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Rowan Williams defends schools.


(ACNS)--In his first major address on education as Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams set out a bold vision for the future of faith schools while challenging a narrow "functional" approach to learning.

Speaking on Sept. 11, Archbishop Williams argued that faith schools had a major contribution to make to a more open and cohesive society.

Archbishop Williams set his approach to faith schools in a broad context. "We have been reminded of what a colossally significant role religion plays in the lives of millions; if this is so, do we want religious communities isolated and ghettoized further or do we need a bold engagement with the vision of religious groups for humanity on the part of public bodies? Only if we go down this latter path, can we help such groups to be faithful to what is most profound, sophisticated and resourceful in their own heritage."

At their best, Archbishop Williams argued, church schools were characterized by a commitment to a deep sense of loyalty and openness. He contrasted this openness with a version of tolerance that often manifests itself as "an incurious co-existence, even a bland acceptance of mutual ignorance and non-understanding. Openness is a willingness to be curious, to argue, even to judge ... trying to assess another's experience in the light of your own values and decide how deeply it challenges you," he said.
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Title Annotation:Focus on Education: An Advertising Supplement to the Anglican Journal; Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams
Publication:Anglican Journal
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Previous Article:Faith schools challenged in Europe.
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