Religious Education

Journal of Religion and Education, Forthcoming

Posted: 26 May 2011 Last revised: 9 Jun 2011

Date Written: May 1, 2009


Internal political and social movements of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries neglected Islamic education within the Muslim world and allowed external secular and missionary ideas to turn it into "religious" education. Variations in worldview and interpretation of Qur'anic principles of education resulted in emphasis on form over essence in educating Muslims. Historical accounts of Islamic/Muslim education provide a variety of perspectives on its nature and the function of its traditional institutions. Cultural and political restraints ended Islamic education as a functional system aimed at understanding and appropriating Qur?anic pedagogical principles and limited it to "religious" knowledge confined to selected males. Islamic education has recently been confused with a subject matter, "religion," or a moral, social codes, akhlaq. The primacy of formalized and juridical education over the informal development of Islamic character resulted in curricular and instructional differentiation between class and gender, a separation of "Islamic" and "non-Islamic" knowledge, and a dichotomy between ideal and practice in Muslim education.

Keywords: Islamic vs. religious education, Informal development of Islamic character vs. formal indoctrination, Internal political and social movements

Suggested Citation

Barazangi, Nimat H., Religious Education (May 1, 2009). Journal of Religion and Education, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Nimat H. Barazangi (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

120 Simsbury Dr.
Ithaca, NY 14850
United States


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