Kerk, staat en religieonderwijs


  • Leni Franken Centrum Pieter Gillis, Universiteit Antwerpen, België



In Belgium and in the Netherlands, religious education (RE) in state schools as well as in faith-based schools is organized by the (recognized) religious communities/ schools and not by the state. Although RE is in both countries largely secularized and pluralized, it is officially organized in a denominational way. This is different in Scandinavia and in the UK, where the state is responsible for RE which is, accordingly, non-denominational. Also in France and in Luxembourg is the situation different, as RE is no part of the state school curriculum in these nations. In this contribution, I will illustrate how these different RE models are largely influenced by different church-state relations. In order to do so, I will make a distinction between (1) Lutheran and Anglican nations (non-denominational and non- confessional RE); Roman-Catholic nations with a strict separation between church and state (no RE as a separate school subject); and Roman-Catholic and mixed (Catholic + Lutheran/Calvinist) nations with a regime of ‘mutual independence’ between church and state (denominational and often also confessional RE). In a final part, I will illustrate how both in Belgium and in the Netherlands RE policy can change in a more pragmatic way, without institutional changes of their respective church- state regimes. Therefore three strategies are mentioned: (1) denominational and non-confessional RE; (2) a core curriculum RE; and (3 creative constitutional interpretations.

Biografie auteur

Leni Franken, Centrum Pieter Gillis, Universiteit Antwerpen, België

Leni Franken is als onderwijsbegeleider verbonden aan het Centrum Pieter Gillis, Universiteit Antwerpen, België.





Franken, L. (2021). Kerk, staat en religieonderwijs. Religie &Amp; Samenleving, 16(1), 28–53.



Received 2022-01-12
Published 2021-01-01