Reaching for the Sky

Religious Education from Christian and Islamic Perspectives


Young people have to make their own way in the world; they have to give meaning to and find meaning in their lives. This is the field of religious education, which is provided by parents, religious leaders, or teachers of religion and worldviews. One of the most important challenges is to educate children in their own religion, emphasizing that religion’s tolerant and peaceful side and to teach children about the beliefs of other traditions. An even more important challenge is to teach them to live together in peace and justice. This volume deals with religious education in Christianity and Islam in specific countries. Scholars in religious education need to know more about the ways in which Muslims and Christians perceive and practice their respective forms of religious education and explore methods that help young people develop their religious identity in accordance with their tradition—and also meet with comrades from other traditions, as the two young Gambian and Dutch women shown on the cover do.
This volume explores the field of Christian and Islamic education. Muslim and Christian scholars from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands describe various aspects of religious education at school, at home, in the mosque and church, via the media and in peer groups. The papers were presented and discussed at an authors’ conference at VU University Amsterdam, organized in close collaboration between the staff of its Centre of Islamic Theology and other scholars in religious education, and the Islamic Universities League in Cairo. The authors describe actual processes of education, reflect on religious identity formation and respect for other people and the influences from home, school, mosque, and church, the media and “the street.”

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Stella El Bouayadi‐van de Wetering, Siebren Miedema, and Henk Vroom: Introduction
Mualla Selçuk: How Does the Qur’an See “The People of the Book”? An Example of the Communicative Model of Islamic Religious Education
Ina ter Avest: Playful Encounter: Teachers, Young Children, and the Encounter with “the O/other”
Alma Lanser‐van der Velde: Parental Religious Education
Dihyatun Masqon Ahmad: The Dynamics of the Pondok Pesantren: An Islamic Educational Institution in Indonesia
Stella El Bouayadi‐van de Wetering: Islamic Education of Muslim Children at Home and in the Mosque
Friedrich Schweitzer: Religious Education at Home and in the Church: Religious, Social, and Personal Development
Goedroen Juchtmans: Mediating the Sacred: A Ritual Perspective on Christian Education
Rima Nasrallah: The Multicolored Robe: Christian Education in Lebanon. A Cumbersome Blessing
Bahaeddin Budak and Stella El Bouayadi‐van de Wetering: Muslim Youth Cry Out for Help!
Gerdien Bertram‐Troost and Siebren Miedema: Christian Education in the Netherlands
Arslan Karagül: Islamic Religious Education in the Dutch Context: Searching for a Model for Effective Religious Education between Principles and Practice
M. Fatih Genç, Ina ter Avest, and Siebren Miedema: Religious Education in Two Secular Multicultural Societies: A Comparison of the Turkish and Dutch Systems
Hussein Bashir Mahmoud and Stella El Bouayadi‐van de Wetering: Islamic and Religious Education: Egyptian Primary and Secondary Schools
Manfred L. Pirner: Peer Group and Media Influence on Young People in their (Non‐)Religious Development: A Christian Perspective
Nabil Alsamaloty and Stella El Bouayadi‐van de Wetering: The Influence of Friends on the Ideas and Behavior of Young People
Wolfram Weisse: Religious Education and the Values of Dialogue and Respect: Results of the REDCo Project
Redbad Veenbaas: Values and Norms of Young Muslim People in the Netherlands
Stella El Bouayadi‐van de Wetering, Siebren Miedema, and Henk Vroom: Epilogue: Differences, Commonalities,
and Questions for Further Research
General Index