On January, 14th, the new Flemish curriculum for Roman-Catholic RE (secondary education) was officially presented. Since the present curricula are twenty years old this year, an update was considered necessary. In this update, the following four aims are: (1) an improvement of the pupil’s religious literacy; (2) the integration of ‘interreligious competencies’; (3) self-positioning of the curriculum within the project of the catholic school of dialogue; and (4) an adaptation of the school subject to the plural context.
Very early, psychologists such as Allport (1954) were fascinated by the amazing power of religion, driving people to behave both prosocially (with ingroup members) and aggressively (with outgroup members). This paradoxical role of religion has been investigated in a number of studies but one critical question remains: Is the paradoxical role of religion universal across cultures and religions? Do East Asian religions, especially Buddhism — which is known to be an open-minded and compassionate religion —, also promote prejudice? Across several studies, we addressed this question and highlighted that, in accordance with the positive stereotype of Buddhism, East Asian religions consistently promote prosociality and tolerance towards various outgroups.