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Interreligious Students’ Competences

Homepage > Teachers’ Guide > Interreligious Students’ Competences

How to didactically promote among students of different confessions, the capacity of a critical analysis and understanding of the role played by religions in the history of mankind

Building Students’ Interreligious Competences in Communication
and Adaptation in a Cross-Cultural Environment

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2. Religion as a Source of Exclusion and Conflict
This paragraph shows how religion is often used as a means to trigger or subdue a clash, offering a kind of "flag" to identify the "enemy": radicalism and fundamentalism, that offend God's name, preach hate against the other. When fundamentalism denies religious freedom, it undermines peace because it persecutes man and prevents the free search for the Absolute.

This is a crucial juncture to help students understand how
  • To the frankly religious factor of these struggles and contrasts there are mixed, to varying degrees, political, economic, social factors, so strong as to overshadow the religious element and to relegate it to a function of pure "myth", to a programmatic declaration covering other purposes.
  • Religion still has so much attraction, so much charm that it can be used as a watchword, as a flag around which to convey the passions and energies of men and women for whom faith loses its mere theological - doctrinal quality, and becomes, instead, a passionate motive of so much strength that martyrdom and death can be confronted with.
In this context it seems appropriate, with real examples related to the age of the students, to
  • Identify the characteristics of the different "religious wars" in past history
  • Foster understanding of the relationship between modernity and fundamentalism
  • Promote the construction of free and responsible identities, able to communicate with each other
Online Resources
  • InterfaithConcentrating on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, this site explores the different resources that each faith has for serious engagement with each other, and with the wider secular and religious context. It provides a platform for inter-faith academic research while promoting religious literacy in the wider world through its public education projects
  • State of BeliefState of Belief is based on the proposition that religion has a positive and healing role to play in the life of the nation. The show explains and explores that role by illustrating the vast diversity of beliefs in America – the most religiously diverse country in the world – while exposing and critiquing both the political manipulation of religion for partisan purposes and the religious manipulation of government for sectarian purposes.
  • Religious ConflictsFrom Geneva Peace week of 2017 , some interesting articles available on the network
  • Religious ConflictsThe Guardian compares different points of view about the issue
  • ASUS-Roma, Religioni e conflitti. Convegno sul dialogo interreligioso article illustrates the study presented at an intercultural convention on the relationship between religions and conflicts, with the aim of "knowing the divisions in order to plan the meeting between the parties in a world at war in the name of God"
  • Simone Pasquazzi, Religione e conflitti - Approcci teorici e strategici a confrontoA specialized study illustrating a panorama of situations in which tensions and conflicts are, on the one side "influenced by the sacred", and on the other use religion for political ends. The interpretative theories of the relationship between religion and conflict (primordial, instrumentalist, constructivist) and the strategies for overcoming conflicts are illustrated.
  • Eda-CH, Pace, religione e conflittiThe essays contained in the text deal with the forms of conflict connected to religions and the possible ways of overcoming them.
  • Conflitti religiosi e strategie del terroreReligious conflicts and strategies of terror
    Jihad: evolution of the concept and its applications to international relations
Practical Activity
  • Do religions feed conflicts? The activity can be carried out either in a historical or in an inter-disciplinary perspective, involving the subject of History. The activity can be divided into some emblematic steps, which can then be further expanded:
    • The crusades and the conflict between Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages
    • The conflicts between Catholics and Protestants between the 16th and 17th century
    • The conflicts between Shiites and Sunnis between the 20th and 21st century.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.