Main Theme

The Officials of the Department for the Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Confessions as Researchers of Religion

This article reveals the character of the responsibilities held by officials of the Department for the Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Confessions concerning the control of the religious life of the country and its legal regulation, using early, unpublished documentary materials from the Russian State Historical Archive, specifically those concerning the departmental duties of officials V.V. Vashkevich (1865–1902) and S.D. Bondarʹ (1902–1917).

Orthodox Priests — Researchers of the Native Religions of the Russian Empire in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

This article presents the research of Orthodox priests who studied the religious ideas of the peoples of the Russian Empire. Their works, both published and in manuscript, can be classified into five main groups: studies dealing with Abrahamic religions; studies of other world and national religions; studies of religious dissidents (Christian sects and Judaizers); works on the traditional beliefs of the native peoples of the Volga Region, the Urals, Siberia, and the Caucasus; and works on popular religiosity.

Introduction to the Theme of the Issue

Religious Studies and Teaching Religion to Children in Tatarstan. The Case of Islam

This article deals with children’s instruction on Islam in the Republic of Tatarstan. Research is based on fieldwork in seven rural districts and six cities carried out in June—July 2017, as well as on the analysis of teaching programmes, textbooks and mass media publications. The study shows that the main factor of a particular model of religious education in Tatarstan is its multi-ethnic and multi-religious composition.

Teaching «Foundations of Orthodox Culture» in Schools of the Tambov Region: Achievements and Problems

This paper analyzes the conceptual bases for introducing and implementing the subject «Foundations of World Religious Cultures and Secular Ethics» in the public schools of the Tambov region. It draws upon official data presented by the Diocesan Administration and the regional Department of Education.

Religious Culture or Invitation to Religion: What Are the New Textbooks About?

School courses in the basics of religious cultures introduced recently into the Russian federal curriculum raise many questions: how and in what way religion can be taught in secular school; whether the course should be monoconfessional or based on comparative religious studies; what its goal should be teaching about religion or an invitation to religion; whether the course should be chosen with respect to ethnic background or whether it can be optional; whether it should be a short course or an extensive one covering the entire educational period; what the content of the

Toledo Principles and Theology in School

The teaching about religions, being a necessary part of education, needs to be supported; and the 10th anniversary of «Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools» (2007) serves as a good occasion to discuss this issue. The main pedagogical mission is to teach about the subject, not to generate values and meanings. Historically, these values and meanings were produced by religion, and the Church played a normative role, regulating the content of education and the entire life of the school.

Religious Education in Public Schools: The Most Important Tendencies (With Special Focus on Scandinavia)

With special attention to Denmark, this article discusses to what degree religious education in public school in the Scandinavian countries, often said to be among the frontrunners as regards non-confessional religious education, reflects and accommodates an increased religious pluralism as well as public and political discourses linking national identity, social cohesion, the good citizen and society with the traditional majority religion as the basis for the (positive) values of the country, the society and the state in question.

Religion in School: Current European Landscape

This article treats the main forms and principles, as well as theoretical and methodological approaches to what is called «Religious Education» in modern Europe, and the basic principles of its implementation in the context of the contemporary policy of «Europeanization» of school education in general. In this connection documents and recommendations of international European organizations are considered.

Teaching about Religion in School: The Pursuit of Neutrality and the “Culture Wars”. Introduction

This article considers the actual problems of teaching about religion in public schools. The implementation of the educational concept outlined in the «Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools» (2007) has been the subject of a vivid international discussion. Supporters of the new approach to teaching religion hope that the lessons of modern religious and non-religious beliefs and practices will promote tolerance and mutual understanding.