25 Apr

Available third newsletter about IERS project

Check the following information:

  • IERS final dissemination event
  • Why do we need Education about Religions?
  • A common voice from the school world.
  • The Pilot Phase – Evaluation
  • Pilot Experience by one of the German Teachers
  • IERS Project as an example of good practice
  • The Voice of a Piloting Teacher and his Pupils
  • In-Service teacher training course

30 Mar

Final Dissemination Event of the IERS Project on Saturday, April the 2nd in Turin, Italy

The IERS Project has collaborated with Italian Universities, Centers for the study on secularism, Foundations and Associations in order to organize a international conference entitled “The teaching of History of Religions and History of Free Though in Public School“, that will act as the final Dissemination Event of the IERS Project. In fact, six speakers will come from the IERS Project Team. These persons are:

  • Massimo Raveri, Professor of Religions and East Asian philosophies at the University Ca ‘Foscari of Venice – Head of IERS Project
  • Giovanni Lapis, Fellow Researcher Religions and East Asian philosophies at the University Ca ‘Foscari of Venice – IERS Project Manager
  • Tim Jensen, president of the International Association for the History of Religions – IERS Project Researcher
  • Isabelle Saint-Martin, director of the Institut européen en sciences des religions of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris – IERS Project Researcher
  • Daniel Marcuglia, Teacher of History and Philosophy and Catholic Religion at “A. Canova” High School in Treviso – IERS Project Piloting Teacher
  • Antonio M. Seoane Pardo, Teacher of History and Philosophy at “IES Campo Charro” High School in La Fuente de San Esteban (Spain) – – IERS Project Piloting Teacher

Here a detailed programme of the event:

DATE: Saturday, April the 2nd

VENUE: Circolo dei Lettori, Large Hall, Via Bogino 9, Turin (Italy)

Academic session:   10.00 a.m – 1.30 p.m  

(Languages: Italian, English, French. Simultaneous translation IT>ENG, FR>ENG available)

Chair: Gian Enrico Rusconi, president of Centro Calamandrei, professor emeritus of the University of Turin

Opening Speech: Tullio Monti, director of the Centro Calamandrei


  • Mariachiara Giorda, professor of History of Religions at the University of Bologna, Centro Calamandrei: “The link between secularism and history of religion and free thought: the Italian experiences and our proposals”.
  • Giovanni Filoramo, Professor of History of Christianity at the University of Turin: “Towards a scientific study of religions in school”.
  • Silvana Ronco, president of the Association “XXXI Ottobre “: The need for teaching ‘history of religion and free thought’ in Italy”.
  • Alessandro Saggioro, professor of History of Religions at La Sapienza University of Rome: “The Toledo Principles”.
  • Manlio Graziano, professor of geopolitics at the University of Paris Sorbonne and Geopolitics of religions at the American Graduate School for International Relations and Diplomacy in Paris, “The usefulness of the historical and scientific study of religion as an antidote to religious fundamentalism”.
  • Tim Jensen, president of the International Association for the History of Religions: “The European experiences and the IERS Project”.
  • Francesca Cadeddu, researcher at the’ Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXIII’:” Religious Illiteracy: European strategies and North Atlantic Fascinations”.
  • Massimo Raveri, professor of Religion and East Asian philosophy at the University Ca ‘Foscari of Venice – Head of IERS Project and Isabelle Saint-Martin, director of the Institut européen en sciences des religions of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris: “The IERS Project”.

Session on the Italian experiences: 2.30 – 5.00 p.m.

(Languages: Italian)

Chair: Giovanni Lapis, IERS Project Manager and Beatrice Nuti, association UVA – Universolaltro

Youth associations of religious movements:

  • Silvia Facchinetti, spokesman for the Evangelical Youth Federation Italian
  • Sara Briniche, Islamic Association of the Alps
  • Union of Young Italian Jews
  • Guido Campanini, Ecclesial Movement for Cultural Commitment
  • School Labor Unions:
  • Igor Piotto, regional secretary FLC-CGIL
  • Cosimo Scarinzi, provincial secretary CUB School

Professional associations of teachers:

  • Marco Chiauzza, FNISM national vice-president
  • Grazia Dalla Valle, Secretary of Turin CIDI
  • Cinzia Mion, trainer of MCE

Parents’ Association:

  • Angela Nava, national president of CGD

Forum of Religions in Milan:

  • Giuseppe Plato, pastor of the Waldensian Church of Milan

IERS Project teachers:

  • Daniel Marcuglia
  • Antonio M. Seoane Pardo

Law & politics session: 5.00 – 7.30

(Languages: Italian)

Chair: Mariachiara Giorda, professor of History of Religions at the University of Bologna, Centro Calamandrei

  • Umberto D’Ottavio, Italian Republic’s Deputy (PD), former council member for Education of the Province of Turin
  • Alberto Melloni, Professor of History of Christianity at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and coordinator of the Commission on pluralism, freedom and the study of religious studies at school (COPLES) at the Italian Ministry of University, Research and Education
  • Davide Mattiello, Italian Republic’s Deputy (PD)
  • Silvia Chimienti, Italian Republic’s Deputy (Movimento 5 stelle)
  • Marco Grimaldi, Regional counselor of Piedmont (SEL)
  • Roberto Mazzola, professor of ecclesiastical law and canon law at the Università del Piemonte Orientale

Flyer available for download (in Italian)

12 Feb

Conference “School & Religions. Good Practices in the Educational Offer of the Italian Public School”

Immagine per articolo Seminario Montecitorio 26 GennaioIn January the 26th in Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, has been held a Conference entitled “Scuola & Religioni. Buone pratiche dell’offerta didattica formativa della scuola pubblica italiana” (School & Religions. Good Practices in the Educational Offer of the Italian Public School).

IERS Project coordinators Massimo Raveri and Giovanni Lapis of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice have been invited as speakers by the promoter of the seminar, the deputy Hon. Davide Mattiello.

The Conference, inaugurated by a message from the Italian Minister of Education, University and Research, Hon. Stefania Giannini, was meant to map the various good practices dedicated to the spreading inside the public schools of the knowledge of contemporary cultural and religious pluralism. There was a strong concern on the need to reinforce the dialogue with political and institutional representatives in order to enhance the educational offer with additional pilot projects.

IERS Project coordinators has been therefore invited to present the Project and its outcomes, the Digital Modules, as examples of good practices aimed to create a school able to function as a place of cultural integration, anti-discrimination and citizenship education.

The meeting was attended by deputies of the Commission on Culture, Science, Education, such as Hon.Umberto D’Ottavio, and the Prefect Giovanna Maria Rita Iurato, head of the Central Directorate for Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Interior. Among the other speakers who took the floor there were professors of the University of Rome La Sapienza, University of Turin, University of Siena and University of Modena and Reggio-Emilia, who have studied the problem of teaching the history of religion in schools from different perspectives.

This event has been an extraordinary occasion for disseminating and exploiting IERS Project results at an institutional level, and it is a proof of a progressive awareness in Italy (as well as in other parts of Europe) of the increasing importance of tackling seriously the issue of religious pluralism in public education.

Here a video synopsis of the event (in italian)

26 Nov

IERS project at the International Conference TEEM’15

The third edition of the International Conference Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality (TEEM’15) has been organized by Polytechnic of Porto – School of Engineering (ISEP) in Porto, Portugal at the beginning of October.

Alicia García-Holgado, researcher in the GRIAL Research Group at  the University of Salamanca, presented the IERS project results in a session focused on giving visibility to research projects.

10 Aug

Second IERS Newsletter is available

Check information about:

  • News from the Third IERS meeting
  • IERS Digital Modules: An overview
  • IERS Digital Modules on Islam: An overview
  • Politics Acknowleding the importance of studying Religions in schools
  • Selection of our partner schools
  • IERS Teaching Training Course
  • KA1 Teachers Mobility: A Digital Modules Training Course
  • IERS on Facebook: Give us your feedback

15 Apr

Conference of the EU Project “Intercultural Education through Religious Studies” (IERS) in Augsburg

Augsburg - Markt.jpg Augsburg. – The partners of the EU LLP Comenius Project IERS, in which the Chair of History Didactics is involved, will meet from 26th to 29th April 2015 to hold their third conference at Augsburg University.

The IERS Project, which is financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union (Comenius Multilateral Projects), takes on the challenges for education policy posed by an increasingly multi-cultural and multi-religious Europe. At present, religious education at state schools in the European member states shows many different forms; but scientifically based, critically oriented, historically and interculturally structured learning in religious studies is still poorly developed. The project rationale is based on the conviction that an a-confessional, objective, high-quality teaching about history and the present state of religion supports the development of social, civic and intercultural competences educating towards a constructive and critical understanding of cultural and religious differences. The Chair of History Didactics at Augsburg University contributes its expertise in the qualitative evaluation of the Learning and Teaching Modules.

The IERS Project is a two-year initiative (December 2013 – December 2015) with two overlapping phases. The first project phase plans to create innovative teaching tools in form of digital modules combining information and communications technology with up-to-date academic findings from the studies of religions. The aim of the project is to create at least 20 digital modules categorised in three thematic blocks. These are:

  1. introductory modules on the methods of religious studies,
  2. introductory modules on the historically developed religions and
  3. modules on specific topics that deal with ‘religion’ as the driving force of human action and thought in historical as well as contemporary circumstances and social constellations.

An already concluded baseline study seeking to describe the current way of teaching about religion all over Europe completes this process of the first phase. The second phase of the project includes extensive pilot activities in which the digital modules are evaluated from the point of view of history didactics and tested in actual classes. Based on the feedback, an accompanying handbook is developed, which will also contain the analysis of the baseline study, a general introduction and additional information material.

The members of the project consortium are Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia (Italy) as project coordinator, École Pratique des Hautes Études (France), Syddansk Universitet (Denmark), Universidad de Salamanca (Spain), Oxfam Italia Intercultura (Italy) as well as Universität Augsburg (Germany). In addition to the didactical evaluation of the module concepts, the Chair of History Didactics at Augsburg University has also taken on the management of the distribution of the project results and the pilot phase, in which a range of schools from Italy, Denmark, France, Spain and Germany are involved.

The conference in Augsburg will focus on optimising the module development and digitalisation as well as on starting the practical module testing by the partner schools. So as to achieve a sustainable dissemination of the project results the agenda further includes the greater involvement of relevant stakeholder groups.

Contact (national):
Felix Petzold M.A.
Project manager (national) of the IERS Project (LLP)
Augsburg University
86135 Augsburg
Phone 0049(0)821-598-5554
Email: Felix.Petzold@phil.uni-augsburg.de

28 Jan

Workshop “Intercultural Education through Religious Studies”

The Dipartimento di Studi sull’Asia e l’Africa Mediterranea of the Università Ca’ Foscari (Venezia) has organized a workshop in order to introduce the European Project IERS.

The workshop will take place on February 2 in the Liceo Foscarini di Venezia. The programme will be:

15.00 – 15.15
Prof. Massimo Raveri
Opening address

15.15 – 15.30
Dr. Giovanni Lapis
Presentation of the Project “Intercultural Education through Religious Studies”

15.30 – 17.00
Prof. Mariachiara Giorda
Seminar: ” Modalità e importanza dell’insegnamento della storia delle religioni nelle scuole”

02 Sep

Interview about the IERS project

Is now available for podcasting and downloading the episode of August the 9th of the Italian radio program “L’altra Europa” (The Other Europe), featuring an interview to Giovanni Lapis, from the Ca’Foscari University of Venice, about the IERS Project.

“L’altra Europa” is a radio program dedicated to the presentation of stories, people, initiatives and opportunities of nowadays European Union.

This episode, focused on culture and creativity-related European projects, give us the opportunity to introduce the key points and motivations behind the Intercultural Education through Religious Studies Project Podcast and download available here. (Interview starts at 15.30, in Italian)