•  
  •  
 

Abstract

One of the most distinctive features of Catholic schools, both past and present, is their religious character. In Australia, as in many other parts of the world, the Catholic community invested significant energy developing and preserving this character. Central to this has been the teaching of Religion. Yet, from a historical perspective, there has been little effort undertaken to understand how Religion as a subject in Catholic schools has been constructed. This paper takes its lead from the latter observation. It is in three parts. First, the general historical background is outlined. Second, the importance of producing historical analyses of the construction of Religion as a subject for Catholic schools in the various Church jurisdictions in Australia is considered. This analysis is done through an exposition on the existing state of research within the broader corpus of knowledge to which studies of this type belong. The final part of the paper then indicates how one could go about providing a historical analysis of how Religion as a subject for Catholic schools in the various Church jurisdictions in Australia was constructed, particularly over the period 1929 to the present.