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Religious education in state schools in German‐speaking Switzerland

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There are today a variety of patterns in the different cantons of Switzerland for regulating the teaching of RE. The Swiss system is based on a cooperation between Church and state which varies in relation to the history and character of the differing cantons. This allows for diversity in modes of delivering RE. In two cantons there is complete separation between church and state whereas in the majority there is some form of cooperation. State recognized religious communities (normally the Swiss Reformed and Roman Catholic Churches, but in Basel the Old Catholic Church and Jewish community also) are in charge of the RE in schools where it is taught by their representatives visiting the schools. Where state related RE is taught this is done by teachers in the school employed by the state. The presence of Turkish immigrants is raising problems for the teaching of RE in certain areas since Islam has not been traditionally state recognized. However, the inherent diversity of patterns within the 26 cantons allows considerable room for innovation feasible because there is generally an openness between the churches and from the state which facilitates this.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Leiterin Amt für Katechese und Religionsunterricht des Bistums St Gallen, Switzerland, and the Pädagogische Hochschule in Feldkirch, Austria

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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