Textbook Violence - James R. Lewis

Textbook Violence - James R. Lewis

Aniconism and Images in Norwegian RE-textbooks: Representations and Historical Change

Textbook Violence - James R. Lewis

Sissel Undheim [+-]
University of Bergen
Sissel Undheim is Associate Professor, Department of Archeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen, Norway. Her research interests include multimodality, art and RE-textbooks. Most recent publications are “RLE-religion. Religionsbegrepet i RLE-læreverkene for småskoletrinnet,” Prismet 64.4 (2013), “Bilder og bildeforbud i KRL og RLE” in Engebretsen, M. (ed.) Multimodale kulturmøter. Portal forlag (2014).


In this chapter, I look at how authors and publishers have handled the challenge of a potential conflict between the curriculum’s demand for “equal pedagogical principles” and the ideal that “all religions and views of life are to be treated in a professional and impartial way based on their distinctive features and variety” (Kunnskapsdepartementet, Læreplan for RLE). By studying changes in visual representation of Islam and Judaism in two “generations” of textbooks, namely those from the two curriculum revisions of 1997 and 2008, the article discusses the different interpretations of Islamic aniconism expressed in textbooks from four different publishers. The impact of the cartoon controversy of 2005 is one of several potential factors that will be explored in order to explain the palpable changes in the material that is analyzed.

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Undheim, Sissel. Aniconism and Images in Norwegian RE-textbooks: Representations and Historical Change. Textbook Violence. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 126-150 Aug 2017. ISBN 9781781792599. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30522. Date accessed: 22 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30522. Aug 2017

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