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Education & Religion SIG seminar: Freedom and the ideas of Hannah Arendt

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Committee Room 1

20 Bedford Way

UCL Institute of Education

London

WC1H 0AL

United Kingdom

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Freedom and the ideas of Hannah Arendt: What should religious education in the public sphere seek to achieve?

Dr Patricia Hannam, County Inspector and Adviser for Religious Education and History

Edwin Cox’s question ‘what is it that religious education is essentially trying to do at this point in history…?’ remains relevant. In response, the talk will begin with a critical discussion of what education should aim to achieve in the public sphere. It will develop this by considering Arendt’s position on freedom and will argue that education should be understood as a ‘place of appearance’ where people are together ‘in the manner of speech and action’ and children brought to action so freedom and the public sphere can exist. It will then explore what counts as religion, and propose that religious education be understood in existential terms, rather than in terms of knowledge of beliefs and practices alone. The talk will then weave these threads together to present a contingent response to the opening question which revolves around the importance of freedom in public sphere.

Please contact ioe.creme@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions.

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Committee Room 1

20 Bedford Way

UCL Institute of Education

London

WC1H 0AL

United Kingdom

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