Patterns of Religious Education Policy in Switzerland. The Long Arm of Distanced Christians?

Jödicke, Ansgar; Rota, Andrea (2014). Patterns of Religious Education Policy in Switzerland. The Long Arm of Distanced Christians? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 53(4), pp. 722-738. Blackwell 10.1111/jssr.12150

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In spite of its different cantonal jurisdictions and traditions, the development of religious education in Switzerland over the past decade has taken a common direction: the state has assumed a more active role in the field of religious education in public (state-run) schools. In this article, we ask the question: How do key social actors interpret these reforms and how do these interpretations relate to the social structure of religion in Switzerland, in particular with respect to the majority category of the so-called distanced Christians? Drawing on qualitative interviews with members of the schools’ teaching staff, school administrators, and church representatives, the article highlights a dominant interpretative pattern that frames the socially accepted representation of religion in public schools. Thus, rather than addressing the pedagogical dimension of religious education, we discuss the significance of this pattern for the debate on the public presence of religion in Switzerland and Europe.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute for the Science of Religion
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for Global Studies (CGS)

UniBE Contributor:

Rota, Andrea


200 Religion
200 Religion > 210 Philosophy & theory of religion
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education


1468-5906 ; 0021-8294






Andrea Rota

Date Deposited:

26 Jan 2015 15:06

Last Modified:

25 Jul 2018 15:10

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

religious education, politics of religion, social structure of religion, distanced Christians, qualitative research, Switzerland, religion in Europe




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