The LIFE-TWO project is highly relevant for all educational institutions and all social sectors in the Netherlands. The importance of religion in Dutch society prompted Stichting Reflexion to invite Tilburg University (TU), one of the leading research institutions in the country, to contribute to the LIFE-TWO project. The role of religion in education is a high ranking topic in a nationwide social-cultural discussion, all the more since other religions than the traditional Christian beliefs have gained a solid status in the country, most notably the Islam and to a lesser extent Buddhism.
Professor Dr. Monique Groeneboer teaches and researches various subjects related to Religious Education and dr. Marije van Amelsvoort is acting director of the Teacher Training Department at TU. They are contributing to the Life-Two project and the same goes for Leonie van de Ven and JoostThissen, both representing Stichting Reflexion. The role of religion in Dutch society can hardly be overestimated.
Nowadays, only a few people are aware that the freedom of religion during the 15th and 16thcentury stood at the base of what the Dutch call the Golden Century, in which the Netherlands flourished more than any other country in the world. Freedom of religion drew the Sephardic Jews in Portugal towards a safe haven in the Netherlands. The Jews felt increasing pressure from the Inquisition, forcing them to become Christians. Instead, they fled and took their enormous wealth along. In their new home, they invested in promising industry, notably shipbuilding. That ensured the Dutch to have the strongest fleet.