Catholic schools exist in a state of uncertainty between their double identity as Church and civic institutions. Political pressure to conform to the prevailing cultural climate can be a source of tension between Catholic school leaders and the educational establishment.
The source of this tension often lies in the degree of ‘hostility’ shown towards religious ideas more broadly.
A recent report in the United Kingdom on the place of religion in public life, while reflecting much of the prevailing secular ways of thinking, recognised that religious beliefs have an important role to play in society.
This welcome commitment to religious freedom can be aligned to recent developments in Catholic educational thought towards the need for intercultural dialogue in Catholic schools. This move is not without its conceptual challenges: there remain important questions to be addressed regarding the interplay between intercultural dialogue and the mission to evangelise.