NICMCR’s project proposal: Inclusive Religious Education

Call for papers


Both Indonesia and the Netherlands are experiencing tensions related to religious pluralism. Although both countries have a long tradition of accommodating pluralism (albeit in different ways), and both are confronted with increasingly vocal forms of intolerance. The Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium of Muslim-Christian Relations (NICMCR) has acknowledged the importance of this topic and the need to address it properly in order to sustain viable ways of coexistence in our pluralist societies. A key element in this regard is religious education, both in public schools and in schools and educational institutions organized from or within the various religious communities.


The aim of this project is to describe and discuss best practices in religious education, directed towards inclusive pluralism and social sustainability.


  • Partnering academic institutions within and around the NICMCR are invited to join the project.
  • Each participating institution will put together a team consisting of one or more MA-students in religious education (or related fields) and one or more lecturers. The students will target their MA-research and thesis to a topic within the scope of this project. The thesis as a whole may have a broader theme but there should be enough overlap with this project.
  • Contributions may include description of educational projects and their rationale and/or effects, comparative studies, analyses of educational policy, and so on. Each team will start by writing a one-page description of their research topic and contribution
  • Each team will contribute at least one chapter for an collaborative edited volume. The chapters are based on the MA-research and thesis.
  • Teams will communicate with each other about progress, emerging themes, relevant literature, and so on.
  • The overall project will be led by two senior researchers (one from Indonesia and one from the Netherlands) who will also be in charge of the final editing process.
  • Although the focus is to include MA students, the program is absolutely not meant to exclude others. Therefore PhD-students, post docs and professors themselves may join as well! 


June 2017        Approach partners and securing cooperation

Sept 2017        Selecting students and organizing teams

Nov 2017        Expert Meeting

June 2018        Deadline chapters

Fall 2018         Book publication

Organizing Team & Contact

Dr Zainal Abidin Bagir (CRCS), Prof Dr Ruard Ganzevoort (VU University) and Dr. Gerdien Bertram-Troost (VU Universtiy) are in the Organizing Team.

Please send the name and contact details of the lecturers/ researchers, title of the proposed chapter and short abstract of 100 – 150 words, to and by 1 September 2017.

July 24th, 2017

On April 4th, 2017 Jennifer Vos defended her dissertation Wij zijn eigenlijk altijd multicultureel geweest.” Her promotor was Prof Frans Wijsen of the Radboud University, member of the Steering Committee of the Netherlands Indonesia Consortium for Muslim Christian Relations. Earlier Jennifer presented her research during the Consortium conference in Kaliurang, March 2012. 

On February 22nd, 2017, Theodora van Boven earned her Master’s degree in the subject Religious Studies (religion and policy) with the distinction cum laude. In May 2016, she joined up with the Consortium to conduct exploratory research Religious Education for Tolerance, mapping religious education in public and religiously affiliated secondary schools in the Netherlands and Indonesia. Proficiat Theodora!

From February till May 2016,  Senne Joustra and Theodora van Boven, two students at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands will be joining up with the Consortium to conduct preliminary research regarding the project ‘Interreligious Education for Tolerance‘.

Since 2014, Consortium members conduct two research projects. One project studies ‘Indonesian Mirrors‘, coping with religion in the Dutch and Indonesian public domain. Another project ‘Costly Tolerance‘, studies the pressure on the value of tolerance in both countries.