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No religion is an I(s)land: En kvalitativ studie om religionsundervisningens kursplan på Island
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Sociology of Religions.
2017 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to see how religion is reflected upon in the curriculum of the compulsory school, years 1–10, in Iceland with special emphasize on how religious diversity can be seen in it. From a religious didactics perspective, the question of whether the curriculum on religion reflects on learning about- or learning from religions will be examined through a concept first used by Michael Grimmitt and Garth Read (1975). Furthermore, Beckford’s (2003) concept of religious diversity is analyzed in relation to the religious affiliation in the Icelandic society and his concept on religious pluralism is discussed with regards to the analyzed curriculum. Iceland, seen from a religious point of view, has changed profoundly the last decades in regards to a decline of members in the National Church. In 1976 the first instructions for learning about other religions than Christianity were introduced to the curriculum. The study analyzes the curriculum of the subject called Social studies, which includes several subjects including religion and also the religious affiliation map. Firstly, the words religion and religions were used in order to detect the references to religion in the curriculum. A qualitative content analysis was used on the data in describing the subject content of these references. Beckford’s concept on religious diversity was then analyzed in relation to the statistics on religious affiliation in Iceland. In a third step, religious diversity was used as a search word to find how it is reflected in the curriculum. Beckford’s concept of religious plurality was applied on the result in order to discover how it is reflected on. The results show that, if using Beckford’s definitions on religious diversity, the Icelandic religious affiliation does not mirror a societal situation characterized by religious diversity. The study also shows that the curriculum includes religious diversity, but does not necessarily include religious plurality when Beckford’s concept is applied. The focus in the curriculum is on Christianity, and it is based on the concept of learning about religion with a very little amount of learning from religion. Previous research shows that there is a need for more student centered education and more discussion about the diversity of religions. This study shows that the society and curriculum is attuned with Christianity as the superior religious tradition, but it also shows that the Icelandic society, through the curriculum, teaches about religious diversity, although not necessarily with a religious pluralistic point of view.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 31 p.
Keyword [sv]
Island, religiös tillhörighet, kursplan, religionsundervisning, religiös mångfald, religiös pluralism
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324149OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324149DiVA: diva2:1108714
Subject / course
Sociology of Religion
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-14 Created: 2017-06-12 Last updated: 2017-06-14Bibliographically approved

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