Religious education: Where the debate is taking place

Renowned scientists from Germany and abroad discuss the location of religious topics in modern science

Released at: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:43:00 +0200 (31)

FRANKFURT.Professional mobility and immigration have changed society permanently, and homogenous religious landscapes in Germany belong to the past. The impact of this development on religious upbringing and education will be discussed at a conference held by the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Frankfurt's Goethe University on the 12th and 13th October 2016. All interested are welcome to attend.

In Germany, the teaching of religious studies in state schools is anchored in the constitution, and training for the required teachers takes place at universities. Until the 1960s, this was also reflected in teacher training publications, just as all other areas of education have their place in general educational science today. However, discussions about the role of religious education in modern societies have been moved out of educational and into theological faculties since Germany's student movement of 1968.

Changes in society due to increasing mobility and migratory movements also indicate a changing view of religious upbringing, education, and socialisation. The growing percentage of Muslims in the population and the request for Islamic religious studies also sheds new light on Christian religious education. However, in which field of science should the debate about this take place? Has religion been neglected in educational research until now? Or should educational research have more weight in the field of theology?

The conference "Religion and Educational Research. National Traditions and Transnational Perspectives", initiated by Prof. David Käbisch, scholar in the field of Protestant religious education, will question the significance of religion-related research in educational science, especially when compared internationally. Renowned scientists from different countries have been invited to participate, including Prof. Deirdre Raftery (Dublin, Ireland), Prof. Daniel Lindmark (Umeå, Sweden), Dr. Ezequiel Gomez Caride (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Prof. Mette Buchardt (Aalborg, Denmark).

Against the backdrop of topical discussions about state schools as a location for Islamic religious education and the current dynamic of political conflicts in France, Turkey, the Levant, and North Africa, the conference will hear from speakers whose research projects have a special focus on Islam. Frankfurt education researcher Prof. Harry Harun Behr will speak about “Islamic Education-Research in Germany”, and Islamic studies researcher Prof. Armina Omerika will discuss "Transnationalizing the History of Islam and Islamic Education" in the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The main topic of the conference is one that will become more important in the future, especially in the Rhine-Main region due to its dynamic population. At the same time, it will promote the international networking of religion-related research at Frankfurt University.