By Ian MacMullen
May still a liberal democratic kingdom enable spiritual colleges? should still it fund them? What rules may still govern those judgements in a society marked by means of non secular and cultural pluralism? In religion in Schools?, Ian MacMullen tackles those vital questions via either political and academic conception, and he reaches a few astonishing and provocative conclusions. MacMullen argues that oldsters' wants to teach their young ones "in the religion" mustn't ever be allowed to disclaim kids the chance for ongoing rational mirrored image approximately their values. govt may still shield kid's pursuits in constructing as self sustaining individuals in addition to society's curiosity within the schooling of an rising new release of voters. yet, he writes, liberal thought doesn't aid a strict separation of church and country in schooling coverage. MacMullen proposes standards to differentiate spiritual colleges that fulfill valid public pursuits from those who don't. And he argues forcefully that governments may still fund all sorts of faculty that they enable, instead of favoring upper-income mom and dad by means of letting them purchase their manner out of the necessities deemed appropriate for kids knowledgeable at public price. Drawing on mental learn, he proposes public investment of a huge variety of spiritual basic faculties, simply because they could aid lay the principles for younger kid's destiny autonomy. In secondary schooling, in contrast, even deepest non secular faculties needs to be obliged to supply powerful publicity to the information of alternative religions, to atheism, and to nonreligious methods to ethics.
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Additional info for Faith in Schools?: Autonomy, Citizenship, and Religious Education in the Liberal State
But they are also ill-suited to prepare students for democratic citizenship because they do not govern their internal affairs in accordance with the principles of public reason and justification that are required of participants in the political sphere of liberal democratic societies. It is important to be clear what this argument is not saying: it does not propose that all institutions in civil society should ideally operate as miniature liberal democratic states. It merely proposes that to the extent that institutions perform an educative function, particularly if their members are children, it will be desirable from a civic perspective that they instantiate liberal democratic norms in their rules and decision-making procedures.
Perhaps this is because they have other grounds for worrying about the prospect of liberal states drawing distinctions among religious schools: I address concerns of this type in chapter 7. But, for the purposes of this chapter, I want to consider the most straightforward and plausible version of Gutmann’s and Macedo’s views, and so I shall consider types of religious school that might most naturally be thought to be unsuitable for civic educational purposes. Therefore, in this chapter and the next, when I refer to a religious school, I have in mind a school that exemplifies both of the following features.
But this is a statement with broad implications, since the only issues that are necessarily beyond the scope of liberal democratic deliberation and decision are those that concern only the truth or falsity of particular reasonable conceptions of the good, including religious doctrines. A school whose curriculum encourages religious reasoning about potential issues of public policy does a disservice to the liberal democratic state. And this is true whether the school is public or private—a point that I shall press in the next chapter.