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Faith of Our Fathers - lesbian, gay and bisexual teachers' attitudes towards the teaching of religion in Irish denominational primary schools
Fahie, Declan
Owing to a variety of complex historical and socio-cultural factors, the Irish education system remains heavily influenced by denominational mores and values [Ferriter, D. 2012. Occasions of Sin: Sex & Society in Modern Ireland. London: Profile Books], particularly those of the Roman Catholic Church [O’Toole, B. 2015. “1831–2014: An Opportunity to Get it Right This Time? Some Thoughts on the Current Debate on Patronage and Religious Education in Irish Primary in Primary Schools: Reflections from the Republic of Ireland.” Irish Educational Studies 34 (1): 89–102. doi:10.1080/03323315.2015.1010704; Faas, D., M. Darmody, and B. Sokolowska. 2016. “Religious Diversity in Primary Schools: Reflections from the Republic of Ireland.” British Journal of Religious Education 38 (1): 83–98]. Unsurprisingly, with the declaration by the Church that homosexuality was ‘intrinsically disordered’ [Libreria Edittrice Vaticana. 2003. “Roman Catholic Catechism.” Accessed January 18 2013.], the professional identity and practice of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) teachers working in denominational schools is often (in)formed by fear, as well as perceived, or actual, harassment and discrimination [Gowran, S. 2004. “The Experiences of Gay and Lesbian Teachers in Irish Schools.” In Primary Voices, edited by J. Deegan, D. Devine, and A. Lodge, 37–56. Dublin: IPA; Fahie, D. 2016. “‘Spectacularly Exposed and Vulnerable’ – How Irish Equality Legislation Subverted the Personal and Professional Security of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Teachers.” Sexualities]. This paper examines the lived-experience of 23 self-identified LGB teachers who work(ed) in Irish Roman Catholic primary schools. Their unique experiences and perspectives of faith-based schooling are examined against a backdrop of the complex processes of rationalisation and reflexivity these teachers undertake as they endeavour to reconcile their sense of personal integrity – as members of the LGB community – with their professional responsibilities. The study draws particular attention to those LGB teachers who hold deeply felt, and sincere, beliefs in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church but who, nonetheless, express a level of discomfort at the language and tone of church dogma in respect of minority sexualities.
Keyword(s): Sexuality; Teachers; Religion; Denominational education
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Dublin
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis
First Indexed: 2019-05-11 06:35:12 Last Updated: 2019-05-11 06:35:12