The Demand

There has repeatedly been a demand for the inclusion of a greater variety of religions in RE by both teachers and students, as can be seen in a number of recent reports which have unanimously stressed the need for a more refined syllabus that better captures the reality of religion in the UK, including a move away from the ‘main nine faith traditions’ to take account of a greater diversity of religious movements, including the rise of ‘religious nones’ [1]. The reports also stress the need for more critical reflection about religion including the implications of competing truth claims and the ‘negative’ aspects of religion such as links to harm, violence and terrorism. The inclusion of new and other minority religions in the syllabus would directly address five of the nine key findings in the RE for Real report [2]. Furthermore, a more comprehensive religious literacy could reduce the social segregation identified in the Casey Review, [3] the recommendations of which the Government is currently keen to implement.

1. Only a small minority of people reporting they have no religion are atheists; many describe themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’ and embrace various beliefs and practices to be found in the so-called ‘religious supermarket’.

2. 1. Students are concerned that they hear a lot of stereotypes in the media and in some of their learning. They want to know what’s real.
2. They think that learning about religion and belief is becoming more and more relevant because they see more of it, and what they see is more diverse.
3. Almost all emphasise the role of learning about religion and belief in order to engage positively with diversity.
5. Almost all want to learn about a wider range of religions and beliefs and are worried that many students learn about only one or two traditions.
6. Students really enjoy learning about real ‘lived’ religion, especially through thinking about religion and belief controversies.


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Contextualising the Diversity of Worldviews


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