Self archived versionpublished version
MetadataShow full item record
CitationUbani, Martin. Ojala, Eveliina. (2018). Introduction. Journal of religious education, 66 (2) , 79-83. 10.1007/s40839-018-0067-7.
The theme of this special issue is: “Religion, public space and education”. The aim is to provide fresh insight into the interaction in the educational policy and practice of Western societies between what has been considered the secular public space and religion. The question of religion in the public space (prevalent policies, discourses, institutions) has been a constant topic in the literature in recent decades (Habermas 2006). It is well documented that there is already a broad body of literature discussing secularisation in Western societies (Casanova 2014; Modood 2010; Hofstee and van der Kooij 2013). In addition, in recent decades much of the research on religion has noted the re-emergence of religion in the public space in the 2000s after the ideological and institutional developments termed “secular” in Western societies (Habermas 2006; Coulby and Zambeta 2008; Coulby 2008; Kunzman 2006; Carnoy 2003; Beyer 1994)—a change that contested the divide between private religion and the secular public (Hofstee and van der Kooij 2013).
These developments are parallel and connected with the advances in European policies towards the recognition of diversity and enhancement of social harmony between religious/ethnic populations. Likewise, the educational policies in Europe have tried to increasingly reflect the inclusive recognition aims of generic policies (Jackson and Fujiwara 2007; Jackson 2014). However, public education has been criticised for reacting too slowly to societal change and for maintaining social structures which is partly due to its state preservation agenda (Toom and Husu 2016; Ubani 2013).