Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Brian Bocking, Yafa Shanneik, Karl Kitching, Isabelle Ruane,
RE21 – Religious Education in a Global-Local World
International Conference on Religious Education
UCC, Cork
Conference Organising Committee Chairperson
Optional Fields

Religious Education (RE) is a term that conveys diverse and often incompatible meanings to different constituencies. For some, ‘RE’ means religious nurturing, either tailored to parental views or meant to inculcate a uniform religiosity. For others, RE means learning about the many religious and non-religious world-views and secular ethics that exist, not promoting one religion or another. Some seek to avoid the ambiguous term ‘religious education’, replacing it with terms such as ‘education about religions and beliefs’ or ‘the religious dimension of intercultural education’.

The RE21 – Religious Education in a Global-Local World conference starts from two assumptions: (a) that RE has and will continue to have multiple and contested meanings and (b) that local interpretations of RE are increasingly in negotiation with each other as a consequence of globalisation. The RE21 conference emphasises a student-centred approach, viewing any kind of ‘RE’ (or indeed its absence) as a formative lived experience for pupils. It stresses a bottom-up, sociological and ethnographic/anthropological research-based approach to the study of RE, rather than the ‘top down’ approaches which often start from prescriptive legal, ideological or religious standpoints.

One aim of this conference is to further international academic research into the diverse past, present (and possible future) forms of RE and we hope to publish selected papers from the conference. A second aim is through discussion and debate at the conference to enhance public and professional understanding, in Ireland and beyond, of the complex issues and debates surrounding RE in the wider world. 

Alumnus Donation to Cork University Foundation from Hugh Lee