The contribution of a philosophical, religious and theological understanding of solidarity to civic education in Ireland and Nigeria
Author(s)Oladiipo, Francis ‘Femi
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AbstractCivic consciousness seems to be lacking in Ireland and Nigeria. In a market-driven culture influenced by media, civic education finds it difficult to promote social integration and the common good. The research question: How can an integrated (philosophical, religious and theological) perspective on the virtue of solidarity contribute to civic education in Ireland and Nigeria? This conceptual research identifies, defines and illustrates relevant key concepts and relates them to the research question. Irish and Nigerian conceptions of civic education are considered by some to be !thin/minima]’. Civic education may appropriately and fruitfully include religion for a more ‘thick/maximal5 approach. Faith, in dialogue with reason, promotes participation, development, rights, responsibilities, democracy, tolerance, inclusion, and peace. Philosophically, solidarity means civic friendship between persons in community. Religiously, it points to a bond that brings believers together for worship and life in community, which includes almsgiving and care of others. Theologically, it means a bond of friendship based on the virtues of justice and a truly universal charity (inspired by Christ). This present work presents a thick/maximal conception of civic education in which religion, especially including the virtue of solidarity from the Christian faith, can contribute to a richer civic education. Catholic education, for example, has made use of the virtue of solidarity in its conception of schooling and community. This virtue of solidarity can be developed further, included and integrated in an enriched, thick/maximal conception and practice of civic education for nation building and the common good in Ireland and Nigeria. An integration o f faith and reason for teaching of civic education can make it ‘thick’ (rich) enough to shape the characters of young people for their participation in a democracy
Oladiipo, Francis ‘Femi (2012) The contribution of a philosophical, religious and theological understanding of solidarity to civic education in Ireland and Nigeria. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.