Exposing the Darkness—(Re)Lighting the Way: Cyberbullying as a Religious Educational Issue in a Catechetical Context

Jodi Hunt, Fordham University


When there is a lack of relationships formed properly, bullying becomes the primary means of how children and teens relate to one another and for some, they only know how to exist by relating to others through violence. Additionally, religious educational environments that neglect to acknowledge the existence of healthy relationships of self, God, community, etc. and the consequences thereof (e.g., bullying) miss opportunities to restore the broken relationships and turn students away from using violent responses (especially traditional bullying and cyberbullying) as a means to relate to others. With this in mind, this research study opens a conversation in religious education about cyberbullying as well as a discussion as to how the catechetical context can form meaningful ways of responding to the crisis of cyberbullying. Specifically, the thesis of this research study will show that cyberbullying is: 1) a socio-moral issue, 2) a religious issue, and 3) a religious educational issue within a catechetical context. In the process, this research study will explore and discuss digital citizenry, discipleship, and the dignity of the human person as key concepts to employ in answering the two central questions proposed above. Moreover, through the use of traditional Catholic teaching, modern social studies, and storytelling, this study will contribute to the field of religious education in that it will show how religious educators in a catechetical setting can respond better to cyberbullying among their students as well as guide them in establishing healthy relationships with one another, a feat of which would encourage a prevention of cyberbullying.

Subject Area

Theology|Religious education|Multimedia Communications

Recommended Citation

Hunt, Jodi, "Exposing the Darkness—(Re)Lighting the Way: Cyberbullying as a Religious Educational Issue in a Catechetical Context" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10233163.