CALL FOR PAPERS- God(s) at school. Wisdoms and trajectories of youth in the countries of the South, Revue Education Comparée

Sophie Lewandowski , Robin Cavagnoud

The starting point for approaching the topic of religious education at school has been the structure of the school system in its mass configuration in the countries of the North, with subsequent dissemination through colonization in different countries or non-secularized development in others. Albeit that in the 19th and 20th centuries the trend in many states was to secularize education, at the beginning of the 21st century the opposite seems to be true, returning to or deploying a religious and spiritual education in the schools and different educational mechanisms.

The boom of religious education seems to be reaching the countries of the South in a variety of ways: from the development of Arabic-Islamic public and private education in Sub-Saharan Africa to curricular reforms of the public mechanisms and the recovery of indigenous knowledge and spirituality in Latin America and Asia, passing through the development of Adventist, Mormon and Jewish schools, and even private Catholic elite schools in different continents or religious training courses. These religious and/or spiritual education dynamics3 should be put in perspective, one mechanism in relation to another one, one religion in relation to another one, one country in relation to another one.

The aim of this issue it to examine the causes, the magnitude, the characteristics and the challenges youth face in view of this “return of God” in private and public (primary, secondary and higher) educational structures, as well as in different educational spaces with different means of formalization. What are the economic, political, cultural and social objectives underlying the offer of religious education? Do these objectives vary in different continents or different countries? How do youth receive these mechanisms, this knowledge and these beliefs in the “age of search”  throughout their learning and life trajectories? Are youth trajectories structurally different in different poor or emerging countries?

One of the challenges of this issue is to clarify the extent to which the agents on the supply side of religious education, the religious content and the trajectories of youth who have followed this education, participate, or not, in community groups in potential conflict contexts in the geopolitical, territorial, political and/or socioeconomic sphere. Furthermore, the articles can address one or more of the following topics:

1/ Mechanisms and actors of religious and spiritual education

2/ Religious and spiritual study plans: content and pedagogies

3/ Youth trajectories, uses of religious knowledge, transition to adulthood

The propositions may be derived from different disciplines: anthropology, sociology, demography, political sciences, sciences of education, history, psychology, etc. From the perspective of critical scientific analysis, they may comprise the presentation of localized case studies, comparisons of case studies or multi-scale approaches (from policies to practice, for example) in a variety of geographical areas (Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Asia, Oceania…). Approaches comparing mechanisms, actors, content, pedagogy, trajectories according to the religions or spirituality of concern, among regions or among countries, will be well-received.

Time schedule

The abstracts of the articles should be emailed at the latest by 31 March 2017 to and, emailing a copy to the coordinators of this issue as well: Sophie Lewandowski (, and Robin Cavagnoud (

The complete texts of the selected abstracts should be emailed at the latest by 31 May 2017. The standards to be followed can be downloaded from the following links: and

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