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History, Remembrance and Religious Education


Edited By Stephen G. Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis

How should the Holocaust be taught in schools, and to what end? What role should religious education play in recounting and remembering this human catastrophe? How has the nature and purpose of religious education changed and developed over time? What contribution should religious education make to identity formation, particularly regarding the role of memory, heritage and tradition? The scholarly reflections in this volume, drawing upon historical, theoretical and empirical perspectives, provide insights into past, present and potential future developments in religious and values education in a range of national contexts, including Germany, Israel, Norway, Canada and South Africa. The chapters fall under three headings: fostering a culture of remembrance; historical perspectives on religious education; and history, tradition, memory and identity. Together they form a unique collection of international perspectives upon these interlocking themes.
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9 Maps, Stories and Notions of Holiness in Identity Formation: Norwegian Pupils’ Religious Education Workbooks Over Fifty Years



This chapter describes and interprets a number of pupils’ texts including sketch maps (see Haakedal, 2013) chosen from a substantial Religious Education workbook collection (1955–2009) in order to explore differences in the use and function of explicit and implicit ideas of holiness in Norwegian primary schools. The study of these texts supports the view that the 1997 school reform, which introduced the principle of religious and world view diversity in Religious Education, constituted the most substantial change of profile in Norwegian Religious Education and was much more basic than the curricular change in the 1980s that replaced a ‘holy history’ approach to biblical narratives with a contemporary ‘lived Christianity’ approach. The text cases show that, as late as the early and mid-1990s, pupils worked with maps of the Middle East region in ways that supported Christian-cultural identity formation and a corresponding collective memory. A few post-1997 texts are critically commented on with reference to a contemporary debate among Norwegian Religious Education teacher educators concerning planned functions of (moral) identity formation in Religious Education. ← 209 | 210 →


This study aims to interpret approximately forty pupils’ texts, including illustrations of maps and sketch maps, drawn from a diachronic collection of Norwegian Religious Education workbooks or notebooks (totalling approximately 4,000 pages). A small number of these include the concept of the holy or imply notions of holiness. The illustrations refer to drawings, symbolic representations, contours, etc. of particular (mostly geographical/spatial) territories, places...

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