2013). Education about Religions and Beliefs in Victoria. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 26(2), 172–197. https://doi.org/10.1558/arsr.v26i2.172
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