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    Queering Religions Schooling: Teaching, Values, Rituals


    Henry, Sean (2019) Queering Religions Schooling: Teaching, Values, Rituals. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis offers a queer reading of religious schooling that resists setting religion and queerness inevitably in opposition to one another. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives often rely on an identitarian account of religious schooling: the religious school exists to sustain a particular religion’s identity. This impulse frequently rests on a fixed conception of religious experience, where religion is reduced to a set of propositional claims about the world that distinguish the ‘unique’ identity of one religious group over another. The thesis argues that this account of religion often plays out in the opposition between religion and queerness in the context of education, with religious schools being seen as necessarily at odds with queer experiences and concerns. Through the lens of three discrete theological concepts across the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions (kerygma, ijtihad, and kavvanah) this dissertation argues that religion is far more complex than this (involving the ambiguous interplay of material as well as propositional dimensions of religious experience) and that it is precisely this complexity that calls for a theory of religious schooling beyond the neatness of the religious/queer divide. This position is developed through a commitment to the ‘weakness’ of education: education’s unpredictability gives rise to a view of the religious school that is less about sustaining a fixed (and hetero-/cisnormative) conception of religious identity, and more about tapping into and responding to the complexities of religious life and traditions in transformative and unforeseeable ways. This analysis is grounded in an attention to three facets of religious school life (engaging pedagogically with religious teachings; passing on religious values; and participating in religious school rituals), and translates its insights across to religious discourses and communities through an engagement with queer Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologies and life narratives. As well as interrupting the religious/queer divide, these interventions are also significant for educational theory in challenging the underlying assumptions around religion and education upon which discussions of religious schooling are frequently built. These include the alignment of religious schooling with religious identity formation, as well as the framing of religious schooling in theological, rather than educational, terms.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Queering Religions Schooling; Teaching; Values; Rituals;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 11181
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 09:38
    URI:

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