REC Seminars & Presentations

Teaching about Religion In Europe & the UK

December 14, 2021 — 12pm (ET)

An international panel of scholars will provide an overview of how several European countries teach about religion. The panelist will discuss the structure and curriculum of Religious Education (RE) courses in their contexts and offer insights into current trends in research and practice. 

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Angela Bernardo, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)

Angela Bernardo holds a degree in Political Science from Sapienza University of Rome, a Ph.D. in History of Europe, and is a professional civil mediator. Since 2014 she has been a research fellow in History of Religions at the Dept. of History Anthropology Religions Art Performing Arts of Sapienza University of Rome, with a focus on religions and public space in Europe, religious pluralism, and mediation. The latest publication she edited is the 2020 volume “Reconstructing a community: The Coptic Orthodox Church in Europe”. Since 2012-2013 she has coordinated the higher education sector and placement/internship services of the Master in “Digital Heritage: Cultural Communication Through Digital Technologies” and of the Master in “Religions and Cultural Mediation” of Sapienza University of Rome, of whose scientific board she is a member. In 2015, she edited, with Alessandro Saggioro, the Italian translation of the “Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools – OSCE/ODIHR”. From 2017 to 2020 she was project manager of the 2015 ERC ‘PAThs’ project, directed by Paola Buzi. Currently, as a Marie Curie fellow, she is carrying out the project ‘NEGOTIA’ – “Negotiating Religion: Coptic Orthodox diaspora communities. Shifting identities, needs, and relations from Egypt to Europe and back” (Partner institutions: Sapienza University of Rome – American University in Cairo – University of Hamburg; GA n. 896918). She is co-chair of the Program Unit “Religion and Public Schools: International Perspectives” of the American Academy of Religion.

Kevin O'Grady, Independent RE Consultant (Sheffield, England)

I taught and led RE in six different English secondary schools over 30 years, before moving to Andalucía and teaching in a primary school for a further two. I was also a member of the Sheffield SACRE and agreed syllabus conference. In parallel, I was a part-time graduate student, associate fellow and research fellow at the University of Warwick, contributing to various projects including the EC-funded Religion in Education: A Contribution to Dialogue or a Factor of Conflict in transforming societies of European countries? (REDCo) (2006-2009). My book Religious Education as a Dialogue with Difference was published by Routledge in 2019 and a follow-up titled Conceptualising Religion and Worldviews for the School will appear in 2022. Since returning to Sheffield in 2018 I have worked as an independent RE consultant, researcher and author. My main interest is how research can improve RE teaching.

Marie von der Lippe, University of Bergen (Norway)

Marie von der Lippe is Professor in The Study of Religions and Didactics at the Department of Archeology, History, Culture Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen. Her field of research is young people and religion, Religious Education in public schools, teaching controversial issues and the role of school after the terror attacks in Norway 22 July 2011.

Kristian Niemi, Karlstad University (Sweden)

photo of Kristian NiemiKristian Niemi, PhD, is a former teacher at upper secondary school in the subjects of religion and philosophy. He is currently a lecturer and researcher in religious studies at Karlstad University, Sweden. His research interests concern religion in schools, international comparative research in education, and Indian religion. Contact information and list of publications is available at [].

Map of Europe with Norway, Sweden, Italy and UK highlighted with title "Teaching about Religion in Europre and the UK" and date and time "Tuesday, December 14 at 12pm (ET)"

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