Religion and the Media in GCSE and A-Level Syllabuses: A Regrettable Gap and Proposals to Fill It
British Journal of Religious Education
Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis (Routledge) via the DOI in this record.
Reason for embargo
Existing GCSE and A-level syllabuses include modules on religion and the media, but these have not been widely or well studied for a variety of reasons. The modules may be considered difficult to teach well, and teachers have few good resources to use in comparison with more popular topics such as medical or environmental ethics. The newly launched specifications for RS GCSE and A-level examinations have eliminated, almost entirely, any study of religion and the media. The absence of this theme is troubling. There is a strong case to be made that critical appreciation of the ways media depicts religion is especially important for forming responsible, educated citizens in modern Britain, many of whom will not participate directly in religious communities but will see much depiction of such communities and their ideologies in the media. We propose key principles and questions that might help equip teachers to tackle critically and intelligently issues about religion in the media as they arise. We illustrate this approach by considering media responses to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
This work was supported by the Saint Luke’s College Foundation [grant number 014J-11], for which the authors would like to express their gratitude.
Published online: 05 Jul 2016