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  • 1.
    Kuusisto, Arniika
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Gearon, Liam
    Why Teach about Religions? Perspectives from Finnish Professionals2019In: Religions, ISSN 2077-1444, E-ISSN 2077-1444, Vol. 10, no 6, article id 347Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Acknowledging recent research literature on professionalism and religious education across Europe, the article examines the scholars’ and senior professionals’ views on the curricula aims and objectives in religious education in Finland. Through asking the professionals’ views on the aims of RE in relation to supporting of child’s growth and development on one hand and the societal aims of RE on the other, the findings were thematically classified into the following categories. Firstly, the aims regarding the supporting of child’s growth and development were focused on literacy on religions and worldviews, increasing the understanding on oneself and others, personal growth, and the skills for global citizenship. From the societal perspective, RE was seen important for supporting the understanding as literacy, understanding as empathy, and competences for global citizenship. Finally, as regards the educational model of teaching about religions, these professionals held somewhat varied views. Some favoured an RE model based on teaching groups reflecting children’s own worldview affiliations, others supported whole-class instruction, and still others a hybrid model combining elements of both. However, the way in which the instruction is implemented and the position from which religions are examined in education were perceived to be in a key role in this, whatever the formal structures for instruction.

  • 2. Luodeslampi, Juha
    et al.
    Kuusisto, Arniika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Kallioniemi, Arto
    Four Religious Education Teachers: Four Retrospective Career Trajectories2019In: Religions, ISSN 2077-1444, E-ISSN 2077-1444, Vol. 10, no 8, article id 474Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines the career paths of Finnish Religious Education (RE) teachers who were born in the 1930s, through a retrospective, self-autobiographical life history approach. The material reported here is a part of wider data of mainly written narratives (N = 62) from RE teachers who recount their career trajectories. In these career-focused life histories, the teachers outline their own professionalism as embedded in changing sociohistorical contexts, where to a great extent they tell about the active development of the school and the teaching of their particular subject to answer to the changing needs and challenges. Some teachers have, along with their teaching, also been actively involved in different communities or associations. Many of the Religious Education teachers here reflect on their career paths in relation to their profession as a teacher and often also with double qualifications as pastor trained theologians. At times, this constructs a possibility for tension between the roles of a teacher and that of a pastor, and in the perceptions of RE as a school subject and as something preached in the pulpit-some see their professionalism above all in relation to their religious life. This also includes a notable gender divide in the data, as at the time when these teachers gained their professional qualifications, it was only possible for men to be ordained in the Finnish Lutheran Church. Succeeding this, the male teachers in these data commonly have pastorhood as their first profession. For the purpose of this article, the career accounts of four teachers have been selected for further analysis, as they were perceived as telling examples of the wider material in terms of more or less typical career paths.

  • 3. Niemi, Pia-Maria
    et al.
    Benjamin, Saija
    Kuusisto, Arniika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies. University of Helsinki, Finland; University of Oxford, UK.
    Gearon, Liam
    How and Why Education Counters Ideological Extremism in Finland2018In: Religions, ISSN 2077-1444, E-ISSN 2077-1444, Vol. 9, no 12, article id 420Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The intensification of radical and extremist thinking has become an international cause of concern and the fear related to terrorism has increased worldwide. Early 21st century public discourses have been correspondingly marked by hate speech and ideological propaganda spread from a variety of perspectives through the intensified presence of global social media networks. In many countries, governments have reacted to these perceived and actual threats by drafting policies and preventive programs and legal-security interventions to tackle radicalization, terrorism itself, as well as ideological extremism. Many of the current strategies point to the critical role of societal education. As a result, educational institutions have gained growing importance as platforms for different kinds of prevention protocols or counter-terrorism strategies. However, notably less attention has been paid on the consistencies of values between the aims of the educational strategies for preventing or countering ideological extremism and the core functions of education in fostering individual and societal well-being and growth. Using Finnish education as a case, this paper discusses the challenges and possibilities related to educational institutions as spaces for preventing violent extremism, with special regard to the religious and nationalistic ideologies that divert from those inherent in the national hegemony. This study highlights the need to plan counter-terrorism strategies in line with national educational policies through what we conceptualize as ‘institutional habitus’.

  • 4.
    Zavala-Pelayo, Edgar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics, Institute of Latin American Studies.
    Pastoralism in Latin America: An Ensemble of Religious Governmental Technologies in Colonial Costa Rica2018In: Religions, ISSN 2077-1444, E-ISSN 2077-1444, Vol. 9, no 7, article id 203Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on a critical empirical application of Foucault's concept of pastoralism and a genealogical research approach, this article suggests that the Catholic regime that operated in Costa Rica during the Spanish colonial period (16th to 19th centuries), developed an ensemble of distinctive 'technologies of government'-charity, ceremonial strictness, bio-political control, geo-political rule, and administrative efficiency. Drawing on documentary and archival material, the analysis highlights both the governmental 'logics' and the governmental 'techniques' of the above technologies, as well as their complex centuries-long operation. The conclusions remark how such a complex ensemble of religious governmental technologies problematizes the synchronicistic and reductionist analyses of religion and politics; historical-institutionalist studies of colonial Catholicism in Latin America; and the compartmentalization of sovereignty, discipline, and apparatuses of security that Foucault originally proposed to account for the historical development of governmentality.

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