Chapter 23 » 23.73

The individual and the community


Our experience [is] that God speaks to and works through children as well as adults. Religious education needs to respect, affirm and value children’s insights.

The Quaker understanding of Christianity includes:

The experience that it is possible to have both a strong faith commitment and an open mind, to take other positions seriously without trivialising them, and to value the people who differ from ourselves.

The belief that the same God known through Christianity is also present in other faiths. The study of other faith positions is therefore important, not only for its own sake, but as a contribution towards humility before the mystery of truth.

The experience that valuable worship can be held in a multifaith context, especially when silence is the basis for prayer. We would assert that school worship which shows respect for other faith positions by presenting them with accuracy and sympathy is, by our definition, Christian.

The belief in the equality of all human beings of whatever sex, race, class or age. This is firmly grounded in God’s love for each individual, rather than in social fashion. This requires policies, not of equal opportunities (which redistribute inequality) but of equality, and implies that schools be reorganised for co-operation rather than competition, and for affirming people in their successes rather than their failures.

Janet Scott, 1988

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