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A description of the curriculum including studies of tenets of faith of a certain religion

Religion and Education Around the World 7. How religion may affect educational attainment: Historians and social scientists have written about this relationship and about how the two may influence each other.

This chapter presents a broad overview of scholarly research into the ways religion can affect educational achievement. It is not an exhaustive survey of the academic literature, but instead a brief summary of some explanations proposed to account for attainment differences among religious groups.

Religion is certainly not the only reason for this variance; many other factors may play an equal or greater role, including economic, geographic, cultural factors and political conditions within a country or region. The chapter begins with an historical look at ways in which scholars suggest that various religions have influenced education, especially the spread of literacy among laypeople. This section also explores how historical patterns sometimes help explain contemporary patterns in educational attainment.

Next, this chapter considers hypotheses about how the cultural norms and doctrines of a religious group may affect educational attainment. It concludes with a look at some leading theories for the stark differences in educational attainment between Christians and Muslims living in sub-Saharan Africa.

In many instances, the foundations of that infrastructure are based on facilities originally built by religious leaders and organizations to promote learning and spread the faith. In India, the most learned men and sometimes women of ancient times were residents of Buddhist and Hindu monasteries.

In the Middle East and Europe, Christian monks built libraries and, in the days before printing presses, preserved important earlier writings produced in Latin, Greek and Arabic. In many cases, these religious monasteries evolved into universities. Other universities, particularly in the United States and Europe, were built by Christian denominations to educate their clergy and lay followers.

  • Also see Nunn, Nathan;
  • Their textbook was the Bible;
  • Ellison, in a study of U;
  • Lehrer observes that those who frequently attended religious services during adolescence completed one more year of schooling than their less observant peers;
  • These missionary activities, the scholars conclude, have had a long-lasting positive impact on access to schooling and educational attainment levels in the region;
  • The Scopes Monkey trial in 1925 further highlighted the rift between science and some branches of Christianity over the theory of evolution, a contentious relationship that endures even today.

Most of these institutions have since become secular in orientation, but their presence may help explain why populations in the U. Apart from their roles in creating educational infrastructure, religious groups were foundational in fostering societal attitudes toward education. Islam There is considerable debate among scholars over the degree to which Islam has encouraged or discouraged secular education over the centuries.

Early Muslims made innovative intellectual contributions in such fields as mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, medicine and poetry. They established schools, often at mosques, known as katatib and madrasas.

These events included foreign invasions, first by the Mongols, who destroyed the House of Wisdom in 1258, and then by Christians, who pushed Muslims out of Spain in 1492. Some scholars argue that the educational decline began earlier, in the 11th and 12th centuries, and was rooted in institutional changes.

In particular, contends Harvard University Associate Professor of Economics Eric Chaney, the decline was caused by an increase in the political power of religious leaders who prioritized Islamic religious learning over scientific education.

It became dominated by the idea that divine revelation is superior to other types of knowledge, and that religious education should consist of learning only what Islamic scholars had said and written in the past. Columbia University history professor George Saliba writes: Christianity In the view of some scholars, the 16th-century Protestant Reformation was a driving force for public education in Europe.

Protestant reformers promoted literacy because of their contention that everyone needed to read the Bible, which they viewed as the essential authority on doctrinal matters. Driven by this theological conviction, religious leaders urged the building of schools and the translation of the Bible into local languages — and Reformation leader Martin Luther set the example by translating the Bible into German.

The Scopes Monkey trial in 1925 further highlighted the rift between science and some branches of Christianity over the theory of evolution, a contentious relationship that endures even today. These missionary activities, the scholars conclude, have had a long-lasting positive impact on access to schooling and educational attainment levels in the region. Research by Baylor University sociologist Robert D. As a result, they established schools to promote literacy wherever they went and translated the Bible into indigenous languages.

Except where they were in direct competition with Protestant missionaries, Catholic missionaries concentrated on educating African elites rather than the masses, Woodberry observes. And Nunn notes that Protestant missionaries placed greater stress than Catholics on educating women. As a result, Protestants had more long-term impact on the education of sub-Saharan African women.

Asma, a professor of philosophy at Columbia College Chicago. When the Thai government introduced Western-style, secular education around the beginning of the 20th century, it used monastic schools as the vehicle for reaching the wider population.

Hindu scriptures urge adherents to seek knowledge through dialogue and questioning, and to respect their teachers. To start with, the most authoritative Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, a word that comes from the Sanskrit root word vd, which means knowledge, Rambachan says. University of Florida religion professor Vasudha Narayanan says Hindus regard two types of knowledge as necessary and worthwhile.

The first, vidya, is everyday knowledge that equips one to earn a decent and dignified life. The second, jnana, is knowledge or wisdom that brings awareness of the divine. This is achieved by reading and meditating a description of the curriculum including studies of tenets of faith of a certain religion Hindu scriptures. Historically, the caste system in India was a huge barrier to the spread of mass literacy and education.

Formal education was reserved for elite populations. But in the seventh and eighth centuries, the vernacular language of Tamil began to be used for religious devotion in southern India, which led to greater access to all kinds of knowledge for a wider group of people.

Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, both secular and religious education came to be seen by Hindus as a universal right, and it gradually began to be extended to all members of the faith. Judaism High levels of Jewish educational attainment may be rooted in ancient religious norms, according to some recent scholarship.

The Torah encourages parents to educate their children.

This prescription was not mandatory, however, until the first century. Sometime around 65 C. A few years later, in the year 70, the Roman army destroyed the Second Temple following a Jewish revolt. Temple rituals had been a pillar of Jewish religious life. To replace them, Jewish religious leaders emphasized the need for studying the Torah in synagogues. They also gave increased importance to the earlier religious decree on educating sons, making it a compulsory religious duty for all Jewish fathers.

Over the next few centuries, a formal school system attached to synagogues was established. Jewish scholarship was enhanced in the early Middle Ages, beginning in the late sixth century, by the emergence of Talmudic academies of Sura and Pumbedita in what is now Iraq. Until the early 19th century, however, most education of Jewish boys was primarily religious.

This intellectual movement sought to blend secular humanism with the Jewish faith and to encourage openness to secular scholarship among Jews. At the same time, they were strong proponents of reforming Jewish education by including secular subjects, such as European literature and the natural sciences. This educational project often brought the reformists into conflict with more orthodox Jewish religious leaders.

Some scholars have noted that from the Reformation onward, Protestant groups encouraged educating women, with effects that still resonate today. Lake Forest College political scientist Fatima Z. This is not the case when family laws are based on more general Islamic precepts. In this regard, sociologists Darren E. Some scholars, however, hypothesize that higher levels of religious observance and engagement produce greater educational attainment.

Ellison, in a study of U. Lehrer observes that those who frequently attended religious services during adolescence completed one more year of schooling than their less observant peers. If this is true, one might expect higher percentages of religiously unaffiliated people in parts of the world with high educational attainment.

A sidebar in Chapter 3 explores data relating to this question, finding mixed results. Missionary-built educational facilities were often located in what became heavily Christian areas rather than predominantly Muslim locales.

  • The second, jnana, is knowledge or wisdom that brings awareness of the divine;
  • The chapter begins with an historical look at ways in which scholars suggest that various religions have influenced education, especially the spread of literacy among laypeople;
  • Attitudes Toward Science and Technology;
  • These missionary activities, the scholars conclude, have had a long-lasting positive impact on access to schooling and educational attainment levels in the region;
  • This section also explores how historical patterns sometimes help explain contemporary patterns in educational attainment.

Historic differences between colonial policy and missionary activity in northern and southern Nigeria are likely an important factor in the present-day Christian-Muslim education gap in Nigeria. He finds no definitive explanation for the gap, but posits that one factor may be that religious schools set up by local Islamic leaders are viewed as an alternative to government schools.

Some of the Islamic schools follow the curricula of state schools, while others teach only religious subjects. Surveys she conducted in Malawi found that Muslims and Christians express similar demands for formal education and do not perceive a trade-off between religious and formal schooling that would affect educational attainment.

Platas suggests that a second possible explanation, particularly for Muslim-majority areas, is that some Muslims may believe that secular government schools are Christian-oriented. As during the colonial period, therefore, they may fear that attending these schools poses a threat to their religious identity and to the practice of their faith.

Muslim participation is even lower in countries that have mandatory teaching of religion in government primary schools, Manglos-Weber adds. In Ivory Coast, for example, anthropologist Robert Launay contends that an economic boom following independence favored those who had been educated in the colonial era and convinced many Muslim parents of the economic benefits of state schooling.

Under such constraints, expanding the education system was out of the question. The gaps appear to be partly a result of historical developments, especially Christian missionary activity and colonial policy. A host of contemporary economic, social, cultural and religious factors may also play a role. The Making and Unmaking of Islamic Culture. Also see Ahmad, Imad-ad-Dean.

Attitudes Toward Science and Technology. Also see Sardar, Ziauddin. Gawthrop and Strauss argue that Luther and other Reformation leaders stopped promoting Bible reading in favor of teaching religion through a memorized catechism in order to maintain orthodox interpretations of scripture. Also see Woodberry, Robert D.

Religion and Education Around the World

Woodberry writes that other Protestant revival movements brought near universal literacy to other places even earlier than the Pietists in Germany: One was the invention of the Gutenberg printing press, which made printed works widely available at a cheap price. Launched by Christian religious leaders, the schools initially were intended to teach literacy to poor children. Their textbook was the Bible. The church regarded this view — later accepted as scientific fact — as contrary to Holy Scripture.

The defendant in the Scopes Monkey Trial, high school teacher John Scopes, was convicted of violating a Tennessee law banning the teaching of human evolution in government-funded schools.

Bates, Nathan Nunn and James A. Also see Nunn, Nathan. Also, Asma, Stephen T. See also Cleary, Stephen. Attendance at these schools was entirely voluntary.