“When the Centre melts away“ – Great and small Narratives in Society and Religious Education. An Introduction
How do we perceive our society in general and specifically our discipline, Religious Education?
Angela Kaupp & Karlo Meyer
How do we perceive our society in general and specifically our discipline, Religious Education?
The article illustrates ongoing discussions about a new social divide in the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany. It explains differences of terminologies as well as similarities in the sociostructural description of polarized political and social camps. Self-performed studies about the academic milieu of the “bobos” show that the interconnectedness of sociostructural-economic situations and cultural identities makes mediation impossible. In the end, the article pledges for a new focus in the search for mediation, not in ‘the middle’ between two conflicting parties but in a formalized third party: the procedure.
Mirjam Schambeck sf
The narrative of a disappearing midst raises a variety of new questions in the field of religious pedagogy: Does this narrative mobilize powers helping to start discussions about what should be valid in an pluralistic society with different preconditions? Does this narrative, unreflectively and therefore even more efficacious, promote sedating powers in a way that leads to accept lapses at the edge more easily? AND: Who determines what can be proclaimed as the midst of a society and who and what is therefore considered the edge? What power plays are at work and who has the power to assert these? In light of the broadly discussed narrative of a disappearing midst, religious pedagogy, as a theological subject and interdisciplinary science, is able and urged not to accept such narratives but to question and reflect them critically in regards to their ideology. Religious pedagogy has to remain present in the width of alternate interpretations and promote theology as an orientational power, not leaving the field to inhuman and usurpatory current powers.
Manfred L. Pirner
The response takes up several aspects from Clemens Albrecht’s keynote, but beyond the actual content of his lecture also includes approaches and publications by Mr Albrecht and also addresses some fundamental perspectives on the relationship between academic religious pedagogy and sociology. These concern the keywords philosophy of science, cultural turn, public theology and public sociology as well as sociology of school. Further aspects of content are the analyses of the Bobos presented by Mr Albrecht as well as his conceptualization of the relationship between universalism and particularism.
The title of the conference “‘Loss of the Center‘- A Formative Religious Pedagogical Narrative” is applied to the students. In a first step, there is a skeptical reply to the construct narrative in general and to concretise the narrative of the loss of the center. Then central narratives that exist about theology students are presented and partially deconstructed, for example narratives on motives for choosing a course of study, religious socialization and their roots in specific religious groups. This is done on the basis of empirical studies as well as against the background of the author‘s own subjective empiricism.
The subject of preliminary thoughts is the question of whether and how constructed middle(s) can be related to perspectives on and of students*. By differentiating between an external perspective and an internal perspective, this question is explored and it is recognized that a preliminary answer varies depending on the constructed middle. Another result is that for the majority of students the subject seems to be "centered" in school, without this perspective being sufficiently included in the discourse about the future of religious education so far. Among the tasks of religious education are the perspectives of the neglected students.
Steffi Fabricius & Johannes Heger
Narratives emanate from the temporal-spatial contexts of society, politics, and sciences. Together they form individual and collective perspectives through their provided presence in communicative memory. In an increasingly mediatized world (audio-visual) media function as resonating spaces for narratives – especially in the juvenile environment. Using the example of the transitioning-narrative in the TV-series „The Vampire Diaries“ and the narrative of „winter is coming“ in „Game of Thrones“ the paper attempts, on the one hand, to illustrate these coherences. On the other hand, religious implications of these narratives are identified by means of the theoretical approaches of conceptual blending and the correlative space for encounter. Religious-educational applications can be derived from the obvious religious weight of the narratives that define juvenile media.
The article asks about narratives in/of religious education research by distinguishing between two perspectives: the view of narratives as the object of research and the view of narratives that shape research in an academic subject. To this end, an example will be used to analyse the underlying narrative in interreligious learning/education research and, related to this, which 'blind spots' are thereby given. Even if 'blind spots' cannot be avoided, since it is not possible not to take any perspective, perspectives can be broadened through the meta-reflection of the narratives of one's own discipline
In religious education it’s not usual to examine one's own research logics narratologically as narratives. In this article, we will try to use the narrative of the subject as an example. This experiment underlines two things: narrative structures can certainly be reconstructed in religious education research, and religious education gains in self-reflexivity in such reconstructions. But it also becomes apparent how strongly such self-reflexivity disturbs the normality of religious education and pushes it to the limit.
Rebekka Burke & Lena Tacke
The article provides a workshop report on the workshop “#dnkgtt – Christian self-staging in social media as a narrative of faith communication” in the context of the ecumenical annual conference of AKRK and GwR 2021. In the beginning basic lines on the topic of religious influencing are sketched and then central discussion points of the workshop are bundled. Furthermore, results and discussions from the workshop will be outlined on the basis of quotations from the participants and further questions for future religious education discussions will be developed. These will be presented in two voice collages. The focus is on the one hand on the “pull of the bubble” in social media and the singularity of influencers, and on the other hand on the relevance of religious influencers for religious education.
Explanatory films and videos have grown more popular during the Covid-19 pandemic. Practitioners of religious education as well as scholars are increasingly paying attention to this medium. This paper analyses a selection of recent educational videos on religion from the standpoint of narrative theory. It then introduces the online database “relithek.de,” a project connected with Frankfurt University, in through which students of religious education learn how to plan, produce, employ, and reflect on explanatory videos for (inter-)religious understanding and education.
Based on the hypothesis that the concept of decision can be found as a structural moment in Religious Education, the first part of the article gives a rough overview of its significance in Christianity and Protestantism. It also shows how decision has shaped the Christian idea of education in general, but also concepts and discourses of Religious Education. Methodologically, this is done on the basis of literature on history of religion und sociology of religion. In the second part, an exemplary analysis of a basic text on elementarisation by Karl Ernst Nipkow follows. It demonstrates how the structural moment of decision influences this important didactic model. Finally, the moment of indecision is brought to the fore through deconstruction, so that in the end, it can be argued for a stronger consideration of the tension between decided unambiguity and undecided ambiguity in Religious Education.
This paper shows three perspectives to women in church(es), theology and religious education that have been developed in the last decades. Despite the chronological order one has to keep in mind that all the perspectives are useful today in different contexts.
Evrim Erşan Akkılıç
Migration, with its diverse manifestations, is one of the most important phenomena in the global world, both in the present and in the past. It shapes the societies and lives of individuals in different ways including profound transformations. Social spheres such as politics, economics, science and religion are fields of action within the migration phenomenon that at the same time generate narratives of migration. In this lecture, following Albrecht Koschorke, the possible speaker positions within migration narratives will be elaborated. Afterwards, based on two passages from a group discussion with two young Muslim women, the effects of the narratives on the individual level of action will be analysed. In this way, the role of the subjects and the interaction with the narratives at the level of everyday life will be examined closely.
Andrea Lehner-Hartmann & Martin Rothgangel
With the reservation that the future cannot be known in the end, the following prognoses about Religious Education „Narratives 2030“ are to be understood. In a first part, five promising topics (Religious Education under plural conditions; religious education in attention to young people in precarious circumstances; gender and religion; sustainability as a central topic of religious education; digitalization and its challenges) of Religious Education are presented from observations of the given and the identification of needs for action. In a second part, the results of a Delphi study are additionally drawn upon to risk a look at the future development of religious education as a science.
Vera Uppenkamp & Christian Höger
From September 10th to 12th 2021 the joint conference of GwR and AKRK took place as a hybrid event after a break due to the pandemic. This was preceded by a joint conference of early career researchers. What does the so called loss of the center mean and how is it possible to narrow this narrative in the context of religious education? This was discussed lively and excitedly. However, these questions remained open till the end of the conference. Our review tried to bundle all the income of the conference to straighten out the discourse of narratives and to figure out central narratives of the conference itself. We created the text together and presented it alternately at the end of the conference. For this article we have retained the dialogic style and added references. In the following CH stands for Christian Höger and VU for Vera Uppenkamp.
Contemporary theological ethics discusses the issue of a just war as an issue of just peace. This shift of paradigm changes the perspective fundamentally: away from war and towards peace! In the context of religious education, this important development has not yet been adequately reflected. Therefore, these considerations have to be readjusted in a way that corresponds to the requirements of ethical education. Within this framework, the development of guidelines for religious education and its didactics can be identified as a desideratum.
Hinduism as a topic in school can trigger constitutive interreligious learning. With this background in mind, this article introduces a scientific research project, aiming at a comparative study between school books in German and English language.
The dissertation project deals with young people's ideas and everyday experiences regarding the topics death, dying and mourning. The aim of the research is to find out how confirmation work can be designed to reach a heterogeneous group of confirmands with their questions and needs concerning these topics. For this purpose, the state of research is examined in an interdisciplinary perspective. A survey of confirmands and team members will be conducted in order to close research gaps. The evaluation is carried out in the context of value field research, among other things, in order to identify different needs and ideas of different types of adolescent lifestyles, and to discuss them in a differentiated way in terms of religious education.
A subject-specific methodology is necessary for analysing games as digital artifacts regarding their suitability for teaching-learning processes. The article outlines a theoretical prototype for game analysis which is based on insights from game design. The prototype is thus ready for further research on the potential of learning with and about games.
How can digital media be implemented in the inclusive religious classroom in order to enhance all primary school students‘ religious competencies? In particular, this study analyses how digital learning environments can be designed in order to offer all students an opportunity to engage with the specifics of the exodus narrative and ensure a link between the written text and the living environment? This research project attempts to answer these and other questions by empirically designing and evaluating a digital learning environment in inclusive religious education.
The project focuses on whether and, if so, how religious or theological ideas of young people are specifically shaped compared to those of everyday life. For this purpose, the conceptual change-approach established in the didactics of STEM subjects is used. An explorative-qualitative empirical study of 17-18-year-old adolescents shows which transformation patterns are used in coping with a conceptual change in a horizontal way between everyday life and theological contextualizations. The sacrifice-victim issue is chosen as an example, which is relevant both in everyday life and theologically. From these findings, possibilities for didactic interventions and action strategies supporting conceptions within the theological rationality are developed, and the potential of the conceptual change-approach for the field of didactics of religion is explored.
The dissertation analyzes biographies of Protestant and Catholic religious education teachers in Baden-Württemberg and asks about the connection between the biography and professionalism of teachers. The thesis combines an educational theoretical approach with a biographical analytical approach. In a qualitative research design with nine autobiographical-narrative interviews, the implicit effect of self-conceptions and world-conceptions is reconstructed for the teachers' professional self-conceptions as well as for their constructions of how to deal with religious heterogeneity among students. It can be shown with which understanding of their own profession the teachers classify the meaning of religious heterogeneity in religious education. The results provide a basic theoretical contribution to religious education and can be used for the training and continuing education of teachers of religious education.
The following article documents a poster that was presented under the same title at the AKRK-GwR-conference in Trier on the 11th September 2021. The poster gave an overview over the background, the approach and preliminary results of the contextual research project religion, poverty, and migration in schools.
Since the Catholic school is the only place where most of the students encounter the Christian religion, it is important to conceptualise and structure it accordingly. Simultaneously, parishes are undergoing a transformation in quest of new, sustainable forms of pastoral work. In this stage of restructuring caused by religious transformation processes, projects of educational-ecclesiastical cooperation are uncreasingly gaining relevance and the demand for sustainable concepts of such cooperation increases. Within the framework of the doctoral project, a specific project of such a cooperation will be descriptively analysed and evaluated in view of the issue of an adequate design of the pastoral future of schools and parishes.
Ulrich Riegel & Benedict Totsche & Mirjam Zimmermann & Steffi Fabricius
Cooperative religious education (coRE) has been established in some of Germany's federal states. After it has been discussed so far mainly under conceptual, didactical, and legal aspects, this article is dedicated to the organizational challenges that arise with the implementation of this form of RE. The content-analytical evaluation of group discussions, letters and open questions of a questionnaire survey yields four organizational fields that prove to be particularly sensitive in the implementation of coRE in NRW: who initiates the introduction of coRE, the elaboration of the subject's didactic concept, the role of the churches in this process, and the change of teachers. The organizational challenges in these four fields are described in detail and discussed afterwards.
Religious education poses a big challenge concerning didactic aspects in distance learning. Since March 2020 do teachers of religious education face this challenge. So far there is a lack of empirically based information setting new incentives for a didactic of religious education and thus being helpful for everyday teaching. Based on quantitative and qualitative research of students of religious education classes in addition to the evaluation of exemplary lessons given by teachers this article wants to point out first ideas explaining in which ways learners and teachers define a successful learning process in distance religious education.
Carsten Gennerich & Jens Palkowitsch-Kühl & Ilona Nord
This study analyses the relation between scales of the will, skill tool model of technology integration (Petko, 2012), the concept of mobile learning (Kearney et al., 2012) and possible goals of RE with value priorities. The results show a positive correlation of the use of digital media in RE with values of openness to change. Consequences for developing a student orientation and for teacher professionalization were discussed.
Veronika Zimmer & Margit Stein
The article elaborates how young people of different religious affiliations (Christianity, Islam, without denomination) construct their identity. A total of 1090 young adults (among them 68% Christians, 13% Muslims and 15% non-denominational bound persons) between 18 and 25 years of age were asked to report about their identity in religious, regional, national, and ethnic terms, their religious affiliation, the self-assessed strength of their religiousness and their friendships with persons of other religious communities in a quantitative questionnaire survey. The results support the often-expressed social assumption that young Muslims define themselves more strongly than persons of other religious orientations through their religious affiliation. This religious attachment is strongly moderated by the factor of religiousness strength, as Muslims are also more religious than young Christians. Young Muslims also feel less strongly connected to Germany and Europe in terms of their identity and more often see themselves as members of another country than young Christians and non-denominationals. This fact cannot be explained primarily on basis of the migration background or migration experience of most young Muslims in Germany, as it can also be proved, if only young migrant Christians are compared with young migrant Muslims. A special focus of the article is also laid on the socialisational influence of friendships with persons of other religious denominations. The effects on the identity are significant, though they are not very strong.
Good language skills can be seen as a premise for dealing with and communicating about religion and are therefore important to develop one's identity and values. The Islamic religious education offers, due to its linguistically heterogeneous pupils but also the nature of its technical language, lots of opportunities to develop the religious language and also the academic language. On the basis of current language development programmes, the following article discusses different possibilities for promoting language development in the Islamic religious classroom. In addition, some practical examples are suggested
In 2016, Widmaier & Zorn (2016) published the anthology “Do we need the Beutelsbach Consensus?”, which indicates the range of the discussion on the Beutelsbach Consensus (BK) in the field of political didactics. This discussion has already been discussed in terms of its impulses regarding religious education. Fur-thermore, with the so-called ‘Dresden Consensus’ (2016), there exists an analogous set of didactic principles for philosophy and ethics lessons. This is of special interest due to the proximity of philosophy instruction to religious education. In the following paper, I will examine the relevant debate in didactics of philosophy for working out impulses for religious education.