Understanding religion: a new approach to training

The Institut européen en sciences des religions (IESR) was founded in 2002 as part of the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE), to give teachers a grounding in teaching Religious Studies. It now caters for all professionals interested in the issues raised by France’s policy of secularism, as well as the study of faiths and beliefs. The author compares the remits of schools and public libraries, caught between their official secularism and the need to embrace cultural diversity, and invites libraries to consider the issue of training their staff to be sensitive to matters of religion.