A breeding ground of Darwinian evolution and atheism -- and more recently, spreading Islamization -- England has been recognized as falling away from its Christian heritage for generations. But recent survey results released by Oxford University indicate that a large majority is ready for a return to its Christian roots.
But do the English think that Christianity should be taught for reasons other than to bolster their historical and cultural knowledge? It was found that a slight majority, or 51 percent of those polled, believe that Christianity provides a moral compass that helps children decipher right from wrong.
Failed Humanism Ushering in Christianity?
The poll results came as a pleasant surprise to Christian leaders seeking to influence culture with the Gospel.
"It is striking that so much of the public sees the need for Christianity to be taught properly," expressed Andrea Williams, who serves as chief executive of Christian Concern. "We are often given the impression that teaching about Jesus and His message is old-fashioned and irrelevant to a modern generation. But this survey shows that many people value the Christian framework."
A substantial segment of those polled (43 percent) maintained that a greater emphasis should be placed on the teachings of Christianity in RE (Religious Education) lessons. At the same time, 37 percent of participants in the survey are concerned that many of the RE instructors cannot teach Christianity effectively because they know little about it.
These figures indicate that Christianity is not a fading religion or worldview that's being swept under the rug. The need for responsible and ethical behavior is no longer being ignored.
"This is not surprising, given that our society is increasingly confused about a basis for moral decisions, for human dignity and for community," Williams explained. "Jesus is the personal basis for this, as well as the foundation for so much of our nation's culture and history."
Reasoning Behind the Research
When Oxford University's Department of Education took to the streets to administer this public opinion poll, it set out to find whether Christianity should be taught through RE lessons. The team of researchers was to come away from this study with answers explaining how this world religion should be taught in the classroom with greater intensity and meaning.
Oxford's Dr. Nigel Fancourt, who is heading a project to enhance curricula in schools throughout England, notes that Christianity has typically been taught in schools in an incoherent fashion. He also contends that the presentation of Christianity to students has been too stereotypical and continues to be taught in a way that often lacks intellectual development.