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a journal of analysis and comment advancing public understanding of religion and education
(more on the Journal)

Spring 2005, Vol. 32 No. 1

Editorís Preface

This spring issue of Religion and Education features a Special Focus Section on Rethinking Religion, Education, and Pluralism in Europe and the United States. This section contains six papers from a program session of the fall 2004 annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Marcia Beauchamp is Guest Editor for this section. Following is a description of the session from the conference program.

The role of religion in primary and secondary education has been addressed in various ways throughout western culture. In recent history, however, the subject has been significantly affected by the explosion of pluralism in its many forms, particularly religious diversity. Approaches to religion and ethnicity, moral and civic education, state funding for religious education, and religious literacy are among the most crucial of the issues raised by pluralism (p. 21).

A panel focused on these challenges in Europe and the United States, particularly as they are described in Robert Jacksonís book Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality. Panelists with papers in this section are: Robert Jackson, University of Warwick, England; Warren Nord, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Bruce Grelle, California State University, Chico; Ivan Strenski, University of California, Riverside; Diane Moore, Harvard Divinity School; and Tim Jensen, University of Southern Denmark. Please see the Contributors section for more information on these scholars.

Rounding out the spring issue is a contribution by Laura Rendόn. Drawing from the writing of Don Miguel Ruiz, she challenges the "privileged agreements that govern teaching and learning in higher education" and proposes "an intellectual and spiritual framework for recasting the agreements in order to transform teaching and learning" (p.80).

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the Religion and Education editorial board. Dr. Robert Jackson is Professor of Education at the University of Warwick, England where he also directs the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit. His latest book is Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality: Issues in Religious Diversity and Pedagogy published by RoutledgeFalmer. Dr. Diane Moore is Director of the Program in Religion and Education at the Harvard Divinity School. She is working on a book due out in 2006, Overcoming Religious Illiteracy: A Multicultural Approach to the Study of Religion in Secondary Schools.

The cover art, entitled Essential Nature, is by Donald Cole of Vashon, Washington. The piece appeared as part of an exhibit, A Question of Faith, at the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art in October 2001.

Michael D. Waggoner, Editor
Religion and Education
Spring 2005