Discussions around the future of Religious Education (RE) in England have focused on the need to address the diversity of religion and belief in contemporary society. Issues of the representation of religion and belief in Religious Education are central to the future of the subject. This article draws on research into key stakeholders’ views and aspirations for RE to map an alternative representation of religion and belief to that found in existing approaches that universalise, sanitise and privatise religion. The data reveal a thirst for the study of a broader range and a more nuanced understanding of religion and belief. This incorporates a focus on religion and belief as identity as well as tradition, the study of the role of religion in global affairs as well as the controversies and challenges it can pose for individuals and the exploration of religion and belief as fluid and contested categories. What may be described as a contemporaneous and sociological turn, moves beyond the existing binaries of religious/secular, public/private, good/bad, fluid/static that shape much existing representation, towards a representation of the ‘real religion and belief landscape’ in all its complexity.
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