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Reaching for the Sky

Religious Education from Christian and Islamic Perspectives

Series:

Edited by Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering and Siebren Miedema

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.”

Seeds of Conflict in a Haven of Peace

From Religious Studies to Interreligious Studies in Africa

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Frans Wijsen

On 7 August 1998 the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were bombed and 200 people lost their lives. These bombings shattered the image of Africa’s tradition of peaceful religious coexistence. Since then inter-religious dialogue has been high on the agendas of ecclesial and religious organisations, but not so much of faculties of theology and departments of religion in East Africa. This book investigates why this is so. How are interreligious relations dealt with in Africa, and more particularly, how are they and how should they be taught in institutions of higher learning? This book is based on fieldwork in Nairobi from 2001 onwards. It shows why Africa’s tradition of peaceful co-existence is not going to help Africa in the 21st century, and recommends a shift in the education in inter-religious relations: from religions studies to inter-religious studies.