Diana Eck’s Concept of Pluralism as a Norm for Civic Education in a Religiously Diverse Democracy, By Brendan W. Randall

Preparing students for citizenship in a diverse society whose members hold deeply conflicting worldviews and religious beliefs is an essential task of civic education in a democratic society. This article asserts that the dominant emphasis in the United States on free expression and civil discourse is insufficient for this task. When applied to lightning rod issues, such as sexual orientation, this approach fails to acknowledge structural inequities in the marketplace of ideas and does not require meaningful mutual respect for differing perspectives. To fully prepare students, educators also should promote an additional norm, religious pluralism as understood by Diana Eck.

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