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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Recent critics of the secular have presented a newly complicated account of secularity, one in which secularity and religion are seen not as separate but as mutually intertwined and interdependent. This chapter uses these new secular critics to reflect on the history and nature of a secular education. It argues that the emergence of American secular education over the course of the twentieth century was tied to power and production of knowledge that, at times, included religious moods and outlooks. Moving forward, secular education would do well to acknowledge and include those religious outlooks into its pedagogical practices. Secular education for the twenty-first century should embrace the way learning necessarily involves character formation. Vibrant modern secular education would be marked by not only the richness of its constrained disagreements, but also by reflection on how those disagreements function liturgically to shape and influence the making of community.

Keywords: character formation, constrained disagreements, liturgy, new secular critics, power and knowledge

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