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Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism$
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Adam B. Seligman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199359479

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199359479.001.0001

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Educating Citizens in America

Educating Citizens in America

The Paradoxes of Difference and Democracy

(p.193) 8 Educating Citizens in America
Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism

Ashley Rogers Berner

James Davison Hunter

Oxford University Press

Citizenship, as understood in America, requires an intellectual, emotional, and practical commitment to social, political, and normative ideals that are larger than the self. The purpose of this chapter is to articulate those ideals and to explore some of the salient cultural and educational barriers to their fulfillment: the radical individualism that characterizes US primary institutions (even religious ones); an educational philosophy that champions self-interest and minimizes academic content; and the very structure of public schooling that, in contrast to its counterparts in other liberal democracies, seeks uniformity instead of honoring and reinforcing deep differences of philosophical and religious commitment.

Keywords:   citizenship, educational philosophy, public education, character education, psychology, teachers’ association

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