Time Out Melbourne

Intelligence Squared Debates: Faith-based Religious Education Has No Place in Public School

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"Education is too important to be left to passionate amateurs."

And with that, Professor Marion Maddox has declared her side in the first Intelligence Squared Debate for 2014. It’s titled 'faith-based religious education has no place in public school', and it’s hosted by the Wheeler Centre.

Maddox specialises in religion and politics at Macquarie University in Sydney and recently published the book, Taking God to School: The End of Australia's Egalitarian Education. She’ll take the affirmative side of the table, with anti-poverty advocate Tim Costello, among others, on the negative. The role of religion in society is one of the big issues plaguing Australian politics, and education is at the core of it, she says.

"It's a very important issue considering that two-thirds of students are educated in public schools."
Maddox wants to make it clear she isn't against religious education, considering that Australia is one of a growing number of countries to openly embrace multiple faiths.

"It's not just that there are schools dominated by a religion but it's often only part of one religion, so it's not like students are getting the full story," she says, adding that teachers then often assume that the children in their classroom either believe in that viewpoint, or want to.

Maddox believes that religion – and in particular the role it played in history and continues to plays in politics – should be taught. But not doctrine.

With Cory Bernardi having already opened this very can of worms, Maddox thinks it should be a lively event.

By Alana Schetzer   |  

Intelligence Squared Debates: Faith-based Religious Education Has No Place in Public School details

90-130 Swanston St, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9658 9779

Nearby Stations: Flinders St

Price $12.00 to $20.00

Date Wed 26 Feb 2014

Open 6.30pm-8.30pm

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