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'Religion and Education: The Voices of Young People in Ireland' launched in DCU's Institute of Education
'Religion and Education: The Voices of Young People in Ireland' launched in DCU's Institute of Education
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'Religion and Education: The Voices of Young People in Ireland' launched in DCU's Institute of Education

Religion and Education: The Voices of Young People in Ireland launched this evening

A new book, Religion and Education: The Voices of Young People in Ireland, which explores attitudes of teenagers on the island of Ireland to religion and diversity was launched this evening on DCU’s St. Patrick’s Campus.

Published by Veritas Publications, it was edited by Dr. Gareth Byrne, Director of the Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education, Dublin City University, and Prof. Leslie J. Francis, Warwick Religions and Education Research Centre, University of Warwick.

Prof. Francis spoke at the launch on the theme of ‘Listening to young people: The benefits of empirical research on religion and education’.

In Religion and Education, the authors provide a comparative analysis of what young people in Ireland have to say about religion over a period of fifty years.  Their most recent material comes from the Religious Diversity and Young People survey administered among 3,000 13 to 15-year-old students between 2013 and 2015. 

Among some of its key research themes and topics are:

  1. Comparing the religiosity of young men and women and their differing attitudes to the Catholic church

  2. The denominational differences in religious and moral values between students attending Catholic and Protestant schools.

  3. Intersectionality in gender and nationality for those growing up Catholic in Ireland

  4. The Catholic identities, religious faith and moral values of 16 - 19 year old males, indicating that religiously unaffiliated young men retain some of the vestiges of religious heritage in Ireland

Dr. Gareth Byrne said

“Young people, parents, schools and faith communities will find this book an invaluable resource in reflecting on how the interaction between religion and education can contribute to the fullest development of young people in Ireland today, both spiritually and morally.

Up until now, there has been very limited research in Ireland into what young people are saying about their experience of and interest in religion and religious education.

The opportunity to hear the voices of young people with regards to religious education, though a series of surveys, conducted across time, different religions and the Irish border has left us with much to reflect upon.”

The book is available from Veritas here.