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Aiming for the Stars?: State intentions for Religious Education in Sweden and pupils’ attitudes.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Sociology of Religions. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre. (Impact of Religion)
2013 (English)In: Religious Education Politics, the State and Society. / [ed] Jödicke, Ansgar, Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter investigates the relationship between the official aims and intentions of Religious Education (RE) in Sweden and the pupils’ attitudes. In Sweden, as in several Western countries, there is a growing recognition that teaching RE may contribute to social cohesion in an increasingly diverse society. This chapter argues that it is also necessary to take into account the cultural context in which the education takes place, for instance that Sweden has developed over a short period from a fairly monocultural society with a Lutheran state church to a religiously and culturally more diverse society, and that the country can be seen as highly secularised on an individual level. The aims of RE are investigated through analysis of official documents and the pupils’ attitudes are investigated by means of survey data from a nationally representative classroom questionnaire along with observations from focus group interviews with pupils in upper secondary school, aged 18–19 regarding attitudes towards RE and religious and cultural diversity. The chapter concludes that it is difficult to attain the lofty aims of intercultural understanding through RE teaching, especially among pupils who see themselves as nonreligious. It suggests utilizing the said gap between religious and nonreligious pupils.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 2013.
, Religion in der Gesellschaft, ISSN 1432-0304 ; 35
Keyword [en]
curriculum, education politics, policy, literacy, attitudes, diversity, religion, non-religious, religious, pupils, upper secondary
National Category
Religious Studies Sociology Educational Sciences
Research subject
Sociology of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-166656ISBN: 978-3-89913-954-9OAI: diva2:477039
Silence, conflict or exoticism? Views of religion and Religious Education among senior high school students and teachers in multicultural SwedenImpact of Religion
Available from: 2012-01-12 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2013-06-25Bibliographically approved

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