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Ethics and religious culture: an inspiring example for religious education in Flanders?

  • Leni FrankenEmail author
Article

Abstract

In 2018, the Québec Ethics and Religious Culture program celebrated its 10th anniversary. The launching of this program in schools in 2008 can be seen as the final step in a profound reorganization and a related deconfessionalization of the Québec educational system, a shift considered necessary to adapt school curricula to the present Québec society, which is characterized by secularism and increasing religious diversity. At present, Flanders (Belgium) is also undergoing a similar ‘paradigm shift’, with all the debates that accompany it. Because there are several important similarities between the present education and RE system in Flanders on the one hand, and the previous education and RE system in Québec on the other, a comparison between both regions can benefit the discussions involving the RE system and improve the future education policy in Flanders, but also in other regions or nations with comparable educational contexts. In this paper, I will therefore address the main similarities and differences between the two education systems and explain why the Québec education system in general, and the ERC subject in particular, could be seen as an inspiring example for future Flemish education policy. In addition, I will argue why some aspects of the present Québec system, and particularly of ERC, are rather controversial and/or problematic.

Keywords

Ethics and religious culture Québec Belgium (Flanders) Non-confessional RE Faith-based schools 

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Copyright information

© Australian Catholic University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre Pieter GillisUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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