Saint Andrew’s Foundation Seminar

Saint Andrew’s Foundation Seminar

Issued: Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:14:00 GMT

Saint Andrew’s Foundation Seminar

Monday 11th December 2017

4.30pm - 6.00pm


John Stoer

(Former Head of St Aloysius College, Glasgow)

Using inter-religious dialogue as a way of approaching disagreement with Church teaching in Catholic religious education.

Most teachers of Catholic religious education will have experience of dealing with disagreement with Church teaching in the classroom. Topics such as abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage and women’s ordination are amongst the more obvious examples of possible areas of disagreement. In the guidance produced by the Catholic Church in Scotland, and England and Wales, there is no advice as to how a teacher might respond to or make use of disagreement with Church teaching.  Outside of official documents, recent studies have suggested a need to promote a “pedagogy of dissent” (McDonough) or for teachers to act as “interpreters” of official Church teaching (Sullivan).

This paper questions these recent approaches and makes use of Church guidance on inter-religious dialogue to argue that the teacher should uphold Church teaching and be open to disagreement. The paper will address the question of how disagreement should be approached and used in the classroom to further both critical enquiry and understanding of Church teaching. It will also raise the difficult question as to what a teacher should do if she/he disagrees with Church teaching and agrees with the pupil.

John Stoer retired as Head of St Aloysius’ College in 2013 and since then has been pursuing doctoral studies at Glasgow University on developing an approach to Catholic religious education in the light of Church teaching on other religions and inter-religious dialogue. John has been an RE teacher, Head of RE, Assistant Head and Deputy Head in four London Catholic comprehensives. In 1994, he became the first lay Head of St Joseph’s College, Stoke-on-Trent, a Christian Brother school, and in 2004, the first lay Head of St Aloysius.

Venue: St Andrew’s Building, Ogilvie Room (5th Floor)

For catering purposes please register for this event by emailing Roisín Coll

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