Religion in Education and Conflict: Lebanon and Northern Ireland Compared

Title: Religion in Education and Conflict: Lebanon and Northern Ireland Compared
Authors: Cervan Gil, Daniel
Date: 2011-05-19
Abstract: The Lebanese educational system has been blamed for being a contributing factor to political and social polarization. Assuming that religion in Lebanese private and public schools can enhance integration and cohesion of the Lebanese society or increase conflict through the propagation of fundamentalism, this study compares and contrasts the role of religion in the Lebanese and the Northern Irish educational system. While making the comparison, the advancements made in Northern Ireland are given as examples and by using these examples evaluations are carried out in the framework of conflict transformation, psycho-social theory and peace education approaches. Three major aspects of the Lebanese educational system that arguably need to be reformed include the existence of a majority of private confessional schools; the irresponsible use of education by religious communities in confessional schools to promote sectarianism; and the approach to religious education in both confessional and public schools.
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