On teaching what cannot be said
Reflections on the role of the unsayable in religious education
Nyckelord:RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, RELIGION, TRANSCENDENCE, EXPERIENCE, TEXTBOOKS
This paper discusses how religious education can address the aspects of religion that transcend the limits of verbal communication. It draws on empirical data from group interviews with young Norwegian members of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches. The young informants reflect on aspects of religion that seem to exceed the limits of language and suggest that how religious education deals with these elements needs to be improved if it is to promote respect and understanding for religion and believers. Excerpts from the material are discussed in the light of theological and philosophical perspectives on the unsayable. Finally, possible pedagogical approaches to facilitate the understanding of and dealing with the handling of non-verbal aspects of religious faith are explored, including the use of philosophical perspectives, experiences from art and music and empirical descriptions of religious experience.