RE leader connectedness: a theology of the lived reality of Catholic education

Stern, L. J. and Buchanan, M. (2020) RE leader connectedness: a theology of the lived reality of Catholic education. Journal of Beliefs & Values. ISSN 1361-7672

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The relationships between RE leaders in Catholic education and their schools and their religious communities may be ambiguous. RE leaders often appear disconnected from both ‘ordinary’ teacher issues and ‘ordinary’ leadership issues because of their religious responsibilities. In this innovative research project, the authors have explored RE leader connectedness and disconnectedness in Catholic schools around the world. Visual research methods are used, as respondents make use of artistic representations of both connectedness and disconnectedness, to describe (by explaining their choice of picture) the nature of their connectedness. Responses from Australia, Hong Kong in China, the USA, the UK and Germany are presented here, generating an initial account of the lived reality of RE leaders in Catholic schooling systems. Responses range from those who seem to integrate their accountabilities to school and church systems to those who seem more ‘torn’ between those systems and disconnected from one or both of school and church. The authors suggest this has implications for practical-empirical theology, and education more generally, based on the idea of the ‘bi-dimensionality’ of the RE leader role in Catholic schools, and on the role of the school in Catholic theology which, according to D’Souza, ‘cannot help but be one of the intersecting points where the problems and challenges of society are encountered’.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 Taylor and Francis. This is an author accepted manuscript of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Beliefs and Values. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Divisions: Research and Innovation Centre
Depositing User: Julian Stern
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2021 08:12
Last Modified: 23 May 2022 02:40

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