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Religion in Education: Naomi Stanton

25 July 11

Held at the University of Warwick, 25th-26th July 2011

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Naomi Stanton [Open University]

Christian Youth Work as Religious Education?

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Naomi Stanton’s doctoral research has been on young people’s engagement with Christianity, past and present, in a project entitled “From Sunday Schools to Christian Education” funded by Religion and Society.

Abstract: This presentation will examine the notion of Christian youth work as religious education based on research with Christian youth workers and young people engaging in their youth work programmes. Collins-Mayo et al (2010) have argued that Christian youth workers are ineffective in transmitting the Christian narrative and foster only a ‘passing interest’ in Christianity among young people. A three-phase model of Christian youth work will be presented, ranging from youth work as a social club, small group teaching to engagement with church services. The model which emerges from my research allows young people to choose how far to engage with the explicit Christian teaching, without catering exclusively for those who do. Notions of choice, voice, relationship and community will be explored in young people’s engagement with Christianity. The discussion will also challenge the dominant assumption of recent literature that young people engage with religion as consumers in an individualistic society, by exploring the significance of social action and volunteering to young people involved in the research. The argument will be framed within the concept of ‘social currencies’ (a term suggested by Griffiths 2009) as a two-way, transactional alternative to building social capital.

[Naomi also presented at the Religion and Society event 'Young People and Religion' hosted at KCL in May 2011. Click here for more info.]

Report and podcasts compiled by Norman Winter. Abstract taken from the conference programme. Recordings of the symposium sessions are substantially complete, but may have been edited in small ways for technical and other reasons.

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