Final document of the XX EuFRES Forum
The promotion of the dialogue of cultures in Europe is necessitated by the different historical, geopolitical, religious, socio-cultural and educational experiences of the individual countries.
Given the aims of religious education in school, the dialogue of cultures, if properly understood and implemented, is a concrete contribution to the holistic development of the pupil.
An important aspect of the dialogue of cultures in school religious education is to highlight the dialogical and dynamic nature of religions that support pupils’ development. Commitment to one’s own church/faith community presupposes an internal culture of dialogue.
A genuine dialogue of cultures involving religions requires that each religion preserves its identity while remaining open to other religions and beliefs. Reaching out to each other is an important component of dialogue.
Education for dialogue is a major task for religious education, which should be implemented at all levels of education in schools.
The ultimate aim is to help students develop the ability to engage in dialogue as an expression of respect and recognition of the value of the other person.
All those involved in the educational process are obliged to continuously develop their competences in this area and to actively participate in the dialogue. The development of an attitude of dialogue should involve teachers, pupils and their parents.
The training should combine elements of theory and practice. It should provide for a holistic harmonisation of the cognitive, emotional, communicative and spiritual levels.
The denominational model of religious education seems to be an effective means of promoting intercultural dialogue. However, it is important to appreciate models of cooperation between other faiths and religions as one of the new ways forward.
The experience of upheaval through secularisation is a challenge also in the field of religious education. The fundamental longing and sensitivity for religious questions should be perceived and given space to develop.