This paper gives an overview on the present situation of religious education at home and in the church, with the main emphasis on the Protestant perspective. The author reviews the empirical research available in this field, and an international study on confirmation activities in seven European countries that was completed in 2010 is presented in more detail. The empirical results are interpreted with reference to the contemporary discussion on religion and society or culture. In addition to the description and interpretation of the situation, the author discusses the relationship between religious education at home and in the church on the one hand and the requirements for living in a pluralistic environment on the other. He concludes that religious education at home and in the church should be complemented by religious education in the school.
This article discusses the question of how religion in childhood and adolescence should be studied. More exactly, the focus is on problems of methodology and research which are discussed in relationship to religion in childhood and adolescence. It does not present a handbook type of overview, however, but is focused on problems and challenges for future research. Four questions are addressed specifically: How can empirical research do justice to the special nature of religion in childhood and adolescence? What are the implications of viewing religion within non-religious interpretive frameworks? What methodological problems do we have to face concerning religion in childhood and adolescence? What interdisciplinary challenges can be identified in this context? The final section relates these questions to the main topic of the present publication by stating a number or criteria, i.e., criteria related to the concept of religion to be used in research across different approaches and disciplines.