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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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14 Memory and Heritage in History Education and in Religious Education: A Cross-disciplinary Investigation into Social Sciences and Humanities Education



The varied policy, organization and practice of Religious Education in European countries is heavily influenced by political and historical factors. History education has traditionally been a ‘political’ school subject, often with a strong emphasis on national heritage. Both school subjects are now challenged by international policy initiatives, particularly from the Council of Europe, to address issues of intercultural education and to critically examine some of the traditional approaches. This chapter discusses some of these issues by examining Norwegian and Swedish curriculum texts and by drawing on memory studies as a perspective transcending the two school subjects, but also by showing important common challenges. The relationship between learning about and learning from is used in order to examine this, and Holocaust Education is presented as an example of a particular case where the two subject areas may engage in cross-disciplinary teaching and learning. ← 305 | 306 →


Recent developments in intercultural education and citizenship education seem to suggest that school subjects related to the Humanities and Social Sciences may learn from each other through more cooperation. There are also arguments that these subjects are important in supporting human values and Bildung, in order to complement the emphasis on skills and competences that is widespread in the countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2005). The main reference in this context is to Religious Education, seeing this in relation to other school subjects within Humanities, mainly history education.


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