Discourse and religion in educational practice

Lytra, Vally. 2020. Discourse and religion in educational practice. In: Anna De Fina and Alexandra Georgakopoulou, eds. Handbook of Discourse Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 571-592. ISBN 9781108348195 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Despite the existence of long-held binaries between secular and sacred, private and public spaces, school and religious literacies in many contemporary societies, the significance of religion and its relationship to education and society more broadly has become increasingly topical. Yet, it is only recently that the investigation of the nexus of discourse and religion in educational practice has started to receive some scholarly attention. In this chapter, religion is understood as a cultural practice, historically situated and embedded in specific local and global contexts. This view of religion stresses the social alongside the subjective or experiential dimensions. It explores how through active participation and apprenticeship in culturally appropriate practices and behaviors often mediated intergenerationally and the mobilisation of linguistic and other semiotic resources but also affective, social and material resources, membership in religious communities is constructed and affirmed. The chapter reviews research strands that have explored different aspects of discourse and religion in educational practice as a growing interdisciplinary field. Research strands have examined the place and purpose of religion in general and evangelical Christianity in particular in English Language Teaching (ELT) programmes and the interplay of religion and teaching and learning in a wide range of religious and increasingly secular educational contexts. They provide useful insights for scholars of discourse studies to issues of identity, socialisation, pedagogy and language policy.

Item Type:

Book Section

Additional Information:

This material has been published in revised form in Handbook of Discourse Studies edited by Anna De Fina, Alexandra Georgakopoulou https://www.cambridge.org/. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for Language, Culture and Learning


7 July 2019Accepted
September 2020Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

15 Jul 2019 15:49

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2021 14:22



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