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The (educational) meaning of religion as a quality of liberal democratic citizenship
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities (CeHum). Dalarna University, Sweden; University of Skövde, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1776-478X
2016 (English)In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 48, no 2, 151-166 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Religion has become a prominent issue in times of pluralism and in relation to citizenship in school and in society. As religious education (RE) is assigned to be one of the main school subject where issues of what religion is are to be raised, RE teachers’ conceptualizations of religion are of vital concern to investigate. In this article, RE teachers’ descriptions of ‘religion’ are scrutinized and analysed in terms of implications for citizenship with special regard to the role of RE. Three vital conceptions of religion emerge in teachers’ descriptions. First, religion is mainly individual or private, secondly, it denotes ethical guidance, and thirdly, it relates to sociocultural systems for thinking. Taken together, these conceptualizations share two characteristics about religion: religion as being individual-centred and private, and religion as being mind oriented. Out of this analysis, we discuss the role of religion and RE in contemporary liberal democratic life in society. The discussion is concluded by addressing two key things; the importance of the RE teacher as a curriculum maker, and the importance of religion and RE as active interventions in today’s contemporary discussion about pluralism in liberal democratic societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 48, no 2, 151-166 p.
Keyword [en]
liberal democracy, Religion, public education, religious education teachers, citizenship
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Subject Learning and Teaching
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124516DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2015.1108457ISI: 000370870000001OAI: diva2:889535
Available from: 2015-12-26 Created: 2015-12-26 Last updated: 2016-03-29Bibliographically approved

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Olson, Maria
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