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Didactics of the Study of Religions

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In contrast to well-established didactics of theologies, the study of religions, even though its field is becoming more and more important in schools and elsewhere in society, has not yet developed a didactic branch. This article outlines and exemplifies three tasks for didactics of the study of religions: (1) analysis of models of education about religion/s, (2) development of concepts for education about religion/s, (3) engagement in practical issues related to education about religion/s, including participation in political and public debates about religion, religious plurality, education, and religious education. Tasks 1 and 2, which may be called "inner-academic," are exemplified with research results from my study about integrative religious education in Europe. Task 3, relating to the communication of academic insights beyond academia, is regarded as a necessary complement to "inner-academic" work. In conclusion, it is argued that in order to develop didactics of the study of religions it is necessary to combine the subject knowledge and methodologies of the study of religions with insights from education. Rather than leaving this educational task to educationalists with little knowledge of our subject, the study of religions needs to establish its own didactics with respect to various educational contexts.

Affiliations: 1: Department for the Study of Religions and Religious Education, University of Bremen, P.O. Box 330440, 28334 Bremen, Germany


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