The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education

1st Edition

Edited by Derek Davis, Elena Miroshnikova


420 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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How and what to teach about religion is controversial in every country. The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education is the first book to comprehensively address the range of ways that major countries around the world teach religion in public and private educational institutions.

It discusses how three models in particular seem to dominate the landscape. Countries with strong cultural traditions focused on a majority religion tend to adopt an "identification model," where instruction is provided only in the tenets of the majority religion, often to the detriment of other religions and their adherents. Countries with traditions that differentiate church and state tend to adopt a "separation model," thus either offering instruction in a wide range of religions, or in some cases teaching very little about religion, intentionally leaving it to religious institutions and the home setting to provide religious instruction. Still other countries attempt "managed pluralism," in which neither one, nor many, but rather a limited handful of major religious traditions are taught. Inevitably, there are countries which do not fit any of these dominant models and the range of methods touched upon in this book will surprise even the most enlightened reader.

Religious instruction by educational institutions in 53 countries and regions of the world are explored by experts native to each country. These chapters discuss:

  • Legal parameters in terms of subjective versus objective instruction in religion
  • Constitutional, statutory, social and political contexts to religious approaches
  • Distinctions between the kinds of instruction permitted in elementary and secondary schools versus what is allowed in institutions of higher learning.
  • Regional assessments which provide a welcome overview and comparison.

This comprehensive and authoritative volume will appeal to educators, scholars, religious leaders, politicians, and others interested in how religion and education interface around the world.


"Timely and timeless. These are two words that aptly describe The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education. As the first of its kind, this handbook is a timely contribution to the study of religion and education throughout the world. The data is fresh, and the analysis is comprehensive… a publication that has already significantly advanced the comparative study of religion and education." - Nathan C. Walker, Journal of Religion and Education

"This handbook deals impressively with the fundamentals of RE in 50 different countries, a task that has not been attempted before. It also outlines solutions of the state/religion/education triangle in all continents and main religions. That makes it a necessity for scholars and teachers of RE and for academics and researchers in other fields such as theology, sociology, educational studies, religious studies, political science and jurisprudence." - E. Kuusisto, Journal of Empirical Theology 27 (2014).

"[This book] should be in the reference area of every university library, especially those of religiously based educational institiuions." - Ted Newell, Journal of Christian Education and Belief

Table of Contents

1. Argentina 2. Asia 3. Australia 4. Austria 5. Azerbaijan 6. Bangladesh 7. Belgium 8. Brazil 9. Canada 10. China 11. Colombia 12. Estonia 13. European Union 14. Finland 15. France 16. Germany 17. Greece 18. Hungary 19. India 20. Indonesia 21. Ireland 22. Israel 23. Italy 24. Japan 25. Kazakhstan 26. Latin America 27. Latvia 28. Lithuania 29. Malaysia 30. Mexico 31. Nepal 32. Norway 33. Pakistan 34. Peru 35. Poland 36. Portugal 37. Romania 38. Russia 39. Scotland 40. Senegal 41. Slovakia 42. Slovenia 43. South Africa 44. Spain 45. Sudan 46. Sweden 47. Switzerland 48. Syria 49. United Kingdom 50. Ukraine 51. United States 52. Uruguay 53. Vietnam

About the Editors

Professor Derek H. Davis is the Retired Director, J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University, Texas, USA.

Professor Elena Miroshnikova has taught for 30 years at university level, and now works at Tolstoy State Teaching University, Tula, Russia.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks of Education

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects