Religious education in Germany

Authored by: Udo Schmälzle

The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415536301
eBook ISBN: 9780203106075
Adobe ISBN: 9781136256424


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The ideological and religious determinant of schools is one of the central issues in the history of German education. The path to laicization and secularization of education is characterized by the conflict between state and church about the influence on schools and thereby, in the long run, about securing religious education in schools. The wording of the current constitutional law can be best understood in regard to the historical context which led to this wording. The dispute concerning the rights of parents and the churches to have their say in religious education is of central importance in public schools. New problems emerged after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 in the eastern federal states, in which only a third of the population professes to belong to a Christian church.

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