Welcome to the first edition of Review of Religious Education and Theology
BBI-TAITE is delighted to be able to launch and sponsor a new academic journal dedicated to advancing our understanding of the interplay between religious education and theology. For our first edition it is fitting that this be a festschrift honouring the work of Professor Graham Rossiter, Australian’s most prominent and influential religious education scholar. There is no need to highlight Professor’s Rossiter’s impact and achievements as these are properly covered in the ten papers in this edition which either directly or indirectly address the significance of his work. By way of narrative, though, let me tell one story which I think gives an indication of the scope and influence of his work. Some years ago, I was working with some teachers from a small town in central Alberta evocatively named Rocky Mountain House. I have written about the challenges facing religious educators in Canada and one of the most significant of these is the lack of a strong research culture. This, in turn, leads to a very narrow conceptual focus. This was evident in my discussion with the teachers from Rocky Mountain House as they were having some difficulty articulating an expansive framework for their work. The teachers realized their shortcomings and described an almost sacred document that they were relying on. This had been given to them many years ago by a visiting “theoretician.” Although they had trouble interpreting it one teacher exclaimed, “this is all we have!” I was given access to the precious document and as I read it, it sounded very familiar. I asked, who wrote this? The team leader answered, “his name was Graham Rossiter!” Unbeknownst to me Graham had, long ago, visited Alberta yet his influence was still being felt! Let me conclude by congratulating the great theoretician, Professor Rossiter on his work and the contribution he has made to the academic study of religious education.
Professor Richard Rymarz
Editor, Review of Religious Education and Theology