CFP: BJRE Special Issue—Genders, Sexualities and Religious Education: Theory, Policy and Practice

British Journal of Religious Education (BJRE)

Special Issue Call for Papers

Theme: Genders, Sexualities and Religious Education: Theory, Policy and Practice

Publication Date:  May/June 2024

 Guest Editors:

Alinah SegobyeNorth West University, South Africa

Mary Hess, Luther Seminary, USA

Karin Sporre, Umeå University, Sweden

Yonah Hisbon Matemba, University of the West of Scotland, UK

PDF: Special Issue BJRE pdf Call for Papers – Genders Sexualities and Religious Education

This Special Issue (SI) of the British Journal of Religious Education (BJRE) interrogates how Religious Education (RE), as an academic subject, engages with debates on genders, sexualities and religion, including non-religious stances. The pluralification of ‘genders’ and ‘sexualities’ in the call is necessary to capture the multifaceted manifestations and understandings of these ‘contested’ issues not only in RE but in education generally.  Further, it recognises the multiple and intersecting ways in which identity formation takes place which informs how people choose to be known and humanised. It highlights the dynamic ways in which personhood and being are intricately linked to how social categorizations of person inform, influence and often shape our understanding of others. By framing the key terms in the plural, the guest editors also hope to generate debate going beyond normative views of gender and sexuality, capturing ‘silenced’ voices, and therefore opening up nuanced debates towards a holistic understanding of a relative neglect in the discourse of RE (see Rose, 1999; Jaschok and Chan, 2009; Carvalho and Sívori, 2017; Katulushi, 1999; Cush and Robinson, 2014; Sporre, 2016). There are insights to be gained by examining how theory, policy and classroom discourse in RE engage with traditional and contemporary understandings and practices on sexualities (e.g. sexual orientations) and gendered discussions related to notions of ‘toxic’ masculinity and femininity and the politicisation of such debates (Waling, 2019; McCann, 2020). Equally important for critical reflection is how RE responds (or not) to the ways in which different religious and non-religious traditions deal with patriarchy vis-à-vis matriarchy in the discourse (see Shipley, 2017). We hope to tease out critical emerging issues in respect to identity and sexuality formation and how these interplay in fostering inclusive understandings in the theory and practice of RE, and with wider implications for societies.

For this SI we are keen to receive theoretical and empirical papers that critically examine how issues of genders and sexualities are conceptualised, actualised and debated in RE ‘texts’ (e.g. policy, textbooks and curriculum/syllabus) and classroom discourse in different socio-cultural, religious and global contexts (e.g. Global South and Global North), including the ways in which these debates manifest in both faith-based and non-religious based education in schools, teacher education and higher education/universities. The scope of the SI is inclusive to enable scholarly explorations across different fields and theoretical perspectives. The guest editors invite scholars, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners from a range of disciplinary perspectives working within and beyond RE in spaces where religion and non-religion intersect with genders and sexualities, including associated disciplinary areas such as Ethics/Moral Education, Values Education, Sociology of Education, Sex Education, Theological Education, Religious Studies and Women’s Studies. Some of the thematic areas to be explored are:

  • Religion and non-religion response to genders and sexualities discourse in RE.
  • Genders and sexualities as ‘controversial issues’ in RE.
  • Teacher education’s engagement with genders and sexualities in RE
  • Genders and sexualities discourses in RE and the media.
  • Moral and ethical implications of gendered discourses in RE
  • Genders, sexualities and RE: Insights from the classroom.
  • Genders, sexualities and RE: Implications for policy and practice.

The SI aims to engender debates around these thematic areas. Papers submitted will be peer-reviewed following a double-blind process via BJRE ScholarOne.


Carvalho, M.C. and Sívori, H.F. (2017) “Gender, sexuality and religious instruction in Brazilian educational policy,” Cadernos Pagu (50): (accessed 3.05.21)

Cush, D. and Rohbinson, C. (2014) “Developments in religious studies: towards a dialogue with religious education,” British Journal of Religious Education, 36(1), pp. 4-17.

Jaschok, M. and Chan, H.M.V (2009) “Education, gender and Islam in China: The place of religious education in challenging and sustaining ‘undisputed traditions’ among Chinese Muslim women,” International Journal of Educational Development, 29, pp. 487–494.

Katulushi, C. (1999) “Teaching Traditional African Religions and Gender Issues in Religious Education in Zambia,” British Journal of Religious Education, 21(2), pp. 101-111.

McCann, H. (2020) “Is there anything “toxic” about femininity? The rigid femininities that keep us locked in,” Psychology & Sexuality (accessed 3.05.21)

Rose S.D. (1999) “Christian Fundamentalism: Patriarchy, Sexuality, and Human Rights,” in Howland C.W. (eds.) Religious Fundamentalisms and the Human Rights of Women, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 9-20.

Shipley, H. (2017) “Teaching Sexuality, Teaching Religion: Sexuality Education and Religion in Canada,” in Allen, L. and Rasmussen, M.L. (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 157-176.

Sporre, K. (2016) “Gender in research on religious education and values formation,” in Jeff Astley and Leslie J. Francis (eds.), Diversity and intersectionality: studies in religion, education and values, Bern: Peter Lang Publishing Group, pp. 23-47.

Waling, A. (2019) “Problematising ‘Toxic’ and ‘Healthy’ Masculinity for Addressing Gender Inequalities,” Australian Feminist Studies, 34(101), pp. 362-375.

Information for authors                                                                     

  • At the top of the abstract, please provide full name, title and affiliation of authors, along with a complete mailing address, contact information and primary discipline/area of work for each
  • Please indicate clearly the title of your paper. Proposals should explain the paper’s objectives or purpose and ensure that it falls within the call of the paper. Proposals should describe the paper’s conceptual perspectives or theoretical framework, research methods/modes of inquiry (including data sources, evidence and materials), and at least an outline of the paper’s results and/or substantiated conclusions or warrants for arguments/point of view (main argument). Proposals should present the scholarly significance of the paper related to the SI.
  • Proposals should be no longer than 500 words.  Proposals should be sent by email to: Dr Yonah Matemba ( Full papers should be no more than 6000 words, inclusive of tables, references, figure captions, footnotes and endnotes.
  • For format, style and referencing of full papers, please visit BJRE website for detailed information:


Important Dates

  • Announcement of the call for papers (abstracts): 2nd September 2021
  • Submission of abstracts by authors: 13th December 2021
  • Announcement of accepted abstracts: 31st March 2022
  • Submission of full papers for accepted abstracts: 31st July 2023. Submission will be via BJRE ScholarOne – and ticking ‘Special Issue’ (ScholarOne Manuscripts ( If you do not have an account on BJRE ScholarOne, please register.
  • Author revised papers (after peer-review for accepted papers) due: 28th February 2024. Accepted papers for publication will appear on BJRE online before the launch of the SI.
  • Papers will be published in the SI: May/June 2024.
  • As per BJRE practice, accepted papers will be published online before the official publication date of May/June 2024.

  Deadline/Date: 13 December, 2021