Dr. Philip Barnes, King`s College, London) II.a Human Rights

Dr. Philip Barnes, King’s College, London)
II.a Human Rights, Religious Education and the Challenge of
Diversity: A British perspective
The central aim of this paper is to analyse and illuminate the role of human
rights in religious education and to consider the relevance of human rights to
education in liberal democratic societies that are characterised by diversity,
particularly ethnic, moral and religious diversity. Attention is given both to the
immediate political and social context within which human rights have come to
prominence in British education and to the wider philosophical context of
political liberalism. It is argued that current pre-occupations with citizenship
and human rights reveal the extent to which our contemporary moral situation,
political practice and education system illustrate and express ongoing tensions
within political liberalism. Despite this, a case will be made for the importance
and relevance of human rights to religious education. It is argued that religious
convictions, or more particularly Christian convictions, provide a justification
for human rights and that a consideration of human rights can make a valuable
contribution to a more extensive programme of moral, social and religious