Theo-Web. Academic Journal of Religious Education 18 (20198), V.2, 19-24

Religious Education and Politics from a Juridical Perspective

The legal basis of the relation between religion, religious communities and the state in Germany is one hundred years old: the rules concerning this relation were taken over from the German constitution of 1919 by the German Basic Law of 1949. In the articles concerning religious education they clearly distinguish between the roles of politics and the state on one hand and religion and religious communities on the other hand: it is the task of religious communities, not the government, to define the religious content of religious education at state schools. Although religion has political implications which can be part of the teaching, this system only works when the religious background of political implications in religious education can be made clear. On the other hand, religious education can serve as a means of politics: in the present political discussion the introduction of islamic religious education at state schools is considered as a means of migrant policy. There are also tendencies to gain governmental control over the religious content of islamic education at state schools by making it part of the education of ethics: Although this cannot be ruled out as unconstitutional, it does not fit in the system of the distribution of responsibilities for religious education between religious communities and the state which is the background of the Basic Law.

Religious education, politics, state-church relation, German constitution, islamic education

Theo-Web. Academic Journal of Religious Education 18 (2019)