Reading religion in Norwegian textbooks: are individual religions ideas or people?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in British Journal of Religious Education, 2019, 41(1), 41-53 on 18/06/2018, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01416200.2018.1484691 10.1080/01416200.2018.1484691
Different religions are treated in different ways in Norwegian sixth form textbooks. We carried out an exhaustive content analysis of the chapters devoted to individual religions in textbooks for the Religion and Ethics course currently available in Norway, using rigorous indicators to code each word, image and question according to whether they were treated the religion as a set of ideas or a group of people. After adjusting for trends in the different kinds of data (word, image, question), we found that Buddhism and Christianity receive significantly more attention for their ideas than Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, which are treated more as people. This difference cannot be explained by the national syllabus or the particularities of the individual religions. The asymmetry also has implications for the pupils’ academic, moral and pedagogical agency for which teachers play a critical role in compensating.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalBritish Journal of Religious Education
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