Over the last several years, Islamic religious education (IRE) in Europe has become a topic of intense public debate. People are concerned that the state is doing either too much or too little when it comes to shaping the spiritual beliefs of private citizens. The response to this unease by various European states has ranged from sponsoring to completely forgoing religious education in public schools, with policies varying according to national political culture. In some countries, public schools teach Islam to Muslims as a subject within a broad religious curriculum that affords parents the ability choose their children’s religious education; while in others, public schools teach Islam alongside other world religions in courses with a close link to the non-confessional academic study of religions. There are also European countries in which public schools do not teach religion at all, but in which the topic of Islam appears in courses on art, history, and literature. Outside of publicly funded institutions, of course, IRE is taught as a confessional subject in Muslim schools and Mosques as well as by Muslim organizations. Many Muslim students that attend such classes simultaneously attend “mainstream” publicly funded schools as well.

The symposium gathers scholars from 13 European countries who will present their research on the relationship between Islamic education and public schooling.

The symposium will also serve as the book launch of European Perspectives on Islamic Education and Public Schooling.



Jenny Berglund, professor in Religious Education

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education

Stockholm University

For more information: ire-europe@hsd.su.se


The symposium is funded by Swedish Research Council and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, Cofund Project INCA 600398