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Religion as Culture and Text

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Frameworks for Religion Education in South Africa

image of Religion and Theology

Professors David Chidester and Cornelia Roux support the new policy on religion education promulgated in 2003 that emphasises the value of exposing learners to the diversity of religious traditions in the country. In this essay, I identify the frameworks they adopt for the study of religions, and argue that they be further developed for the religion education classroom. I propose that both dynamic discursive traditions (Chidester) and texts (content) (Roux) provide key frameworks for religion education. Discursive traditions open the door to a critical and contextual appreciation of religions that is open to change, renewal and innovation. I do not support the hermeneutical preoccupation of Roux, but find her emphasis on the texts and content of religions useful for thinking about the semiotics of religious traditions on self, society and the world. I provide the justification for these frameworks from reflections in the study of religions.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cape Town


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