Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 153–167
Author:(Interfaith CommunityNew York),
With societal changes rapidly transforming cultures that had been largely homogenous, today’s multi-cultural – and in particular interfaith – families need new educational strategies to help them understand their cultural roots and identify and clarify what aspects of their heritages they wish to nurture and transmit to their children. This paper focuses on a new model for religious education, namely non-doctrinaire “dual-faith” education, which the principal author has helped to develop in the United States (US) through the Interfaith Community (IFC), a small, independent non-profit organisation created and led by dual-faith Jewish/Christian families. The model is premised on the notion that families can have two different faiths in one household and that – with respect and education – families can be harmonious, religion can be transmitted, and tolerance broadly nurtured. While the model is particular to the US and to families with Jewish and Christian heritages, its premises and structure have significant potential to be adaptable to other religious combinations and other cultures and countries. After reviewing relevant literature and situating the IFC model in the global and US contexts, the paper sets out to clarify the importance of the concept, describe its elements, and discuss its implications for religious education in this time of changing ethos and demography.