Research and Projects

Religious Toleration and Peace

Starting date:
May 1st, 2018

Closing date:
April 30th, 2023
Universidad Católica de Lovaina Oude Markt 13, Leuven 3000, Bélgica

European funding:

2 414 294,25 euros. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2017 under grant agreement no 770309.

To address the issue of religious diversity, RETOPEA will develop active learning from history: This is a new approach that provides teenagers with tools allowing them to think about religious cohabitation in a more nuanced, empathic way. The project encompasses research and innovation activities. It will carry out challenging research on historical peace treaties and conflict settlements, as well as on contemporary representations of religious cohabitation in culture and media. Studying historical peace-making initiatives will deepen our understanding of how religious conflicts and tensions have been accommodated and solved in different traditions (Christian, Muslim, Jewish) over time. Research into contemporary representations will subsequently reveal how such initiatives are used, misinterpreted or ignored in different types of culture and media today. These studies will provide insights into (a) effective policies and practices for approaching religious coexistence, and (b) alternative representations of religious cohabitation that engage constructively with contemporary concerns and past traditions.
Based on this research, RETOPEA will develop innovative educational tools and evidence-based policy recommendations. Through active participation in the production of docutubes (online movies), teenagers will be encouraged to actively engage with different ways of understanding religious cohabitation. RETOPEA will build an educational package to support students in creating their docutubes. A training course will provide professional educators with information and training about religious diversity and peace-making in an accessible and attractive way. It will use the “Badged Open Course” format – a free online format that provides a certificate on completion. The experiences with students and the research results will offer the basis of policy recommendations to schools, educational authorities, religious leaders and (regional, national and European) policymakers.


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