University of Tasmania
whole_WebberEM1977_thesis.pdf (4.43 MB)

A critical analysis of Alfred North Whitehead's statements that \The essence of education is that it be religious\" and \"A religious education is an education which inculcates duty and reverence\""

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posted on 2023-05-27, 14:10 authored by Webber, E. M
An investigation of the various interpretations given by Whitehead to the concepts religious, education, duty, and reverence; and especially of the problems which arise when they are taken in association, as in the title-statements. The philosophical implications of his views on religion (which cannot be dissociated from his description of that which is religious), and the bearing they have not only on education generally, but also on religious education, is examined. Ancillary to this has been a brief scrutiny of forms of knowledge, methods of learning, truth-claims, and the nature of belief. This has led to an examination of the nature and role both of certainty and uncertainty; and, on the authority of Whitehead and others, a claim has been made that the latter element has a legitimate place in the activity or process of education. Whitehead's dissatisfaction with the positivistic standpoint is shown in his advocacy of a type of philosophy which was, for some long time, foreign to most educational theorising; but which appears now to be regaining vitality and support. The concepts of purpose and teleology are referred to as being necessarily integral to an education which is religious in essence. Similarly, the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity, of the social and the individual, are woven through the whole dissertation. Whitehead's suggestion that conventional religion is losing its authority as it loses its objectivity is examined, and it is suggested that his relativism (which manifests itself as 'process') is seen both as contributing to this, and perhaps as leading to a new understanding of the meaning of religion. In conclusion, reference is made to special problems which Whitehead's point of view might provide for those who are most directly concerned in the enterprise of education.


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Copyright 1976 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s) Thesis (M.Ed.)--Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, 1977. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [1]-[4])

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