Religious Education: Meeting and Countering Changes, – Changing and Standing Still

Abstract

I shall venture to map and discuss how (certain) states in the Western part of Europe have responded to the challenges of increased religious pluralism and individualism, in particular, new Muslim presence and new Islamophobia. The main focus will be on the changes as regards the RE offered and supported by the state in public school. The conclusion reached by my analysis is that there have been some changes to RE as a reflection of and response to the changes taking place in society and in the world at large as regards religion, but some of the responses and changes to RE seem to be changes and responses meant to counter, if not stop, the changes that have to do with religion, the role of religion in society at large and the meaning (or not) of religion for individuals. One can witness a strange mixture of responses: on the one hand, an opening up of the contents and approaches of the RE to the increasingly multi-religious society, and, on the other hand, an effort to use RE to protect and boost the national religio-cultural situation of the past, e.g. by way of promoting the traditional majority religion of the state, and by, inter alia, insisting on its key role for the (unchanging) national identity. The core aims, thus, of the RE often remain unchanged even if certain terms and aims do reflect that times have changed.

Author Biography

Tim Jensen, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, DK

Tim Jensen is Associate Professor of the Department of The Study of Religions at the University of Southern Denmark. Since 2005 he has also been General Secretary of the International Association for The History of Religions (IAHR).

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Published
2017-04-14
How to Cite
JENSEN, Tim. Religious Education: Meeting and Countering Changes, – Changing and Standing Still. Changing Societies & Personalities, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 48-73, apr. 2017. ISSN 2587-8964. Available at: <https://changing-sp.com/ojs/index.php/csp/article/view/4>. Date accessed: 20 july 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.15826/csp.2017.1.1.004.