Half-hearted Support to Pluralist Curriculum Building: The Case of Religion

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Abstract

This article makes two claims, one explanatory, one normative. The former aims at explaining why pluralist religion teaching, be it teaching in the style advocated by the OSCE Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools or other forms of pluralist religion teaching or religious literacy teaching, has not become an overwhelming success in Europe. To that effect, the article identifies a number of incentives and disincentives contained in (interpretations of) international human rights law that serve to perpetuate confessional teaching models. The normative claim advanced in this article challenges international human rights monitoring bodies’ ‘claw-back-clause’ reading of educational and religious rights of pupils and parental liberties. Specifically, the article concludes that advances in socio-legal science show that opt-outs are no remedy for the risks emanating from confessional religion teaching within public schools—rather, opt-outs are part of the problem.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberrwac013
Pages (from-to)91-108
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Journal of Law and Religion
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press.

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