Original Research

A critical view of family and religious studies in the context of religious abuse and extremism in Zimbabwe

Bekithemba Dube
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 44, No 1 | a47 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v44i1.47 | © 2020 Bekithemba Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2019 | Published: 25 August 2020

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Bekithemba Dube, School of Education Studies, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, QwaQwa, South Africa


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Abstract

In this theoretical article, I problematise the nature and structure of family and religious studies (FRS), and its failure to respond to the ever-expanding religious trajectories in Zimbabwe, in particular the religious abuse and religious extremism. Currently, FRS is lacking in some of the aspects needed to ignite a religion-responsive curriculum. The article suggests a need for curriculum reconstruction that addresses the lived realities and challenges students are facing in the 21st century. I ground my argument in critical emancipatory research, one of whose agendas is evoking a democratic, emancipatory and just curriculum that is geared to transforming the social status quo. The article answers two questions: What are the limitations of the present FRS curriculum and the space requiring decolonisation of the curriculum? and How can FRS be enhanced to achieve curriculum relevance and address the lived realities of 21st-century students? The argument of the article is that when curriculum changes are necessary to reflect the multiple perspectives offered by major religions, FRS falls short of addressing the emerging and problematic religious movements that threaten to undermine the beauty of religion in society, as these movements are guilty of criminal practices and abuse of religion. I conclude the article by calling for a curriculum shift, from mere recitation of major religious ideologies to emancipating students by encouraging them to confront and evoke epistemic disobedience in order that they might challenge religious abuse and religious extremism.

Keywords

religious abuse; religious extremism; FAREME; curriculum reconstructionism; critical emancipatory research

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