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RS based RE in Public Schools: A Must for a Secular State

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This article is a reasoned, normative argument for making religion education (RE) a separate, compulsory, time-tabled and totally normal school subject at all levels in public schools. With reference to Religion (RE) in Danish upper-secondary school as well as to the way Danish departments for the study of religions (RS) educate Religion teachers, key contents and principles of an RS based RE are outlined. It is stressed that only the historical and comparative study of religions can provide the scientific basis for RE, and that it must be the RS departments that educate RE teachers. It is, furthermore, suggested that normalisation of RE in public schools be added to defining characteristics of a secular state, and that scholars of religion engage not only in studies of RE but also in establishing RS based RE.

Affiliations: 1: Department of the Study of Religions, Institute of Philosophy, Education, and the Study of Religions, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark


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