How RE teachers see religion - and why it can be bad for pupils

David R Smith, Graeme Nixon, Jo Pearce

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Wherever you stand on Cliff Richard, his 1988 number one, with its message that “Christmas is love, Christmas is peace” and “a time to rejoice in the good that we see”, succinctly summarises the common festive view of Christianity. From Christmas music to cards to charity TV adverts, we are continually reminded at this time of year of the positive values that Christianity can promote: love, peace, giving, receiving – and seeing goodness in others.

Many people would argue, however, that it is wrong to think of Christianity or any other faith in such purely positive terms. Religion can surely be a force for good and bad, depending on the message and the messenger. It is perfectly possible to celebrate the virtues of Christian compassion while recognising problems with everything from creationism to some religious attitudes to homosexuality.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2018


  • Religion
  • Christmas
  • Christianity
  • Religious education
  • Cliff Richard
  • Religious extremism
  • Fundamentalism


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