Religious education

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The religious education considering and designed religious upbringing , education and socialization in the view of the relevant religious community and its spirituality. It conveys the doctrine of faith under religious studies, pedagogical and methodological-didactic aspects, taking into account the respective social, legal, economic, social and cultural context.

A limitation of religious education solely on the place of learning school ( religious education ) falls short: It is more generally about education , education , socialization , learning and development in a religious community ( church ) school (public and private) and community ( church ) or at religious place ( church education ). The target groups of religious education are therefore not only children and young people, but also adults ( adult education ), men (men's work) and women (women's work). Special tasks arise e.g. B. for marriage preparation , accompanying young parents, the elderly or the sick (see sick pastoral care ).

In Christianity, the differentiation between religious education in the narrower sense - as more closely related to the school as a place of learning and religious instruction - and community education as an education that is more closely related to the ( parish ) community. The training for these two areas has different focuses. Practical theology at the universities is responsible for adult and parish pastoral care, and religious education at universities and colleges for the training of religious teachers .

In the school sector, there are considerations and attempts at denominational-cooperative religious instruction, which can be supported by a sometimes joint training of religious teachers of different denominations (as at the Church of the University of Education in Vienna / Krems ).

Work is underway in Germany and Austria to develop an Islamic religious education system. There are similar endeavors for Buddhism .

Christian religious education

From a Christian point of view, religious education is originally the proclamation of the faith and catechesis (i.e. teaching and learning to be a Christian), but is also considered a theological discipline ( practical theology ) related to social sciences , education and psychology . In the sense of catechesis, the “working level” of religious educators is the relationship between man and God .

Nowadays, when large parts of the population are to be regarded as remote from the church , religious education in schools is often the first encounter with representatives of the church . Therefore, before any faith is imparted, religious knowledge must first be imparted , e.g. . B. also shapes the first weeks of first communion classes.

In contrast to this pastoral care for those who are distant, in the second area of ​​religious education - parish education in parishes or for Christian class groups - the aspect of knowledge takes a back seat to the actual pastoral care . Congregational education therefore has a much higher proportion of personal aspects such as spiritual support and encouragement, any life support, conversations about the Bible and the image of God , introduction to prayer and much more. Church work can therefore be defined as a motivated endeavor for people in their wholeness and their relationship to God .

In some areas of religious education, psychotherapeutic action can also be appropriate, for example Carl Rogers' access to personal or partnership motivation and so-called pastoral psychology . It is by no means the clergy alone who are challenged here, but - especially in the Protestant as in the Catholic understanding - every adult Christian. The resulting network of relationships through listening , empathizing, supporting, exchanging ideas, etc. also serves to build a modern Christian community. Since the 1970s, the importance of other religions (formerly: “foreign religions”, today “world religions”) has grown in religious education. The pioneers in the Protestant field include Karl Ernst Nipkow , Udo Tworuschka , Jürgen Lott and Johannes Lähnemann . In the Catholic area, Hubertus Halbfas and Werner Trutwin should be mentioned. Since the 1990s, there has been less talk of “world religions in religious education” and more of “interreligious learning”. Stephan Leimgruber , Herbert Schultze and Hans-Georg Ziebertz are among the pioneers of this religious educational concept .

Islamic religious education

Islamic religious education is still in its infancy in Germany at the beginning of the 21st century. As early as the 1990s, there were individual efforts to develop a corresponding teaching. Since then, the Institute for Interreligious Didactics and Pedagogy in Cologne has stood out with its work. Under the direction of Rabeya Müller , the first concepts for Islamic religious instruction were developed, teaching materials were created and advanced training courses were offered. In recent years, the Islamic scholar and religious educator Lamya Kaddor has played an important role in the further development of this discipline. She has written and published several publications on this. Among other things, in cooperation with Rabeya Müller, she has been working with the Koran for children and adults since 2004, both the first child-friendly translation of the Koran and the first state-approved textbook for Islamic religious instruction "Saphir". Harry Harun Behr was also involved in the publication of the textbook . With his appointment to the professorship for Islamic Religious Education at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg , the young discipline found its first access to the German higher education system. The developments in recent years have been favored above all by the political efforts to establish Islamic religious instruction at state schools in Germany.

In Germany and Europe, Bülent Ucar from the University of Osnabrück, who has made a significant contribution to the development of Islamic religious education in Germany with numerous publications, is considered an expert in the field of Islamic religious education . In his writings he advocates contemporary, modern Islamic religious education. In March 2008, the German Islam Conference reaffirmed the efforts to introduce regular religious instruction.

In Austria, Islamic religious education was established at the University of Vienna in 2007.

Buddhist religious education (in Austria)

With the legal recognition of Buddhism in Austria in 1983, the authorization to give Buddhist religious instruction in public schools was connected. The Austrian Buddhist Religious Society (ÖBR) developed a first curriculum for all school levels, which was announced by the Minister of Education in May 1992. In September 1993 Buddhist religious instruction began in Graz, Salzburg and Vienna and was expanded in the following years. In 2001, the Buddhist Religious Education Institute of the ÖBR (BRPI) was established in Salzburg, central to the whole of Austria. The founder and director of the institute, Kurt Krammer, was also a specialist inspector for Buddhist religion. In 2008 a new curriculum came into effect. Due to the diversity of Buddhist traditions in Europe, there are very different expectations of religious education. Most of the students in Buddhist religious education come from an Asian migrant background . A total of around 200 students take part in Buddhist religious instruction throughout Austria.


Academic training in religious education takes place at church universities (e.g. at the Protestant universities of applied sciences , the Catholic University of Eichstätt , the Catholic Foundation University of Munich, Benediktbeuern Department, or the Catholic University of Mainz ) as well as at state universities (e.g. University of Lucerne , University of Tübingen , University of Hamburg , University of Münster ) and in Baden-Württemberg at the universities of education in Freiburg , Heidelberg , Karlsruhe , Ludwigsburg , Schwäbisch Gmünd and Weingarten . Corresponding distance learning is also possible at the Cathedral School in Würzburg , as well as at the Pedagogical University of the Diocese of Linz . Not least in Berlin, the training at the EFB as a FH-certified religious educator has completely replaced or replaced the multi-level and part-time training course for catechists .

In Islamic Religious Education, academic training has so far taken place at three locations. After the above-mentioned professorship in Erlangen-Nuremberg was filled, a second chair has now also been filled at the University of Osnabrück . The owner is the scientist Bülent Ucar . At the Center for Religious Studies of the University of Muenster , the Islamic religious education is under construction. The associated professorship was already represented by Lamya Kaddor for one semester in winter 2007/2008 . Professorships are also being planned in Baden-Württemberg . In addition to academic training, the ministries of the federal states that offer Islamic religious instruction or Islamic studies offer appropriate training in Islamic education for teachers.

Important founders of religious education

Important religious educators after the Second World War


  • Erich Feifel , Robert Leuenberger , Günter Stachel, Klaus Wegenast (eds.): Manual of religious education. Volume 1: Religious Education and Upbringing. Gütersloh, Zurich, Einsiedeln Cologne 1973; Volume 2: Didactics of Religious Education - Theory of Science. Gütersloh, Zurich, Einsiedeln, Cologne 1974; Volume 3: Religious educational fields of action in church responsibility. Gütersloh, Zurich, Einsiedeln, Cologne 1975.
  • Udo Tworuschka , Dietrich Zilleßen (ed.): Topic world religions. A discussion and work book for religious educators and religious scholars. Frankfurt am Main, Munich 1977.
  • Friedrich Schweitzer : Life story and religion. Religious development and upbringing in childhood and adolescence. 2nd Edition. Munich 1991.
  • Anja Lüpken : Religious Didactics - On the Way to a New Discipline. In: Handbook of Religions. Churches and other religious communities in Germany. Landsberg / Munich since 1997, four additional deliveries per year, EL 26.
  • Christian Grethlein : Religious Education . Berlin, New York 1998.
  • Norbert Mette , Folkert Rickers : Lexicon of religious education. Neukirchener, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2001, ISBN 3-7887-1745-9 .
  • Gottfried Bitter, Rudolf Englert , Gabriele Miller, Karl Ernst Nipkow: New handbook of religious pedagogical basic concepts. Kösel, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-466-36598-8 .
  • Christoph Bizer , Roland Degen, Rudolf Englert, Norbert Mette , Folkert Rickers , Friedrich Schweitzer (eds.): Religionsdidaktik. In: Yearbook of Religious Education (JRP) Volume 18 (2002). Neukirchen-Vluyn 2002.
  • Werner Simon : Modern religious education. Kaiser, Gütersloh 2005.
  • Ulrich Becker , Harry Noormann, Bernd Trocholepczy (eds.): Ecumenical workbook religious education. 3. Edition. Stuttgart 2007.
  • Jürgen Court , Michael Klöcker (ed.): Ways and worlds of religions. Research and mediation. FS Udo Tworuschka for his 60th birthday. Frankfurt am Main 2009, pp. 731–762 Bibliography of the works of Udo Tworuschka.
  • Wolfram Reiss : Expert opinion on the books used in Islamic religious instruction in Austria. Published by the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Austria, Vienna 2012.
  • Lucas Graßal : How to teach religion (s)? Religious Education in German Religious Education Concepts in the Light of the Pluralist Theology of Religion by John Hick , Berlin 2013 (Pedagogical Contributions to Kulturbegegnung 30).
  • Horst F. Rupp: Religious Education and Religious Education in Germany. In: Handbook of Religions. Churches and other religious communities in Germany / in the German-speaking area, ed. by Michael Klöcker and Udo Tworuschka. 35th supplementary delivery, Munich 2013.
  • Mirjam Zimmermann, Heike Lindner (eds.): The scientific-religious-pedagogical lexicon on the Internet (WiReLex) 2015ff. (Online: )

Web links

Wiktionary: Religious Education  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • rpi-virtuell - cross-denominational internet platform of the EKD for religious education workers in schools, training and further education, in cooperation with the religious education institutes in Austria
  • rpp-catholic - portal for catholic religious education with current information from religious education, school, church, media education; Sponsor: German Bishops' Conference
  • Twitter: rpp_katholisch - tweet about religious education, school, church, media education
  • Religious Education Institute Loccum - material portal for religious education with current news, lesson plans, online lectures
  • Theo-Web - Journal for Religious Education
  • Owlfish - Limburg magazine for religion and education
  • ÖRF-Austrian Religious Education Forum - Open Access Journal for Religious Education - interdenominational and interreligious
  • Annotated literature list of the current EKBO vicars course
  • Daniel Arnhold: Resilient Religiosity. Promotion of resilience in religious education through the development of religious concepts in primary school. Leipzig, 2012 [4]
  • Claudia Zieroff: Subjective construction of religious self-concepts in the context of religious socialization and religious change. Dissertation University of Oldenburg, 2006 [5]

Individual evidence

  1. ^ [1] IPD Cologne
  2. The Koran for children and adults, Beck-Verlag, Munich 2008, 2nd ed. [2]
  3. Saphir 5/6 religious book for young Muslims, Kösel-Verlag, Munich 2008
  4. Wiener Zeitung 2013 on Buddhist religious instruction: "However, there are currently only 190 Buddhist students in Austria."
  5. Interdisciplinary Center for Islamic Religious Education
  6. University of Osnabrück - Chair for Islamic Religious Education [3]