Religious freedom in education : the United States versus Belgium
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Religion & education. - -
, p. 1-30
University of Antwerp
Inspired by a recent article in this journal, I will further elaborate on the tension between the freedom of education and the freedom of religion, with particular focus on state support for faith-based schools and the organization of Religious Education in public schools. I will have a closer look at the American and Belgian policies concerning these items and clarify why both nations have similar problems with regard to faith-based schooling and religious education, while the causes for these difficulties are dissimilar: both in Belgium and the US, the de facto freedom of religion and education are not maximally guaranteed for all students, but for very different reasons. Similarly, the implementation of non-confessional religious education seems very difficult in both countries, but also for different reasons. Based on these findings, I will give some recommendations in order to guarantee both the freedom of religion and of education in the best way in both nations.