Loud Thoughts on Religion: A Version of the System Study of Religion. Useful Lessons for Everybody
The book, Loud Thoughts on Religion, has a small prehistory. In 2003 there was held a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Vienna, Austria. On the agenda of the session there was an issue of the study of religion at school and rise in the level of tolerance among followers of the world religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The author of the book made a speech and criticized the system of the study of religion existed in the West then: on a free day representatives of religion attend schools, select a group of religion representatives and teach basics of religion to children in different audiences. This method, indeed, lays the foundation of non-tolerance at the school age. Naturally, by explaining children their religious belonging, every priest puts his religious convictions above others'. This cannot be otherwise. Pupils individually understand that their religion is better and take others as representatives of less important religion. The author suggested his variant of approach to the study of religion having made an emphasis on combined study of the history of appearance of religion as they appeared and showing fundamental regulations of every religion. He suggested not providing children with religious education as such, leaving that for pupils and their parents. The session participants liked this pragmatic approach, and they charged Prof. Rafig Y. Aliyev unofficially with preparing the book and submitting it for consideration of PACE Special Commission. Thus, the author's idea was reflected in the book as a religion textbook at school. The book was translated into several languages and distributed among the commission members. Over 10 years has passed since then and the textbook is still used as basic book on religion. Loud Thoughts on Religion provides primary information about the nature and origin of religion. It is an attempt to give a correct vision of national and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan and religion of Islam, which is an integral part of the modern way of life. Readers will be able to find interesting materials about the appearance of Islam, Muslim rites of worship and worldview principles, role of Islam in society, and the influence it has on spiritually and culture.
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