chapter  2
20 Pages

Engaging with Diversity: Europe Between Imagined Homogeneity and Enduring Cultural Difference

ByEllie Vasta

This chapter focuses on religion, culture and language in education. It traces the political construction of a single, ethno-national Norwegian, Christian culture in education, and the consequences that this has for minority pupils and ethnic relations in school. Christianity is defined as the national ideology for integration in a multicultural and multi-religious society. Benhabib's theoretical proposition for dealing with multicultural populations and migration transcends the limits of the nation-state, to which Kymlicka refers. According to the Norwegian Constitution, the Evangelical-Lutheran religion is the religion of the state. The Social-Democratic party and the Social-Democratic Minister of Church, Education and Research, Gudmund Hernes, played a key role defining Christianity as the core unifying element in Norwegian culture in the educational reform. Democratic opposition against the State Church in a multi-religious society has resulted in political negotiations. This cultural frame of reference makes counselors and psychologists insensitive to the linguistic and cultural background of minority pupils.