We are cooperating with Paideia Folkhögskola in Stockholm on the project “Space of Uncertainty”. Both Sankt Ignatios and Paideia are schools representing minority religious communities in a largely secular Sweden and for that reason we share a similar outlook on society and culture and the place of religious faith and practice within it.
At a time when politicians across the world are appealing to populist rhetoric to secure election victories and governments are seeking to erode some of the constitutional checks and balances on which democracy depends, we are working with Paideia Folkhögskola to develop resources to help our students understand and deepen their appreciation of democracy and the factors which both strengthen and undermine it.
The project “Space of Uncertainty” is based on the work of the Jewish intellectual and philosopher Hannah Arendt who fled to the USA to escape Nazi tyranny in Europe during the war and who and spent her life reflecting on the origins of fascism and other “enemies of democracy”. She focused on how states treat refugees and asylum seekers and how populist rhetoric can establish the kind of hostile environments for “outsiders” and immigrants that she herself experienced as a refugee in the USA. Her works The Origins of Totalitarianism and The Human Condition have become established as classic guides to the threats to democracy and the human factors that weaken it.
The resources will initially form part of the ongoing education on democracy at our two schools and we hope to develop versions that can be used more widely within education in Sweden.