My MA Dissertation completed in June 2009. I got a HD… pretty ridiculously stoked!!!

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The rise of religious fundamentalisms and the implications of the dividing polarity are a topic of increasing attention in scholarly literature. The induction of new generations into opposing world-views is a structural violence deeply embedded in widespread education and parenting systems. The implications of this phenomenon and in particular that the childhood conversion into fundamentalists’ paradigms, range from psychological abuse to global threats driven by religious-identity ideologies. This paper approaches the topic as a dilemma: the pure intentions and passionate beliefs of fundamentalists, with violent consequences on individuals, society, and the world.

Extensive religious and secular scholarship and Australian case studies provide a basis for analysis and evaluation of this ethical dilemma. Perspectives of children, parents, fundamentalist leaders, and society, are examined and theoretical and practical solutions explored. A breach of the Convention of the Rights of the Child is identified and ways of increasing education on religion and decreasing incidences of indoctrination are discussed. In order for a child to truly exercise their right to freedom of religion, it is the education of fundamentalist parents and leaders that is crucial. The paper concludes with an introduction to recent United Nations initiatives that look towards such solutions. Spreading awareness of the ethical dilemma is the first step to addressing this structural violence and its significant consequences.

Keywords: fundamentalism; evangelism; fundamentalist Christianity; childhood conversion; religious education; indoctrination; transmission of faith; spiritual abuse; independent Christian schools; interfaith dialogue; Convention of Rights of the Child; UNESCO; peace education; Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilisations; Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy.Emerging Communication Technologies for E-Health and Medicine
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