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Promoting Authoring in Interreligious Classroom Communication: Empirical Research into Dialogical Communication in Religiously Pluriform Learning Situations in Catholic Primary Schools

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What opportunities are students offered to author themselves as religious persons in interreligious classroom communication? There are two conditions for authoring: (1) allowing for a variety of voices of religion, and (2) stimulating interaction between different voices of religion. Scope for diverse voices of religion depends on the view of religion adopted when promoting the expression of different voices: a canonical, a critical or a global view. Scope for interaction between different voices depends on the type of speech used in the interaction: authoritative speech or internally persuasive speech. In how far do teachers meet these conditions in interreligious classroom communication? To answer this question we investigated nine lessons in interreligious communication in Catholic primary schools in the Netherlands. The results show that the two conditions for authoring are only partially met in the interaction between teachers and students. This is indicated by the absence of the global register and by the relatively limited use of internally persuasive speech. As a result students do not have optimal opportunity for authoring in interreligious classroom communication.

Affiliations: 1: Radboud University Nijmegen, Email:; 2: Radboud University Nijmegen, Email:; 3: University of Twente, Email:


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