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Education & the Secularization of Knowledge

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:31 AM
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Education & the Secularization of knowledge

In a lecture I delivered in Moulay Ismail University, Méknes, for the students of English department, on the topic "the Philosophy of Knowledge between Science and Religion", one of the students intervened during the discussion and argued that secularism doesn't exert any sort of dictatorship over people, and that it grants the latter all the freedom they need to practice their religion without persecution. That young man's intervention was a criticism to what I said during the core lecture, that secularism constitutes one of the aspects of dictatorship, for it excludes religion out of the scene of power without any rational justification. It was clear that the young man didn't grasp well my arguement; or rather he was overwhelmed in the secular Marxist thought as told me latter on by one of my friends who knows him well.

Needless to say, secularism implies the separation between religion and state. That is, excluding religion out of all the sensitive spheres of power, including politics, education, economy, media, and judicature. Religion in the secular point of view is meant for the socio-cultural arena, and therefore it hasn't and shouldn't have any say as far as politics is concerned. This fact is plainly embodied in the constitutions of secular states, lived and experienced in the daily life of people in secular societies. Therefore my target here is not to recapitulate what is actually agreed upon, but to show the infrastructure of the concept education and values in the new secular perspective.

In the history of educational systems, one can broadly distinguish between two systems with much discretion to the conventional adjectives I may use to describe each one of them: (traditional) and (modern). The traditional system of education often refers to the ancient perspective and set of practices carried out in the name of education: it is usually known of putting stress upon...


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