Religious Education Curriculum Constructions in Northern and Western Europe: A Three-Country Analysis

Kerstin von Brömssen*, Graeme Nixon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Religious education (RE) is currently being discussed in many parts of the world. These discussions can be viewed from challenging social and cultural processes, such as secularization/re-sacralization, migration, and digitalization.These factors are often mentioned within a post-secular discourse, which has emerged together with several other concepts, such as post-modernism, post-structuralism, and post-colonialism, all of which have contested understandings and interpretations (see Carlsson and Thalén 2015; Lewin 2017, 15-35). As Jensen and Kjeldsen argue, the debates on RE are “clearly part and parcel of ongoing culture wars” linked to societal and, in turn, educational challenges (2013, 186). The discussions concerning religion and RE are also linked to discussions on policies at a macro level. For example, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the United Nations are all active in promoting the view that education should foster social cohesion, tolerance, and human rights (Council of Europe 2002, 2008a, b; OSCE 2007; United Nation 2006). Educational policy actors in many states struggle with constructing RE, in which processes and complex relationships between global ideas and their dissemination and re-contextualization in local settings become a key task (e.g., Ball 2012; Rizvi and Lingard 2010; Verger et al. 2018; Wahlström 2015).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligious Education in a Post-Secular Age
Subtitle of host publication Case Studies from Europe
EditorsOlof Franck, Peder Thalen
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030475031
ISBN (Print)9783030475024
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2020


  • Religious Education
  • Post-secular
  • Europe


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