What is this thing called Religious Education?
Third Edition

Terence J. Lovat
Professor of Education and Pro-Vice-Chancellor
The University of Newcastle

$44.00 inc GST
103 pages, 240x175mm, Softcover
ISBN 9781921333-224

July 2009

The Book
This is the third edition of a well known and popular book in religious education circles, first published in 1989 with a second edition in 2002. This third edition builds on the first two editions, offering a clear distinction between different approaches to religious education, ranging from Enfaithing models, designed principally to encourage and induct students into a particular faith tradition, through to Interfaith models that are designed to offer literacy about religions across their various types and traditions. In the middle, the author offers a compromise model, designed essentially for education about religions but also providing pedagogical moments for personal search and exploration of particular faith traditions.

This third edition suggests that religious education is a more mature curriculum area than was the case in 1989, having a more prestigious and central role in mainstream education. In the twenty years that have passed, the matter of religious education has become more urgent, especially around the prevalence of religious misunderstanding and conflict, much of which threatens the future of societies and of peaceful civilization generally. The author explores these themes in a new final section of the book.

The book is intended for religious educators in religious and public school settings, for University students of religious education and for the general reader with interest in the topic.


The Author
Terence Lovat is Professor of Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor at The University of Newcastle, Australia, and Immediate Past President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education.


Section A: Enfaithing models of Religious Education
Chapter 1: The Prescriptive Model
Chapter 2: The Life-Centred Models
Chapter 3: The Praxis Model

Section B: Interfaith models of Religious Education
Chapter 4: The Social Science Models
Chapter 5: The Phenomenological Model
Chapter 6: The Typological Model

Section C: An integrated model of Religious Education
Chapter 7: The Critical Model: An Attempt at Integration

Section D: Religious Education in the Twenty-First Century
Chapter 8: The Nesting of Religious Education in the Public Curriculum
Chapter 9: Phenomenology: The Challenge and the Defence
Chapter 10: The Changing Religious Landscape of Australia and More about Phenomenological Method
Chapter 11: The Urgency of Education about Islam