The construction of ‘religions’ during field visits
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIntercultural Education. 2018, . 10.1080/14675986.2018.1539308
Field visits to churches, mosques, temples or other buildings used by religious groups, are often valued by students of religious education as an opportunity to engage with the ‘reality’ of the subject: religions as they exist in the world. The Council of Europe text Signposts specifies field visits as an important contributor to the religious dimension of intercultural education, but also identifies issues that need to be addressed by researchers and teachers. During an excursion, students interact with representatives who are likely to represent their tradition in one particular way. The aim of this paper is to investigate how the representation of religion and religiosity is constructed during excursions by representatives and visitors. We have developed an analytical tool based on the interpretive approach and the theory of speech genres. Based on our analysis of documentation related to four field visits with students to places of worship, we suggest how the different speech genres in play during an excursion can help in promoting awareness of different levels of religion: individual, group and the whole tradition.