NAFOL profile: Inge Andersland

The Place and Function of Religious Education in State Schools

Inge AnderslandIn my research project I write about which ways of understanding the place and function of religious education (RE) that appear in debates about RE and the objects clause for state schools in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) from 1993 to 2008. During this period RE in Norway changed from a separative to an integrated model, and from having a confessional platform of values to a neutral subject.

In my research project this is linked with the way the different participants in the debates understand the place of religion in the public sphere, and with the international academic debate concerning the secular, with famous contributors such as Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor.

I am interested in how modern democracies handle plurality and religiosity, and I believe that this project will enhance our understanding of how participants in the debates have developed their thinking throughout the period in question. This may again make it easier for us to understand the situation of today, and hopefully make it more likely that good decisions are made with regards to the future.