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Hans-Georg Ziebertz

This paper begins with a presentation of three concepts of pluralism found in the works of Francois Lyotard, Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor respectively. These concepts are compared and evaluated and their implications for religious education in a multicultural society are developed. On the basis of Taylor's “process of encounter” three strategies for religious education are proposed: adopt new theologies of dialogue; prove its dialogical character by turning productively to the world of the pupils, and include a relativizing self-examination in the treatment of the Christian religion.

Hans-Georg Ziebertz

Culture and religion are both collective phenomena. Social identity theory shows how both can function as a connective frame of reference for a certain group of human beings. Frames are unique; nevertheless, different frames can overlap each other. In this research, both big categories will be used to explore if and how they predict attitudes towards the social importance of religious institutions. Religious institutions are guided by religious authorities and these authorities have a specific responsibility to keep these institutions alive and prepare them for the future. In this research, respondents were asked how religious institutions can best be prepared for the future: whether they should use their social authority, moral authority, spiritual or cultural authority? The second and main question of this paper is: can the appreciated social importance of religious institutions be predicted by religious or non-religious reasons, i.e. by either respondents’ religious belonging or their national identity? A requirement for such research is the availability of a cross-cultural and cross-religious sample. In this paper, data were taken from the “Religion and Human Rights” programme and respondents from 14 countries (N=13.004) were included in the analysis. The findings show that respondents regard the social importance of religion differently and that differences depend on respondents’ country of citizenship and their religious belonging. If the weight of these influences is compared, respondents’ views are more strongly predicted by their national than by their religious belonging. The findings also show that there is an overlap between national culture and religion, which explains a certain percentage of the variance.

Hans-Georg Ziebertz and Carla M. Ziebertz

The present study was part of a large research project on human rights. This paper focuses on attitudes towards labour rights of German adolescents (N = 2244) The labour rights under investigation are the right to work for everyone, the right to equal pay for equal work, the right to working hour limitations, the right to paid holidays, and the right to support for the unemployed. Although human rights in general are considered as universal, egalitarian and indivisible, attitudes towards these rights can be positive, negative or ambivalent, and may depend on the context. The aim of this study is to investigate adolescents’ attitudes towards labour rights, and to examine whether and which contextual factors are related to their attitudes towards labour rights. The contextual factors under examination were: human dignity, religious beliefs, the socio-political perception of society, and socio-demographic characteristics. The findings show that labour rights are very positively valued, except support for the unemployed. From all predictors the strongest is the understanding of human dignity as inherent to humans, followed by dignity through moral behaviour.