Vol 7 Nr 2017:1 (2017): Nordidactica 2017:1
Epistemologies of Religious Education Research in the Nordic Welfare states
As a research discipline subject matter didactics or subject didactics (“ämnesdidaktik”, “fagdidaktik(k)”) in the Nordic states has, as is the case in for instance other European regions, developed in relation to the academization and professionalization of the educational sciences in general and thus also to the education of teachers (Hofstetter & Schnewly, 2002). This also goes for religious education as an object of research as well as of developmental educational aspirations based on science or aiming at being science (Vetenskab, Wissenschaft). Unlike many other subject didactics, RE is, however, related to two sets of institutional practices that have shown a growing interest in education and religion – an interest with academic consequences – namely school and church. This has meant that RE was an established academic discipline in theological faculties in several Nordic countries, with roots in catechetic and practical theology, before the general interest in subject matter didactics increased from the 1960s onwards, often under the name religionspedagogik[k]/religionspædagogik [Pedagogy of Religion] (Osbeck & Lied, 2012a).