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Self-appointed passengers to paradise: A comparative examination of parliamentary debate on religious education in England 1944 and 1988

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The Education Acts in 1944 and 1988 are two of the most significant education reform acts in English history – overall and with reference to religious education (RE). They have been extensively researched (including RE),but little has focused on the debates in parliament, and such research has only been procedural analysis. This presentation will use these debates to explore speakers’ conceptions of RE at these two points in time, and argue that they transform substantially. In 1944, RE was a broadly modernist national programme administered to the population; where by 1988, it had come to be seen as an individualised opportunity imbued with a sense of choice and consumption. In both cases, their conceptions reflect the broader historical and cultural contexts of each Act.

This talk is part of the FERSA Lunchtime Sessions series.

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