Human rights education as a framework for transmitting religion as cultural heritage




The child’s right to freedom of religion and belief and fundamental principles such as equality and non-discrimination constitute an international frame for religious education (RE). However, these rights might be challenged when RE is allocated a major role in transmitting the majority religion as national cultural heritage and national identity. This article will explore and discuss this issue. It is based on an analysis of the transmission of Christianity as cultural heritage in the national RE curriculum for primary and lower secondary schools in Denmark. The article argues that principles from human rights education could provide a basis for a more pluralistic, objective, and critical approach to RE, thus enabling the classroom to function as a community of disagreement.


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Author Biography

Eva Lindhardt, University College Copenhagen, Denmark

Eva Lindhardt is Associate Professor in Religious Studies, Citizenship Education and Human Rights at University College Copenhagen, Department of Teacher Education.

Formerly she worked as advisor for the Education Team at the Danish Institute for Human Rights. She has participated in international projects focusing on citizenship education and human rights. Among others, she has authored publications about cultural and political citizenship, human rights formation in religious education in a Danish context.



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How to Cite

Lindhardt, E. (2022). Human rights education as a framework for transmitting religion as cultural heritage. Human Rights Education Review, 5(1), 5–27.

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