Religious literacy in the curriculum in compulsory education in Austria, Scotland and Sweden - a three-country policy comparison

Kerstin von Brömssen*, Graeme Nixon, Heinz Ivkovits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article presents analyses of curricula in religious education (RE) for public schools in Austria, Scotland, and Sweden. A curricula is the plan that outlines the goals, content and outcomes in education. A critical discourse analysis approach (CDA) is used to explore how each national RE curricula constructs (a) the aims, status and purpose of state-maintained RE (b) the teaching and learning objectives, and contents, and (c) what skills and attitudes the processes of learning aim to develop; together, these can be considered to construct students’ religious literacy in the curricula. Theoretical frameworks are from curriculum studies, as well as from literacy studies, with the aim of deepening the knowledge on RE, as well as the discussion on religious literacies from various national curriculum contexts. The analysis shows that although the curricula focus on the same topic, namely RE, they rely on different conceptions of curriculum, as well as on various forms of religious literacy
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Beliefs and Values
Early online date17 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2020



  • Religious education
  • religious literacy
  • curriculam
  • theory

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