This book is a contribution to scholarship in the field of religious education. Its aim is simple: to offer a critical perspective on the nature of religious education in the light of contemporary developments in Catholic thinking in catechesis and wider thinking in education. The issues raised in the book will provide ample material for fruitful dialogue and constructive debate in the world of Catholic education.
Part One revolves around four historical contexts selected specifically to illuminate contemporary developments in the field. While these historical periods have porous boundaries, they offer a working structure in support of the core claims of the book.
Part Two explores the complex genealogy of the relationship between catechesis and Religious Education. Key thematic frames of reference within which the relevant Magisterial documents and associated academic literature are set out and explored chronologically thus allowing for some cross-referencing across the themes: unsurprisingly the range of the issues for debate resists a neat packaging within specific time-frames but does provide a helpful working structure. Part Three proposes that a Spirituality of Communion should underpin the Church’s work in catechesis, education and Religious Education.
Shared Mission seems to be a satisfactory articulation of the necessary dialogic relationship between both fields and offers a suitable space for both distinction and reciprocity. The revised edition contains an appendix on the Global Compact on Education.
"To be a Catholic educator is to seek harmony between faith and reason, theory and practice: such a dialogue is the sine qua non of an excellent Catholic school."~Gerhard Cardinal Müller, Preface to the first edition