Religious education (RE) has often found itself at the centre of debates about education's role in promoting social cohesion in contemporary multi-religious societies. The paper considers RE's relationship to religious plurality within the broader context of politics of curriculum and debates on pluralism. Drawing upon the recent works on the history of religion and using the teaching of the histories and cultures of Muslims in RE as a case study, it argues that RE has yet to fulfil its potential in this regard. It also examines reasons for this and recommends alternative approaches to content which may help RE rise to the relevant challenges.
Professor Farid F. Panjwan is Dean of the Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University, Karachi. In 2012 Professor Panjwani founded the Centre for the Study of Education in Muslim Societies at the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL). Dedicated to the promotion of sound academic research and scholarship in Muslim contexts, the Centre was the first of its kind in any UK university.