07 SES 12 B, Religion and Religious Education: Past, Present and Future in Europe (Part 1)
Symposium: to be continued in 07 SES 13 B
During the past decades, Norwegian state schools have become increasingly multicultural. This has led to a renewed awareness of the state school as a common supplier of values and to a new discussion of the place of Religious Education as a subject within the wider curriculum. This paper analyzes the Religious Education as an academic subject in the compulsory education in today’s multicultural Norway. My main method of analysis of official educational documents draws on theories of secularism and multiculturalism. In order to include other perspectives on the issues of secularism and multiculturalism, I draw attention to a discussion of the function of Christianity as a supplier of values for modern society. Considering that Taylor’s ‘common ground secularism’ could be seen as belonging under the banner of multiculturalism, it is on the one hand reasonable to assume that the multiculturalist perspective will become more prominent in the state educational sector. There will be more public debate, both with regard to a ‘correct’ interpretation of the value basis for the state educational sector and with regard to the actual content of Religious Education as a subject.
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