Religion, reductionism and pedagogical reduction

Lewin, David; Biesta, Gert and Hannam, Patricia, eds. (2020) Religion, reductionism and pedagogical reduction. In: Religion and Education. Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, pp. 48-65. ISBN 978-90-04-44639-7 (

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This chapter addresses some theoretical questions around educational representation. How are we to encourage others to develop a rich understanding of religion(s)? What is involved in the selections and simplifications of religious traditions for educational purposes, and how are these generalisations and constructions justified? This chapter addresses these questions by developing and applying a theory of pedagogical reduction. I contrast the educationally constructive notion of pedagogical reduction to what is often taken to be problematic in understanding religion, namely reductionism. I propose that understanding religion entails the complex pedagogical practices of the give and take of pedagogical reduction.