‘Don’t sideline impact of Christianity – celebrate it’

The events of the Gospels that “changed the world” should be taught in mainstream history lessons, a former Bishop has said.

Professor NT Wright, who now works at the University of St Andrews, said religion “tends to get shunted to the side” leaving young people unaware of a crucial aspect of society.

Questions about Christianity and Jesus “ought to be in a more general syllabus”, he stated.

’Huge questions’

A secularist group described the idea as “unrealistic and misguided”, while a humanist organisation said Scottish children already receive too much religious teaching.

Prof Wright said currently children wanting to undertake a historical study of Jesus are encouraged into considering many other religions.

“It seems to me, in terms of the history of the western world, the narrative of how Christianity got going and who Jesus was are huge questions which ought to be in a more general syllabus.”

He added: “The fear I have is that questions about the Gospels and Jesus seem to be restricted to a few parables and the crucifixion rather than being seen as events that changed the world, whether you agree with them or not.


“Religion tends to get shunted to the side and this systematically distorts the world in which we live which has been so radically shaped by the Christian tradition.

“To not know about that is to condemn the next generation to almost ignorance of something that would help them in whatever they want to do because it is part of the scaffolding of the house in which we westerners live.”

The Humanist Society Scotland responded to the idea by claiming that “the largely irreligious children of Scotland do not suffer for a lack of religion in their education, quite the opposite in fact”.

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