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Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 116;

Secularized and Multi-Religious Classroom Practice-Discourses and Interactions

Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, University West, S-461 86 Trollhättan, Sweden
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Religion in a Secular Age)
Full-Text   |   PDF [257 KB, uploaded 7 August 2018]


Secularization and diversity are two social features that characterize the contemporary world. The rhetoric of the public debate in a number of countries has become increasingly polarized and characterized by a “we” and “them” thinking that relates a national “we” to a specific religion. This occurs in part as a reaction to the changes in national monocultural paradigms as most communities today are characterized by pluralism regarding lifestyles, religion, language and geographical background. Thus, secularization processes are ongoing while many countries, not least Sweden, are becoming increasingly pluralistic and multi-religious. The school and classrooms are a mirror of the communities they are a part of. The aim of the article is to explore how secularization and increasing pluralism finds expression and interact in the classroom practice of Religious Education. The analysis is based on ethnographic data from classroom observations of Religious Education in four different Swedish upper secondary schools. The results indicate that secularism and non-religious positions are considered a neutral and objective position and that secularism is used as a way to maneuver diversity in the classroom which affects the possibilities of dialogue and understanding. View Full-Text
Keywords: religious education; secularization; pluralism; non-confessional; classroom observation; ethnography religious education; secularization; pluralism; non-confessional; classroom observation; ethnography
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Flensner, K.K. Secularized and Multi-Religious Classroom Practice-Discourses and Interactions. Educ. Sci. 2018, 8, 116.

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