Religious education and media in Sweden. We congratulate Maximilian Broberg!
RVS-member Maximilian Broberg defended his thesis december 2019 at Uppsala University.
The full title of his PhD is ‘Stay Awhile and Listen’: Understanding the Dynamics of Mediatization, Authority, and Literacy in Swedish Religious Education"
Abstract: The aim of this article-based dissertation is to explore the role media play in Swedish Religious Education (RE). The purpose is to study Swedish RE teachers’ practices and how these can be related to various dynamics of mediatization, authority, and literacy. Conducted within the Teaching Religion in Late Modern Sweden project at Uppsala University, this study draws on a national survey, as well as semi-structured interviews and classroom observations with 22 RE teachers. Four specific research questions are posed, each addressed separately in four articles. (1) What kinds of media materials do Swedish RE teachers use in their teaching? (2) What kinds of media dynamics are present in RE classrooms where media materials are used? (3) How can RE teachers’ and students’ engagements with mediated religion be analysed from a multiple media literacies perspective? And, (4) how do RE teachers construct authority on religion in a mediatized situation? The first question is approached through a quantitative analysis of survey material, while the three remaining questions were analysed by the use of qualitative thematic analysis of the observations and interviews. The study finds that RE teachers in Sweden use and relate to various forms of media to a large extent in their daily teaching practices, and that these engagements with mediated religion illustrate the complex balance between the individual agency of the teacher on the one hand, and the media dynamics of amplification, framing and performative agency, and co-structuring, on the other. The teachers’ practices in relation to this are in the study viewed as a form of institutional work that is both caused by, and a contributing factor to, an increased mediatization of contemporary Swedish RE. The findings of the four articles are discussed in light of previous research on mediatization of religion in a Nordic context, specifically with regard to literacy and authority. The author argues that by studying these processes within an educational setting – a context that until recently has been under-explored within mediatization of religion research – the study provides new empirical as well as theoretical knowledge not only to the field of sociology of religion, but also to research on authority and religious education.