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Towards a reformed epistemology and its educational significance.

Shortt, John Grosvenor. (1991) Towards a reformed epistemology and its educational significance. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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This thesis examines Reformed epistemology as it finds expression in the writings of Abraham Kuyper, Cornelius Van Til and Alvin Plantinga. It seeks to develop three main themes of this kind of approach in order to see whether they constitute an adequate foundation for a coherent account of faith and to examine their significance for educational theory. The themes studied are: belief in God may be properly basic in a rational noetic structure; divine revelation can be selfauthenticating; and sin has noetic effects. Discussion of the third of these is focused upon rational autonomy and, in particular, upon the form it takes in the pancritical rationalism of W. W. Bartley. The position developed is a moderate form of foundationalism which seeks to ground belief in God in an immediate awareness of him speaking through the propositions of scripture. It opposes an ideal of theonomous response to divine revelation to that of unlimited rational autonomy. The study of educational issues commences with an examination of the relationship between a Reformed Christian worldview and educational (or other) theory construction and argues for the transformation from within of the areas of knowledge through the introduction into them of Christian presuppositions. In accordance with this strategy for the integration of faith and learning, a study is made of the implications of the Reformed critique of autonomy for educational aims and methods and for discussions of the issue of indoctrination. The final issue dealt with is that of whether or not it is right or necessary to set up separate schools of Reformed Christian and other outlooks in our contemporary pluralist society. The conclusion reached is that there is a place for good Reformed Christian schools but nevertheless the Reformed Christian teacher may, in good conscience, teach in a state school.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Philosophy of religion,Epistemology,Christianity,Christianity and education,Educational theory,Indoctrination,Religious pluralism
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 22 May 2014 15:00
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:26
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