How are people educated to feel that they are part of a nation? What role does religion play in such a process? In this book Lars Laird Iversen takes a close look at Religious Education in Norway in order to find answers to these crucial questions. The intersection of school, religion and national identity is a hotspot for public controversy, in Norway as well as many other countries. Global flows of ideas and migrants have made religious plurality a fact on the ground in Norwegian city- and mediascapes. Iversen investigates the complexities that arise when the nation-shaping ambitions of Norwegian state curriculum authors meets the diverse group of pupils in religious education classes. The book also provides a theoretical discussion on how religious groups, and other groups with identity claims, should be understood, drawing on contemporary debates between social constructionist and critical realist approaches.
Lars Laird Iversen works as associate professor at the Norwegian School of Theology, where he teaches social science. His research interests focus on the sociology of religion, education and national identity.
This is a well grounded and interesting study of what will become an increasingly important field in religious education.
Richard Rymarz in: Journal of Religious Education 60(3).