Paper $42.95 ISBN: 9781447316664 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $111.00 ISBN: 9781447316657 Published June 2015 For sale in North and South America only

Religious Literacy in Policy and Practice

Edited by Adam Dinham and Matthew Francis

Religious Literacy in Policy and Practice

Edited by Adam Dinham and Matthew Francis

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

256 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $42.95 ISBN: 9781447316664 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $111.00 ISBN: 9781447316657 Published June 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Although we often assume religion is in decline in the West, it continues to have an important yet contested role in individual lives and in society at large. And after half a century in which religion and belief were barely talked about in the public sphere, we face a pressing lack of religious literacy. Many are now ill-equipped to engage with religion and belief when they encounter them in their daily lives—in relationships, law, media, professions, business, and politics, among other venues.

This valuable book is the first to bring together theory and policy with analysis and expertise to explore what religious literacy is, why it is needed, and what might be done about it. Its contributors make the case for a public realm that is well-equipped to engage with the plurality and pervasiveness of religion and belief, whatever an individual participant’s own stance. It will be of great importance to academics, policy makers, and practitioners interested in the manifold implications of the continued presence of religion and belief in the public sphere.
Contents
Foreword ~ Grace Davie

Section one – Theory
Religious literacy: contesting an idea and practice ~ Adam Dinham and Matthew Francis
Diminishing religious literacy: methodological assumptions and analytical frameworks for promoting the public understanding of religion ~ Diane L. Moore
Religious literacy in the context of Theology and Religious Studies ~ David Ford and Mike Higton
The irony of religious illiteracy in the USA ~ Stephen Prothero & Lauren R. Kerby
Religious literacy as lokahi: social harmony through diversity ~ Michael Barnes SJ and Jonathan D. Smith

Section two – Policy
Religious literacy and welfare ~ Adam Dinham
Religious literacy, radicalisation and extremism ~ Matthew Francis and Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist
Religious literacy, equalities and human rights ~ Rebecca Catto and David Perfect

Section three – Practice
Religious illiteracy in school Religious Education ~ James C. Conroy
Religious literacy in higher education ~ Stephen H. Jones
Religious literacy and social work: the view from Australia ~ Beth R. Crisp
Religious literacy and the media: the case of the BBC ~ Michael Wakelin and Nick Spencer
Religious literacy and chaplaincy ~ Jeremy Clines with Sophie Gilliat-Ray
Religious literacies: the future ~ Matthew Francis and Adam Dinham.
Review Quotes
Joshua Canzona, Georgetown University | Sociology of Religion
“This book does an excellent job of balancing deep reflection on the meaning of religious literacy with careful examination of how the concept plays out in a variety of real-world contexts. It will prove an essential resource for scholars and educators interested in the role of religious literacy in the contemporary scene.”
Church Times
“The aim of the volume is excellent—all the themes will keep experts busy researching and advising for years to come.”
Richard Wallis, Bournemouth University, UK | British Politics
“[This] book is timely and provides a solid introduction to the field. It should be of interest not only to scholars and policy makers, but also to anyone concerned about the poverty of current public discourse about religion.”
Lori G. Beaman, University of Ottawa, Canada
“A significant contribution to the improvement of conversation about religious literacy by insisting that informed debate be the norm rather than a rarity.”
Chris Baker, University of Chester, UK, and director of research, William Temple Foundation
“A clear and fearless statement that we need to regain a proper conversation about religion and politics in our uncertain age, it provides both the tools and the ideas by which we may begin to have this conversation in public.”
James A. Beckford, University of Warwick, UK
“This is a groundbreaking and positive response by relevant experts to questions about the discussion of religion in a wide range of social contexts. Each chapter is thought-provoking, original, and clear.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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