The influential role of religious traditions within educational frameworks and methods is an historical and cultural phenomenon of great significance, especially in the Jewish world. The "Education and Religion" research group seeks to answer such pointed questions as
How are ideologies and religious values transmitted from generation to generation? What institutional, cognitive and emotional mechanisms ensure an unbroken or continuous link?
What are the motivating factors behind changes of values, thinking and behavior patterns, and what roles do educational systems play in these modifications and reforms?
Which religious authorities determine educational strategies, content and methods, and to what extent do struggles among competing religious authorities have an impact on educational practices?
To whom is the religious educational system addressed, in terms of gender and social groups?
The study is not limited to its declared focus on orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jewry throughout the modern era, but expands to compare Jewish educational practice with the educational traditions of other religions, especially those of early modern Christian society in Europe. Specifically, the group investigates and compares changes in educational thought and practice in Christian European culture during the 17th and 18th centuries with educational developments in Jewish society which took place in the 18th and 19th centuries, and with the present ultra-orthodox take on educative practice.
By investigating the interconnections between education and religion, between different cultural settings and their educational systems and between educational systems and their pupils, the group aims to acquire a deeper understanding of the forces of continuity and change that shape knowledge and ways of knowing.