Advancing the Conceptual Understanding of Religion Educational thought today, though abundant and varied, often seems, to the interested, though uninvolved, observer such as the present writer, to be seeking an effective means of ‘disowning the past’ as T.S.Eliot put it. The educational philosophy of thirty or forty years ago consisted of reflection on the work and writings of ‘the great educators’. This is now greatly, indeed excessively, scorned. Its place is filled by a more technical professional philosophy which seeks to base education on a network of tested and timeless concepts. Such logical clarity will generate purposefulness. It will rid education of contradictions and confusions, making it timeless, streamlined and effective. So, in the field of religion, good teaching will depend, first of all on a clear idea of religion: it is characterized centrally by the feeling of awe or by the concept of the holy; or it is ‘morality touched by emotion’, or a tradition with mythic, doctrinal, ritual, social, experiential and ethical dimensions. Secondly the concept of education must be clearly analyzed and expressed. It must initiate students into a form of knowledge so that they come to move freely in it. It must promote autonomy and critical openness, avoiding indoctrination. To develop an effective and defensible curriculum, the material organised in the first set of concepts must be fitted into the processes determined by the second set.