The Law on Collective Worship: The Rationale Then and Now

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The introduction and continued practice of collective worship as a compulsory activity in schools in England, Northern Ireland and Wales confound the dominant secularisation narratives of the twentieth century. In an attempt to understand the origin of the legal obligation and to evaluate its contemporary rationale, the chapter draws on the work of Norbert Elias and Niels Reeh. In particular, it employs the Eliasian concept of the survival unit to argue that, for the state, the statutory duty to hold compulsory acts of school worship can be viewed as a valuable tool in its quest to ensure its continued existence, particularly at times when significant threats are considered to exist. While not denying the legitimacy of the state in devising such instruments, the chapter questions the rationale behind a duty of collective school worship in the context of today’s multibelief society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollective Worship and Religious Observance in Schools
EditorsPeter Cumper, Alison Mawhinney
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing
Chapter5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78707-657-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-78707-655-6
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameReligion, Education and Values
PublisherPeter Lang
Volume13
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