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The Importance of Religion for the Evaluation of Everyday Ecological Decisions by German Adolescents

A Case Study with Students in Biology and Religious Education Classes

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
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  • 1 Johannes Gutenberg-University MainzDepartment of Religious Education, Faculty of TheologyGermanyMainz
  • | 2 Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution, Johannes Gutenberg-University MainzDepartment of Biology EducationGermanyMainz
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Abstract

Although previous research has addressed the relationship between religion and ecology in a variety of ways, little is known concerning how religious orientation affects concrete everyday ecological decisions, although these are centrally important for environmental education. Being interested in elucidating the preconditions of ecological learning in Biology and Religious Education in schools, the authors have developed an approach based on maximum concretion with regard to the ecological decision in which the influence of religion should be evaluated. With this goal in mind, they conducted an empirical study among secondary school students in central Western Germany (N = 815), who were confronted with an everyday ecological dilemma and asked about their reasons for evaluating this situation. The results provide insight into the potential role of German young people’s religious orientations in ecological matters and call for a decisive profiling of how cross-disciplinary education can contribute to this key question for future.

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