CfP: Textbook Research and Religion

This CfP was published on geiH/Soz/Kult last week and we are pleased to share it here as well:

“The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Member of the Leibniz Association, has recently acquired a new area of research and knowledge transfer, centring on exploring a diverse range of public educational contexts in which religions and beliefs feature in teaching and learning. In this context, the Institute is organising an interdisciplinary workshop, whose proceedings will serve as a basis for a publication on the following issues. Recent decades have seen diverse societal changes leave their mark both on religion and on education. Many countries have experienced processes of secularisation, pluralisation and individualisation of religion and beliefs; international educational organisations such as UNESCO, the OECD, the EU and the OSCE have undertaken a range of activities in the field of education and religion, while education itself has become markedly more technologically advanced and intertwined with economic interests. Against this backdrop, scholars face the challenge of addressing transformations in the depiction of religions and beliefs in textbooks and in supplementary educational media such as CD-ROMs and internet resources. They also find themselves called upon to provide a response to emergent new questions.

With these issues in mind, the workshop will seek to reconstruct previous research designs and to discuss projects on textbooks and approaches to textbook research revolving around religions and worldviews which have taken place or emerged in the last few decades. Furthermore, it will aim to analyse current research designs on textbooks and new educational media formats which relate to religion. The key questions to explore will be as follows: How has social change, manifesting in marked tendencies towards secularisation alongside religious pluralisation and diversification, impacted on the content of educational media research as it relates to religion? With which methodologies are researchers currently approaching the study of textbooks for use in state education? Which religions and worldviews are they focusing on, and which criteria are they using for the selection, omission and differentiation of material? In what ways is textbook research on religion led by normative issues, and what are the key norms and values involved? What scientific interests are behind this work and have guided its progress and findings, and what is its theoretical background?

Additionally, we will be exploring which new concepts are in evidence in the construction of religions in today’s textbooks and in other educational media. We will be asking whether, in the light of social change, more prominence should be given to social issues linked to religion, which might be regarded in terms of peace/violence; wealth/poverty; health/illness; justice/injustice; the religious Other; ecology and spirituality.

Please note that the workshop’s primary aim is to develop an edited volume which will be published by the Georg Eckert Institute in German and English. The workshop will be conducted in German and English. We welcome theoretical contributions and methodological reflections from different national or regional contexts and invite all those interested in taking part in the workshop to submit abstracts detailing their relevant projects. Please send your proposal in German or English, encompassing your paper’s title and an abstract (max. 2000 characters) and a brief CV, to by 15 May 2014.”


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