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Education for interreligious dialogue and interreligious understanding: A comparative pilot study of two educational projects
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences.
2012 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

If the plural society is in need of interreligious dialogical encounters it is important to study if and in what way(s) educational projects can contribute to this process, and what possibilities and constrains such initiatives are associated with. The focus of this study is therefore on educational projects with a more or less distinct aim to develop interreligious understanding and an attitude of (partly) taking the perspective of the others religious faith.  In order to shed light on this issue I have conducted a comparative field study (cf. Broadfoot 2002) of two educational projects in the county of Stockholm, Sweden. One of these projects is located outside school and the other is carried out in classrooms in the Swedish school. By comparing these projects it becomes possible to make “the familiar strange” in each project and to contribute to a discussion of possibilities and constrains in education for interreligious understanding.

The first project is located in an institution specialized in youth projects, many of them aiming for social integration. This project has three leaders representing three religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) and youth who are participating on voluntary basis for a (intended) period of three years. The other project is based on a teaching method, where the students assume roles in religious narratives taking from Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions. By such role taking their predispositions for intercultural and interreligious understanding is intended to increase.

The field study is conducted by interviews with the pedagogical responsible, i.e. youth leaders and teachers, in both projects; three leaders in the youth projects and four teachers in the classroom project. The interviews focus on their intentions for their respective project. By comparing the interviews in each case and between the two cases, the design makes it possible to capture how the actors formulate their goals and to see this in relation to their practical experiences. The approach enables a richer characterization of the projects intentions that is not offered on home pages and in other public presentations and therefore a deeper analysis of them.

The main purpose of my paper is to describe and to compare how the pedagogical responsible understand and communicate the intentions of their projects. Based on an analysis of this, I will also discuss how the intentions of the pedagogical responsible are shaped by the context of their work, and some of the possibilities and constrains that the projects may have for developing interreligious understanding. The paper outlines four main themes: The motivation for their project in relation to the social environment where it is implemented; the notion of learning and development; the approach to similarities and differences and the notion of “dialogue”.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-11949OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-11949DiVA: diva2:530949
Conference
Religion and Dialogue in Modern Societies 13th - 15th June 2012. Hamburg University, Germany
Projects
REDIGe
Available from: 2012-06-05 Created: 2012-06-05 Last updated: 2012-08-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf