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Facing religious ethical claims in post-secular ethics education: challenges and contributions, Symposium on Religion & Education in liberal democracies: balancing fundamental rights and freedoms, Nordic Conference of Religious Education (NCRE), NTNU, Trondheim 11 - 14 June 2019.

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Olof Franck
Publicerad i Conference Program, NCRE 2019, https://www.ntnu.edu/ncre2019/program
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk profession
Språk en
Ämnesord ethics, religious education, post-secularity, multiculturalism
Ämneskategorier Filosofi, etik och religion, Pedagogik


In this presentation I examine the prerequisites for carrying out critical analyses of religious ethical claims within religious education. It seems that this question in certain secular school-contexts is somewhat infected by fear, or at least uncertainty, regarding how to highlight and analyse positionings for and against various issues on, for example, gender and sexual rights in a multicultural, multireligious classroom, where democratic values should be imparted, while at the same time the right for anyone to hold and to defend beliefs in freedom, ought to be respected. Certainly, democratic values could be challenged not only from religious positionings, but what seems interesting is that there seems to be room for teachers hesitating when it comes to choosing strategies where ethical views are argued on religious grounds. The discourse highlighted here is non-confessional education, where religions are studied with the aim that students may develop knowledge about beliefs, ethics and life-views, without the intention to decide which truth- or ethical claims could be justified. So: how to handle this intention when religious positions that may seem to conflict with democratic values, are claimed to, perhaps exclusively, represent Truth and Moral Righteousness? I will discuss this question by first connecting the context to some critical arguments on identity politics as these have been presented in Swedish debate. Secondly, I am going to propose some critical arguments against the “safe-space-approaches” which have been defended in various texts on religious education. Thirdly, I will elaborate on how an agonistic approach to religious education on issues where democratic values seem to be challenged on religious grounds could be developed.

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