Robert Jackson
Robert Jackson

Professor Robert (Bob) Jackson is Visiting Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education at Stockholm University. He was Founding Director of Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, based in the Centre for Education Studies at the University of Warwick in the UK, where he still works as Emeritus Professor. He is a leading figure in international debates about religions and education in Europe and beyond. Professor Jackson is Expert Adviser to the European Wergeland Centre, a Council of Europe-related centre based in Oslo, specialising in intercultural, citizenship and human rights education. He was appointed as a Visiting Professorship at Oslo and Akershus University College from 2009 to 2012 in order to establish the European Wergeland Centre’s work on religious diversity and education.

Robert Jackson has been a leading contributor to the Council of Europe’s work on religious diversity and education since 2002. He was a member of the drafting team of the Council of Europe Ministerial policy recommendation on teaching about religions and beliefs (2008) and of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs (2007). He contributed to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations programme on Education about Religions and Beliefs and spoke at the Alliance of Civilizations 2009 Istanbul Forum.

He is currently contributing to various Council of Europe projects, in particular, on the dissemination of the Council of Europe Ministerial Recommendation on the religious dimension of intercultural education. His latest book, Signposts: Policy and Practice for Teaching about Religions and Non-Religious Worldviews in Intercultural Education was published in 2014 by the Council of Europe to support policy makers, schools and teacher trainers across Europe in utilizing the recommendation. Signposts has already been translated into 10 languages, and more translations are in preparation.

He has taken a leading role in a range of research projects in Europe and the UK, including an EC Framework 6 project on religions, education, dialogue and conflict, involving 9 European Universities (REDCo). He spoke at the European Parliament on this project in December 2008. His recent UK projects were for the main research councils (AHRC and ESRC), conducted as part of the large Religion and Society programme for which he was a member of the steering committee, the UK Government’s Department for Children, Schools and Families and various charities and trusts, including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

Robert Jackson’s book Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality: Issues in Diversity and Pedagogy was selected by the American Academy of Religion for discussion at its conference in San Antonio, Texas. In 2006, Robert Jackson was awarded a higher doctorate (DLitt) by the University of Wales for his contribution to international research in religions and education through his publications, and in 2010 was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. His ground breaking book Religious Education: An Interpretive Approach is now available as a free download from the European Wergeland Centre website (http://www.theewc.org/Content/Library/Research-Development/Literature/Introducing-Religious-Education-an-Interpretive-Approach).

In 2013 he was presented with the William Rainey Harper award by the Religious Education Association (USA) and was given life membership of the REA. The Harper Award is presented ‘to outstanding leaders whose work in other fields has had profound impact upon religious education’. Bob Jackson was only the 12th person to receive the international award since its launch in 1975, and he joined the ranks of Marshall McLuhan, Margaret Mead and Paulo Freire. In the same year the Association of University Lecturers in Religious Education (AULRE) in the UK awarded him life membership of AULRE in recognition of his contribution to the subject.

Robert Jackson was editor of the British Journal of Religious Education for 15 years, and he continues to belong to a number of research networks concerning religious and intercultural education in Europe and beyond, as well as serving on the editorial boards of several international journals.