Call for Papers: Faith Schools in Liberal Secular States: identity, integration and citizenship – University of Iceland, 25th-27th August 2011

If I happened to have the spare cash I would SO be there! In case anyone out there is interested…
Maybe we’ll be able to follow the events online?
CALL FOR PAPERS:
6th ECPR General Conference
University of Iceland
(25th – 27th Aug. 2011)
Faith Schools in Liberal Secular States: identity, integration and
citizenship
Panel Chair:  Victoria Montgomery (v.montgomery@qub.ac.uk)
Institution: Queen’s University, Belfast
Abstract: Faith schools are far from a new phenomenon, but recent years have witnessed a growing interest and concern regarding their place and expansion in liberal secular states, with people such as Richard Dawkins (2001) declaring them as ‘lethally divisive’. Although the post 9/11 context with its greater attention to issues such as integration and the public place of religion has increased such interest, the question of whether faith based education exacerbates societal fragmentation has been an ongoing issue in places such as Northern Ireland for many decades. The importance of faith schools goes beyond what is taught. The ethos and environment is a tool towards the maintenance of a particular way of life. And, certainly the right to have your child educated in a particular way hardly seems excessive or contrary to a liberal political culture. Moreover, as diversity is now regularly posited as a source of civic strength in many plural states, why is the practical expression of it in education so problematic? Yet, faith based education has been charged with having more to do with communalism than communitarianism.
Segregated education is seen to be at the heart of parallel communities. Indeed, moving beyond the physical lack of contact and communication that is implicit in faith based education; the mental distance it creates may also be problematic to a political culture which values autonomy and rationality as well as equality and liberty. In other words, if education in the Durkheim perspective socializes children into the norms of society, does a plural education system undermine the state? This panel then seeks to bring together scholars with an interest in the complex issue of faith schools and integration.
Click here to download the guidelines and deadlines for paper givers:
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About Chris

Scholar of religion/nonreligion... PhD Student (Lancaster University), blogger, singer, actor, thinker... Northern Irish living in Scotland. Co-founder of The Religious Studies Project. Director at the NSRN. Baritone masquerading as a tenor. Vegetarian for no particular reason.

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