The state setting boundaries regarding the right to freedom of religion in education

Can this tendency be justified in principle and practice?


  • Johannes L. van der Walt
  • Izak J. Oosthuizen


religion, religious freedom, education, public schools, private schools, religious instruction, confessional education


Recent socio-political developments across the globe have compelled governments to reconsider the extent and the means of setting boundaries between what can be regarded as the private and public domains of their citizens’ lives. Such boundarysetting has so far taken various forms, one of which concerns freedom of religion and the right to religious instruction in public schools. Based on several boundary-setting case studies, we conclude that boundary-setting in the public education sector has become an inescapable and justifiable reality.

Author Biographies

Johannes L. van der Walt

Johannes L. van der Walt is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and History of Education and served as Dean of the Faculty of Education at the former Potchefstroom University in South Africa. He now works at North-West University, South Africa, as research fellow responsible for research and academic capacity building. He has authored 225 articles in accredited journals on issues related to the philosophy of education, history of education, comparative and international education and religion, and citizenship and education.

Izak J. Oosthuizen

Izak J. Oosthuizen is Professor Emeritus and currently serving as a research fellow at North-West University. He served as Professor of Education Law in the Faculty of Education at that University beginning in 1989. Fifty academic books were published under his editorship, and he authored 80 articles in internationally accredited journals in the field of Education Law as well as broad-spectrum educational issues. His ORCiD is:




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