Religious Education in Northern Ireland: Towards New Relationships

This article talk sabout religion and religious education in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland's schools have traditionally been separately associated with one or other of its dominant Christian traditions, Catholic or Protestant. The vast majority of children (over 90%) attend the school associated with their own cultural-religious community. While some have argued that this separateness has provided a secure religious and community ethos to counter the years of civil unrest – a "safe haven" as it has often been termed – others have argued that it has merely compounded the region's social and political divisions and has contributed to ignorance, prejudice, and sectarianism. Although it is true that the phenomenon of separate, divided schools is just one symptom of a separate, divided society, it is no less true that this particular symptom has become closely intertwined with the cause.

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