- The authors:
Sergey D. Lebedev
- Issue: July 24-26th, 2019
- Pages: 57-65
- Section: RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY EDUCATION: INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL REFLECTION
- URL: http://conference-ifl.rudn.ru/57-65/
Abstract. The article presents a theoretical and methodological approach to
the analysis of the practice of teaching / studying knowledge about religion
from the standpoint of cultural reflection. The article main part structure and
content are aligned in accordance with three methodological principles: the
coherence of the systems “Society – Education” by E. Durkheim, the
sociocultural principle by P.А. Sorokin and the principle of unity and
complementarity of function and context. A consistent analysis of the main
aspects for the reflection of religion in Russian society and education results
in a comprehensive description of the corresponding problem for subsequent
Religion reflection in education is the understanding of the religious
phenomena and processes in terms of functions, goals and the objectives of
education. It has complex and potentially controversial character due to the
diffusion of the education institutional contexts and other social institutions:
faiths, families, the media, etc. The field of their intersection and potential
conflict of values / interpretations is the consciousness of the education
target subject – the student. The quality of his final reflective correlation
between the different versions of religion understanding determines the
achievement or non-achievement the educational goals and tasks in terms of
its study. In terms of Niklas Luhmann, representations that provide selfreferencing and external reference of subjects and practices, and their most
profound, universal and sustainable part related to the cultural patterns, can
provide the key to the understanding and, based on it, resolving the potential
and real conflict situations in this area.
The analytical model proposed for the describing and solving the problem of
the religion reflection in the modern Russian education involves three
dimensions: the axis “social subject – social structure – semantic pattern”;
the axis “function – context”; the axis of “society – education.” This
approach allows “unravel” the problem node, which is presented as a series
of several contradictions.
The subjects in the society take different mindsets / reflective attitudes
regarding to the religion, which may not fit into the frame of the dominant
reflection program. This creates a dysfunctional potential for interactions in
the field of a religious situation. Accordingly, the education subjects form
and express the various orders for the evaluation / interpretation of the
religion in education, both in terms of its quantitative presence in the
educational communication, and in the qualitative part of the teaching
content. At the same time, a number of requests and expected educational
results go beyond the proposed reflective frame. The quantitative and
qualitative parameters of such a discrepancy still remain largely uncertain.
There is a tension between the political-ideological and objective-scientific
intentions of the religion reflection in the structural-institutional relations in
the society. In the field of education, it is expressed through the latent or
explicit conflict between the teaching (principle of science) and educational
(principle of cultural conformity) functions of education, which is
complemented by the contradiction between the particular nature of the
corresponding educational segment and the large-scale tasks assigned to it.
In the cultural and semantic terms, the initial contradiction is between the
religious and secular ideological meanings and values – it is emphasized by
the contradiction between the asymmetry of the cultures representation in
the society in favor of the secular culture (interpretive modus) and the active
revitalization of religion (broadcast modus). The secular culture is not
always capable to interpret the religious meanings authentically; at the same
time, it generates various, including opposite in content, assessments /
interpretations of the religious realities. In the field of education, this
contradiction takes the form of a probabilistic conflict between the pro- and
counter-religious patterns of evaluation / interpretation of religion in a
secular cultural perception matrix, which vary in both the subject and the
object plans of reflection.
Keywords: Russian education, religion in education, reflection of religion,
cultural reflection, Orthodox culture
Sergey D. Lebedev
Belgorod National Research University, Belgorod, Russia,
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2545-4055
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