Tyndmyr wrote:I can't think of any topic where modern creationism would be appropriate. I mean, outside of being used as a negative example of what not to do. I don't see it as having any educational value for it's own sake. In any realm.
Maaaybe it could be addressed in poly sci in a neutral fashion. Maybe.
I don't know how to emphasize any more that you're the first person in the thread to suggest it. It actually does have an interesting bearing on Enlightenment thinking, though (given it's an artifact of and reaction to it), when you get things out of it like Thomas Jefferson arguing with church leaders about the significance of Pleistocene fossils.
Anyway, back to the more general christian education bit...that's complicated a bit by the fact that, in practice, religion evolves. So, the study of historical religion may not relate well to modern fundamentalism. Someone raised in the latter tradition is likely to cheerfully accept oddities of historical religion as merely part of Catholicism's flaws. The historical study of religion and the examination of modern religious trends kind of diverge, I think.
The goal is to normalize pluralism. At present, it's very easy for fundamentalists to read their version of a given belief backward onto all historical forebearers, so that Bill O'Reilly can write a book about how Jesus was crucified for being a small-government conservative and people will read it. The more information people have about the actual history of their faith - where it came from and how it came together, how it's meant different things to different ages - the more difficult that becomes to reconcile.
Catholicism is crucially important to Medieval and Renaissance European history, but it's actually the least useful stage in terms of that agenda, since Protestants largely follow Luther in thinking that Catholicism was a "Dark Ages" corruption of the faith that was "corrected" as opposed to a thousand-year formalization of the faith against which all Protestant sects are territorial divisions propped by a narcissism of small differences.