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ONTOLOGY, OTHERNESS AND CRITICAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

This thesis is a philosophical, theological and educational exploration of the theme of ontology and otherness. It is intended to provide a theoretical ground for the possibility of Christian religious education in Christian schools, with particularly reference to school religious education in South Korea. For this purpose it investigates a philosophical ground of education, particularly religious education, in terms of ontology and otherness. The recent ontological turn in both education and religious education shows that they take critical realism (CR henceforth) as the pivotal philosophical ground. In reception of this approach the thesis argues, after reading of the originator of CR, Roy Bhaskar, that there is a characteristic feature in the philosophy, viz. the agential centred form of explanation of reality which results in the production of a lacuna of the dimension of otherness in CR. In response to the problem, the thesis attempt to integrate the dimension of otherness into CR through the exploration of Emmanuel Levinas’s philosophy of otherness which provides an account of the non-agential moment and ethical subjectivity as what that fills the lacuna and the point of the integration with CR, and incorporate Bhaskarian dialectical agent with ethical subjectivity. However, in doing so, it is revealed that there is a radical diverting point between Bhaskar’s notion of alethia and otherness which makes a prominent difference in accounting of ultimate reality as shown between Bhaskar ’s meta-Reality and Christian understanding of Trinitarian God. Drawing from the philosophical and theological account of ontology and otherness, the thesis finally attends Wright’s approach from the frame of otology and otherness, and argues for the use of Wright’s approach for the possibility of paving a way for Christian religious education in Christian schools.
Original languageEnglish
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    Award date2014

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