MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory

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Event Date : 10 Sep, 2018 09:00 AM - 12 Sep, 2018 05:00 PM

Summary :

'The Liberal State, Religion and Education: Principled Policies for Non-Ideal Circumstances'
Convenor: Dr Ruth Wareham (University of Warwick)

MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory Details

City :
Organiser :
Ruth Wareham

Few public debates are as contentious as those pertaining to the proper place of religion in education. Some argue that religious schools are the antithesis of liberal education, while others maintain that they are essential to the preservation of religious freedoms. Despite this disagreement, religious schools are a reality in most liberal democratic societies and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Given that this is the case, what attitude should liberal states take towards these institutions and their regulation? Furthermore, since education need not take place in state-funded schools, should that attitude be different when religious formation takes place in other contexts (in private or supplementary schools, in the family, or as a result of homeschooling, for example)?

The aim of this workshop is twofold. First, to explore a range of normative questions concerning religious schools, parents’ rights to raise their children in accordance with their own beliefs and values, children’s right to autonomy, as well as the state’s interest in social cohesion and the creation of future citizens. And, second, to move from ideal theory (or 'theory of ideals') into non-ideal (or applied) theory, by considering this philosophical enterprise in the light of relevant empirical work in concrete socio-political and legal contexts.

With this in mind, we invite contributions on any aspect of the relationship between the liberal state, religion and education, both from those looking at these questions through a largely theoretical lens and those whose research is of a more empirical nature. In addition, submissions which seek to draw these two perspectives together will be particularly welcome.

Topics might include, but need not be limited to:

  • The permissibility of state funding for religious schooling;
  • State regulation of religious schools (admissions, recruitment of staff, curriculum, pedagogy);
  • Religion in private educational spaces (independent schools, supplementary schools and homeschooling);
  • Balancing the rights and/or interests of parents and children;
  • Social cohesion and civic virtue;
  • International perspectives on religious schooling;
  • Legal perspectives on religious schooling;
  • Religious expression in (non-denominational) school environments (e.g. religious dress);
  • Feasibility constraints on regulation and policy-making in matters of faith-based education;
  • In-depth analysis and/or application of the work of established political theorists to the role of religion in education (e.g. Rawls, Raz, Dworkin, Laborde, Nussbaum, Taylor)

To apply, please send a 500-word abstract to by 4pm on Friday 18th May, 2018.

NB: We are happy to receive papers from scholars at all career levels, from PhD students to full professors.

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