I'Anson J (2010) RE: pedagogy – after neutrality. British Journal of Religious Education, 32 (2), pp. 105-118. https://doi.org/10.1080/01416200903529727
Within the UK and in many parts of the world, official accounts of what it is to make sense of religion are framed within a rhetorics of neutrality in which such study is premised upon the possibility of dispassionate engagement and analysis. This paper, which is largely theoretical in scope, explores both the affordances and the costs of such an approach which has become ‘black boxed’ on account of the work that it achieves. A series of new orientations within the academy that are broadly associated with post-structuralist philosophies, feminist and post-colonial studies, together with insights from Science and Technology Studies, question the plausibility of these claims for neutrality whilst in turn raising a series of new questions and priorities. It therefore becomes necessary to re-think and re-frame what it is to make sense of religious and cultural difference after neutrality. The gathering and co-ordination of new planes of sense-making that are responsive to an emergent series of epistemological, ontological, and ethical orientations are considered. Some of the distinctive pedagogical implications of such an approach that engages material practice, difference and uncertainty are then entertained.
neutrality; sense-making; ontological politics; eventfulness; pedagogy of difference; Education, Secondary Scotland; Community psychology; Educational equalization
British Journal of Religious Education: Volume 32, Issue 2