EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH NETWORKS
The following networks provided space for an exchange of research in the filed of religious education and values:
- ISREV: International Seminar on Religious Education and Values (ISREV) exists since 1978. The focus is directed to research in Western Europe and North America. Researchers with common methodological approaches initially worked on themes like young people's attitudes towards Christianity and stage development. Only in recent years they are giving more attention to interreligious and intercultural questions.
Most members of our consortium are members in ISREV. We were be able to present and to discuss our project in the frame of the next plenary meeting in July 2006 (just after the IRE-meeting in the Netherlands), and to present our findings in the next meeting in 2009.
- IRE: Inter-Religious and Intercultural Education (IRE). Colleagues from Western European and Southern African countries form this group from 1994 onwards with project meetings in Hamburg (1994), Utrecht (1996), Cape Town (1998), Warwick (2001), and Stellenbosch (2004). Here questions of dialogical RE , of the correlation between interreligious an intercultural education , of religion and citizenship education have been dealt with, especially with the different perspectives arising from the varying conditions in European and Southern African countries.
Most members of our consortium are members in IRE, Jackson and Weisse are the founders of it. We were able to present and to discuss our project in the frame of the next plenary meeting in July 2006 (just before the ISREV-meeting in The Netherlands) and to present our findings in the next meeting in 2009.
- ENRECA: European Network for Religious Education through Contextual Approaches (ENRECA). Their findings have been published under the title: Towards Religious Competence. Diversity as a Challenge for Education in Europe? . About half of the project leaders of our consortium are members of ENRECA. The next meetings of ENRECA were used to discuss our project and to present our results.
In the context of these networks, various comparative studies have been conducted . However, these do not usually take a European perspective but rather focus on a comparison of individual countries - e.g. Germany and Poland or Germany and the United States. One of the rare European studies has been a comparison of the position of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in European curricula, funded by the Herbert-Quandt-Stiftung. This study offered a good background analysis for our project, but its thematic focus is very different from ours (it focuses on school curricula and takes a more prescriptive and normative approach as opposed to our descriptive, empirical study.
Result: Increasing efforts to exchange research results and impulses between different countries are made, but as yet, no coordinated European effort exists.