Religion, reductionism and pedagogical reduction

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This chapter addresses some theoretical questions around educational representation. How are we to encourage others to develop a rich understanding of religion(s)? What is involved in the selections and simplifications of religious traditions for educational purposes, and how are these generalisations and constructions justified? This chapter addresses these questions by developing and applying a theory of pedagogical reduction. I contrast the educationally constructive notion of pedagogical reduction to what is often taken to be problematic in understanding religion, namely reductionism. I propose that understanding religion entails the complex pedagogical practices of the give and take of pedagogical reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion and Education
Subtitle of host publicationThe Forgotten Dimensions of Religious Education
EditorsGert Biesta, Patricia Hannam
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-44639-7
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-44638-0
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020


  • pedagogical reductions
  • reductionism
  • representation
  • world religions paradigm
  • pedagogical tact

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