English Religious Education: Developments, Identity, and Diversity

  • L. Philip Barnes King's College London, United Kingdom


The aim of this paper is to review the post-confessional history of English religious education. The intention is to be descriptive rather than polemical. Attention is given to the transition of confessional to multi-faith religious education and to subsequent developments. The strengths and weaknesses of phenomenological approaches are considered, and how the focus upon experience that is central to phenomenology was preserved in later educational attempts to further moral and spiritual development through religious education. Finally, attention is given to the reasons for the emergence of citizenship as an important theme in religious education and to more recent issues.

Author Biography

L. Philip Barnes, King's College London, United Kingdom

Dr. L. Philip Barnes is Emeritus Reader in Religious and Theological Education. His research has focused on bringing a critical philosophical perspective to bear on the issue of diversity in religious education and on the role that theory plays in constructions of modern and postmodern versions of religious education.


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How to Cite
Barnes, L. (2018). English Religious Education: Developments, Identity, and Diversity. Changing Societies & Personalities, 2(3), 232-241. doi:10.15826/csp.2018.2.3.039