Case Study 6: Interreligious Educational Activities

  • Øystein Lund Johannessen
  • Dag Husebø


This case study discusses the interreligious educational activities of civil society organisations and religious and life-stance communities in Stockholm, Oslo and London. It focuses on how these educational activities, are reflected upon, motivated, legitimated, and interpreted by the actors in terms of religious and existential thinking. Empirical research was carried out in the three cities by local research teams (2014–2017), and data was shared and analysed with reference to a common theoretical framework. Two main types of actors were identified. A first category was faith and life-stance communities who plan and carry out interreligious educational activities as part of their internal nurturing. The second category was civil society actors specialising in providing interreligious educational activities for schools and broader society. The research showed an overall common motivation to prepare children and youth for life in the plural society through dialogue, while also strengthening their religious identities. There was also a common concern to contribute to increased mutual understanding and respect, peaceful coexistence and social cohesion in their cities. Despite the religious foundation of most of the actors, their arguments were generally framed in a secular, civic discourse; however, their basic motivation showed itself to be religious or existential.


Interreligious education Faith communities Life-stance organisations Religious nurture Interreligious understanding Civic engagement 


  1. Baker, Christopher. 2018. Postsecularity and a New Urban Politics—Spaces, Places and Imaginaries. In Religious Pluralism and the City Inquiries into Postsecular Urbanism, ed. Helmuth Berking, Silke Steets, and Jochen Schwenk, 81–101. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  2. Husebø, Dag, Geir Skeie, Ann Kristin Tokheim Allaico, and Torunn Helene Bjørnevik. 2019. Dialogue in an upper secondary school and the subject religion and ethics in Norway. Religion & Education 46 (1): 101–114. Scholar
  3. Ipgrave, J. 2017. Sources of Knowledge and Authority: Religious Education for Young Muslims in a Birmingham Comprehensive School. In Young People’s Attitudes to Religious Diversity, ed. E. Arweck, 45–60. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Knauth, T., and D. Vieregge. 2018. Religious Education and Dialogue in Contextual Perspective. A Comparative Case Study in Hamburg and Duisburg. In Researching Religious Education. Classroom Processes and Outcomes, ed. F. Schweitzer and R. Boschki, 105–115. Münster: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  5. Knauth, T., K. Amon, K. Germing, R. Jackson, A. Lockley-Scott, G. Skeie, D. Vieregge, L. Vikdahl, and W. Weiße. 2019. Possibilities and Limitations of Religion-Related Dialogue in Schools in Europe. Special Issue of Religion & Education, Accepted in January 2018. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øystein Lund Johannessen
    • 1
  • Dag Husebø
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Intercultural CommunicationVID Specialized UniversityStavangerNorway
  2. 2.University of StavangerStavangerNorway

Personalised recommendations