Hanna de Jong-Markus

Summary 173 In this sub-study it was concluded that the beliefs about the Christian faith and the beliefs about religious others were in line with each other, both in content (relationship with God is central) and nature (characterised by some ambivalence) of the different beliefs. Furthermore, it is important to note that ambivalence in teachers’ beliefs surfaced when the religious other came into view: Beliefs about the distinctiveness of the Christian faith (i.e., salvation by Jesus’ sacrifice) and its importance were remarkably unequivocal, but when applied to religious others, the teachers were more reluctant; they expressed counter-voices, searched for what they believed or vacillated. In terms of the “theology in four voices” approach (Cameron et al. 2010), the unequivocalness could be interpreted as the echo of a strong formal and/or normative theology, while the ambiguity in teachers’ beliefs shows the specific identity of espoused theology and lived religion. Furthermore, these show the tensions that inevitably come with interreligious dialogue. It would be worth investigating in future research which beliefs are dominant and how they affect teachers’ practices. It was also questioned what level of consistency in teachers’ espoused theology should be pursued. It is considered important that there will be room for teachers to confront their espoused theology with formal and/or normative theology and that the variations among teachers receive the necessary attention, since beliefs about religious diversity within schools are not as homogenous as one might expect. Chapter 7 Beyond Right-or-Wrong Thinking: Teacher Educators about Religious Diversity in Orthodox Protestant Teacher Education92 The earlier sub-studies showed that when it comes to religious diversity, teachers are primarily focused on differences among Christians (Chapter 6) and they barely think about what less contact with religious others means for their teaching (Chapters 4 and 5). Moreover, the teachers in this study had attended orthodox Protestant primary and secondary schools themselves and they received their professional education at orthodox Protestant institutions (Chapter 3). That (trainee) teachers have limited contact with religious others in their education, work and life contexts raises the question of what OPPS teacher education can do to equip teachers to teach on religious diversity. This fifth sub-study therefore focused on the following question: What do alumni and teacher educators identify as being significant for primary school teachers’ learning about religious diversity in orthodox Protestant teacher education? It was aimed at indicating current practices, and from there providing an impetus for reflection on the contribution that orthodox Protestant teacher education programs can offer. 92 Since the orthodox Protestant primary schools and the research methods are already described in the summaries of Chapters 1 and 2, the sections that deal with those topics in this chapter are left out in the summary. The current chapter is based on the focus group study.