Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 6 112 that person is—although it is not really for us to say, as you don’t know that person’s heart. In these moments of reluctance, we also observed some ambivalence between what the teachers said at one moment and the other. Our data showed two other moments in which reluctance and a change of beliefs were observed. First, several teachers mentioned that they grew up thinking that church or a specific church was very important or even decisive and they now highlighted that one’s relationship with Godmatteredmost. Furthermore, several teachers mentioned holy wars in Christian history and their resemblance to violent attacks by Muslim extremists, which made themmore cautious and humble when they talked about Christian history. As Jan said, I used to tell the story of the crusades from my point of view, as if I was a crusader myself.…But they were disgraceful, those crusades. “God wills it!” A lot of people said that, but look at what happened…That is just the same as “Allah wants it!”…I will never again tell the story about the crusades so proudly. Teachers’ beliefs about religious others On the question of how to define the non-religious other, the teachers’ responses varied considerably. Some teachers remarked that there were no non-religious people, since everyone held certain assumptions in life, “even if it is the assumption that there is no god.” Non-religious people were defined in three ways: as people who did not believe in the existence of a higher power; those who had not yet made a choice regarding a certain set of religious beliefs; or those who did not believe in the same god as that of Christians. The teachers believed that religious others did believe in a higher power, though not in the same way as they themselves did. Not all the teachers explained the differences, with some giving various criteria (which also depended on how they defined non-religious people), including whether their Christian life influenced daily life decisions, whether Jesus Christ was seen as the Savior, or whether one believed in Biblical authority and inerrancy. At various points in the interviews, the teachers demonstrated what they believed about religious others. Their beliefs could be distinguished into three categories with several subcategories: distinction, identification, and recognition (in alphabetical order).63 We present them in the next paragraphs. Most teachers mentioned beliefs in different categories, although some had more beliefs in one category, and others had more beliefs in another. 63 Dutch: Afstand nemen, herkenning, and erkenning.