Call for papers: Religious education and human rights education

2020-11-24

Call for papers: Religious education and human rights education

Editors: Prof. Geir Skeie, University of Stavanger, and Dr. Christian Stokke, University of Southeastern Norway.

The Human Rights Education Review would like to invite papers for a special issue exploring the intersection between religious education (RE) and human rights education (HRE).

With the rapid changes of globalisation, secularisation, growing cultural diversity and religious plurality, the intersection between religious education in schools and human rights education has demonstrated new challenges and opportunities. Religious education takes a variety of forms in different national contexts, ranging from countries where public schools provide no distinct religious education (USA, France), to those where public schools educate young people only in the country’s official faith (many Muslim-majority nations). In between, we find systems that aim to include knowledge about religious diversity; either in joint classes for all students (UK, Scandinavia), or separately based on students’ religious faith (Germany, Finland). RE raises a number of human rights’ issues connected with the right to education and freedom of speech, and may also highlight tensions between the rights of children and their parents. In different ways RE raises questions regarding  freedom of religion and belief, non-discrimination, minority rights, the right to identity, and the rights to intercultural education as well as to moral and spiritual development.

In various school systems, religious education may provide education about, for, and through human rights. In the UK and Scandinavia, one RE subject for all students aims to encompass plurality and includes ethics, moral education, intercultural education, and education about human rights. RE through human rights may emphasize empowering young people to think critically and shape their own worldviews. At times, even RE may be object of criticism, based on human rights, as when the European Human Rights Court ruled against Norway for discrimination because RE provided identity development only for Christian students. 

For this special issue of the Human Rights Education Review, we encourage papers from a range of perspectives and from different international contexts to address issues like the ones mentioned above. We invite contributions on the following topics, but not limited to these:

  • Religious education about, for, and through human rights and child rights
  • Intercultural understanding and discrimination in religious education
  • Potential tensions between various human rights in religious education
  • Moral education, personality development, and spirituality in religious education
  • Human rights related to life skills education and mindfulness in schools
  • Educating for UN values (understanding, tolerance, peace) through religious education
  • Child rights, critical pedagogy, and transformative education in religious education

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words by email to managing editor Line Jenssen Line.Jenssen@usn.no with the subject: HRER Special Edition RE/HRE by 8 February 2021. Abstracts will be reviewed and the authors will be informed by 24 February 2021 if we would like to invite the full paper for review. All invited manuscripts will be subject to double-blind peer review. Full manuscripts will be due 10 May 2021, and the special issue will be published in Vol 4(1) Spring 2022.