Raiders of the Lost Archives: Searching for the Hidden History of Religious Education in England
Parker, Stephen G.
Reason for embargo
This chapter provides a justification for historical inquiry in Religious Education research and a critique of the existing historiography of Religious Education in England. It then provides a report of two research projects funded by The British Academy and the Westhill Endowment Trust. These projects were both concerned to address the problems we had identified in the existing historiography by exploring the ‘hidden history’ of Religious Education in England between 1969 and 1979, when a radical shift in the nature and purpose of the subject is alleged to have occurred. The main methodological and substantive findings from these projects are discussed, as well as the extent to which we succeeded in achieving our aims. Finally, we briefly set out our agenda for future historical research based on a discussion of the need to place the history of Religious Education in England in four particular contexts: the wider curriculum; educational institutions and structures; religion(s) and the academic study of religion(s); and international and supranational comparators, movements and influences. This process of curriculum contextualization implies not just drilling down within the existing historiographical parameters of English Religious Education to unearth previously hidden data, but reframing the field of study more broadly and in a manner that might be relevant for all curriculum history.
Chapter from History, Remembrance and Religious Education edited by S. G. Parker, R. Freathy & L. J. Francis.
pp. 105 - 137
Place of publication