Reading RE text books: Islam, liberalism and the limits of Orientalism

Revell, L. (2015) Reading RE text books: Islam, liberalism and the limits of Orientalism. In: Parker, S. G., Freathy, R. and Francis, L. J., eds. History, Remembrance and Religious Education. Religion, Education and Values (7). Oxford: Peter Lang. pp. 167-186 ISBN 9783034317207

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This chapter explores the representation of Islam in 72 RE textbooks published between 1968 and 2012. The analysis of textbooks reveals that contemporary books are often Orientalist and informed by a liberal desire to present Islam and Muslims positively. The tension between these two trends is located in a critique of Orientalism and liberalism. It is argued that Orientalism itself is an essentialised concept and therefore perpetuates many of the features that characterise contemporary expressions of the unequal relationship between East and West. Secondly a liberal interpretation of Islam appears to eradicate most Orientalist markers from textbooks but it serves to impose an interpretation of Islam that is equally as false. The Islam of the media and in the public imagination is not negated by the liberal portrayal of beliefs and in textbooks but reshaped to make it palatable for liberal consumption.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0251 Moral and religious education
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mrs Lynn Revell
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2016 14:48
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2016 14:48

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00