Research team

Center for Ethics

Expertise

My main research focuses on contemporary political philosophy (Rawls, Dworkin, Raz, Kymlicka, Kukathas, Galston), perfectionism versus antiperfectionism, state neutrality, church-state regimes, freedom of education and freedom of religion, religious education and faith-based schools. Last years, my main focus of research is on religious Education, with particular attention for non-confessional RE and neutrality; islamic RE in Belgium and in Europe; and comparative research in RE. My approach is not empirical or theological, but based on political philosophy, epistemology, and the study of religions.

Religious and citizenship education in a liberal, postsecular framework - with a special focus on the subject ECR in Québec. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

This project is part of the international RE research agenda wherein the next question is central: to what extent should 'teaching into religion' be replaced/complemented by 'teaching about religions' and 'learning from the study of religions', citizenship education and (moral) philosophy? This project will focus on this 'paradigm shift' from a philosophical and a religious-studies based point of view and is therefore original. There are two research fields: 1. An ethical reflection on the possibilities and limitations of RE in a liberal, post-secular society. Here, particular attention will be given to the Habermasian perspective of post-secularism and its implications for the place of religion, ethics and citizenship in compulsory education programs. The core question is how RE can at best be in accordance with the principles of liberal neutrality, (post) secularism, and with the fact of religious diversity. 2. A religious-studies based reflection on the process of deconfessionalizing RE, with special attention to the experience of Québec, where a general, compulsory subject éthique & culture religieuse (ECR) was introduced in 2008. The project will focus here on methodological questions such as: How is "religion" conceptualized, presented and studied in ECR? What is the approach towards and place of eastern and secular worldviews in ECR? How can religious texts be used within a methodologically a-religious subject? What kind of 'impartiality' is required for teachers?

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