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The Religious Dimension to Intercultural Values and Citizenship Education: A Call for Methodological Re-Consideration in Zimbabwe’s Religious Education Curriculum
Because of her history, post colonial Zimbabwe is characterised by diverse and heterogeneous religious and cultural beliefs and practices. Some of these beliefs and practices, as well as norms and customs, are inextricably bound to particular religious traditions and philosophies such as African Traditional Religion, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Bahai Faith, Taoism and Confucianism. Despite the multiplicity of this country’s religious contours, the religious education curriculum has sadly remained neo-confessional to a large extent. In this pluralistic environment, the inhabitants have to grapple with issues of moral decadence, individualism, identity crises, intolerance, cultural concubinage, among others, yet the Zimbabwe’s religious education curriculum cosmetically rather than radically addresses these vices. The curriculum is not consistent with the cultural diversity of this society. It is against this backdrop that this study assumes that a paradigm shift in terms of methodology in the teaching and learning of religious education can promote intercultural, values and citizenship issues with the view of counteracting the aforementioned anomalies and disorientations. Informed by ‘modern’ approaches in the teaching and learning of religious education, such as phenomenology, dialogue, multi-faith, interpretive and religious literacy, this paper explores the religious dimension to intercultural, values and citizenship education. Although these concepts are related to several other disciplines such as philosophy, linguistics, anthropology and history, this study is solely interested in their relationship to religious education.