Qualifying didactic reflection in religious education through a model for religious competence


  • Kirsten M Andersen University College South, Haderslev
  • Lakshmi Sigurdsson University College Copenhagen


religious education, teacher qualifications, religious competence, action research


Religion is a vast phenomenon, consequently the core elements in formal religious education are equally difficult to limit. Even though a national curriculum narrows down the scope of content to a certain extent, it is apparent how RE incorporates a whole range of methods and approaches. This article departs from another perspective, namely the fact that school is not exclusively responsible for religious education and formation. It raises the question of whether and how formal teaching from the perspective of teachers in school and vicars in church contributes to the specific pedagogical task of competence and authoritativeness (Bildung). One of the results of an action research project: ‘Educating (Bildung) towards religious competence’ is a fourfold model for developing analytical approaches to RE didactics based on the concept of competence/authoritativeness. With this model it is possible to connect knowledge of RE with general pedagogical and didactic reflection in the context of both school and church. In the article, we offer reflections on possible ways to strengthen the connection between RE research and teaching. The aim is to connect practical teaching experience with theoretical reflection, both knowledge of didactics and religious content knowledge. In recent times the ideal of formation for RE has understandably focused on competences for diversity and inter-religious understanding. The four-fold model for religious competence is our attempt to widen the scope and perspective of formation in schools.