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In recent times, questions of religious education—about the place and significance of knowledge and understanding of religious belief and practice in the general educational development of children and young people—seem to have been largely overshadowed or overtaken by controversies concerning the relative merits and shortcomings of common and faith schools. However, in as much as such controversies have also turned upon questions of the relative merits of so-called confessional and non-confessional conceptions of religious education, they have mostly served to obscure the inadequacies of both these approaches to religious education. The present paper maintains that the real question of religious education—as a key element in the educational formation of all children—is that of how the great religious narratives of diverse cultural inheritance might be meaningfully understood and taught in a broadly liberal educational spirit. To this end, it is argued that a form of religious literacy—avoiding the errors of both confessional and non-confessional approaches—can and should be promoted in common schools as not just compatible with but indispensable to liberal education.