RIP Terence Copley

/ 28 January 2011

One of my esteemed colleagues in the field of religious education, Terence Copley, has just died. My prayers go out to his family and friends, and I want to include here a link to Bert Roebben’s blog which has a lovely tribute on it. Here’s a quote from Terence:

If you leave God out, you are communicating a value just as much as if you keep God in public discourse (…). We are culturally programmed to be wary of religious indoctrination in the West, but the question of secular indoctrination has largely escaped attention. It seems that our children need to be protected from religion, but not from secularism. (…). If teaching the certainty of God constitutes attempted indoctrination, then teaching the impossibility of God, or suppressing discourse about God, constitutes another sort of attempted indoctrination. In the face of this, how is education about religion(s) to proceed? The answer is clear. It must dare to teach the possibility of God. The individual student is then invited to engage with alleged evidence and experiences and eventually to reach his or her own conclusions.” (T. Copley, Non-indoctrinary religious education in secular cultures, in Religious Education 103 (2008) 22-31 passim).