Lovisa Bergdahl

Lovisa Bergdahl

Associate Professor

Senior Lecturer

+46 8 608 40 23 +4686084023

Culture and Education


Research Interests

My research can be placed in the intersection of pedagogy (educational theory/educational philosophy) and didactics (as the art of teaching), drawing mainly on pedagogic theory and feminist and postseular philosophy (Luce Irigaray, Hannah Arendt, Adriana Cavarero, Hans Joas, and Charles Taylor). I am particularly interested in the value conflicts and dilemmas that arise in so called democratic education in postsecular liberal democratic societies, and the pedagogical and ethical questions that these tensions seem to generate for teachers and students in the concrete classroom.

My dissertation, Seeing Otherwise: Renegotiating Religion and Democracy as Questions for Education, (2010) takes its point of departure in the role and status for the religious subject in two current trends in philosophy of education: the cosmopolitan model of liberal education (Martha Nussbaum) and the deliberative model of democracy in education (Jürgen Habermas). In the purpose of renegotiating the contemporary relationship between religion, liberal democracy and education - the dissertation explores some of the themes offered in the above two models of education drawing on thinkers like Arendt, Levinas, Derrida and Kierkegaard.

I am currently conducting the research project "Lived Values: a pedagogical-philosophical enquiry into the Value Basis of Swedish Schools" (VR 2015-2019). The overall aim of this project is to seek out an affirmative language for the fostering task of schools for the field of values education. The study includes Dr. Elisabet Langmann, Södertörn University, and Professor Carl Anders Säfström, Maynooth University, Dublin. I am also conducting the Swedish strand of The Enquiring Classroom, a Strategic Partnership Program funded by the Council of Europe (ERASMUS +), together with researchers in Greece (Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Athens) and Ireland (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Maynooth University, Dublin). The purpose of this project is to develop educational tools for teachers and students in Europe working with values and ethics drawing on philosophical and arts based methodologies. Link to the project hereexternal link.

Recent work also includes the gendered coding of Religious Education teaching, drawing primarily on the work of Luce Irigaray, conducted within the project "Images of Femininity and Masculinity in the Classroom: A Feminist Philosophical Inquiry into the Subjects of Religion, Science Studies and Swedish" (VR, 2011-2015) led by Prof. Sharon Todd, Stockholm University.


I teach Timeless Pedagogical Problems (A-level), Pedagogical Theory and Policy (B-level), Contemporary Theoretical Perspectives in Intercultural Education (Master-level). I also teach courses on curriculum theory and values education in the Teacher Education Program.


I am deputy chairperson for SWERA (Swedish Educational Research Association) and convenor of two international conferences: the annual ECER conference (European Conference for Educational Research) and the biennial INPE conference (International Network of Philosophers of Education).



Bergdahl L. (2019) Educationally Connecting to the Past in Teaching. In Philosophical Perspectives on Teacher Training. In: Peters M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Teacher Education. Springer, Singapore.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E. (2018). Pedagogical Postures: A Feminist Search for a geometry of the Educational Relation. Ethics and Education.

Bergdahl, L. (2017b). Crisis or Struggle? A Language of Natality as a Struggle for Education. In Studier i Pædagogisk Filosofi. Årg. 6, Nr. 1 (2017), s. 25-38.

Bergdahl, L. (2017a). Language matters: gendering Religious Education teaching. In British Journal of Religious Education, ISSN 0141-6200, E-ISSN 1740-7931, p. 1-10.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E. (2017b). Time for Values: Responding Educationally to the Call from the Past. In Studies in Philosophy and Education.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E. (2017a). Where Are You?: Giving Voice to the Teacher by Reclaiming the Public/Private Distinction. In Journal of Philosophy of Education, 51 (2), 461-475.

Bergdahl, L. (2009) Lost in Translation: On the Untranslatable and its Ethical Implications for Religious Pluralism. In Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 43, no 1, p. 31-44.


Bergdahl, L. (2017c). Könsskillnadens religionskunskapsundervisning. I Interkulturell Religionsdidaktik, (red. Olof Frank & Peder Thalén). Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Bergdahl, L. (2012). Religion och bildning: Emilia Fogelklou och bildningsbegreppets mystika förankring. I Svenska Bildningstraditioner Del II. (red.) Anders Burman och Patrik Mehrens, Göteborg: Daidalos.

Bergdahl, L. (2011). När mänskligheten får ansikten. I Det goda lärandet, (red.) Anders Burman och Patrik Mehrens, Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Bergdahl, L. (2009). Public Education Private Religion – on redefining borders in religious education. I Your Heritage and Mine: Teaching in a Multi-Religious Classroom, (red.) Ewa Roos & Jenny Berglund. Studies in Inter-Religious Relations, Nr. 43. s. 60-67. Uppsala: Universitetstryckeriet.


Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E. (2018). The Work of Values: A Post-Conflictual Pedagogical Response. Paper presented at ECER, Bolzano, Italy, August 2018.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E (2017). Gendering the Scholastic Techniques. Paper presented at ECER, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2017.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E. (2017). Time for Values: Responding Educationally to the Call from the Past. Paper presented at PESGB, Oxford, England, March 2017.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann E. (2017). Ambivalent Teaching: Gendering the Scholastic Techniques. Paper presented at NERA, Copenhagen, Denmark, March 2017.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E (2016). Making Values Common: On the Importance of Turning Fostering into a Public Matter. Paper presented at INPE, Warsaw, Poland, August 2016.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E (2016). "Where Are You?": Teaching Values and Virtues by Reclaiming the Private/Public Distinction. Paper presented at ECER, Dublin, Ireland, August 2016.

Bergdahl, L. & Langmann, E (2016). No Longer and Not Yet: Teaching Values and Virtues beyond the Private/public Distinction. Paper presented at NERA, Helsinki, Finland, March 2016.

Bergdahl, L. (2014). Religious Education For More Than One Sex. Paper for the AARE Conference, Australian Association for Research in Education, Brisbane, 1st - 5th of November.

Bergdahl. L. (2012). ‘Educating for a Love’s Difference: on democracy, religion, and the conflicted space between us’. Paper presented at NERA, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Bergdahl. L. (2012). Possibilities for New Beginnings in the Present. Article presenteed at CASEP (Centre for Aristotelian Studies in Ethics and Politics) Religion, Civil Religion, and the Common Good, London Metropolitan University, London.

Bergdahl. L. (2011). “Unfinished Selves: Rethinking Freedom as an Iconic Relation of Self to Others”. Paper presented at the 11th Essex Conference in Critical Political Theory, University of Essex, Storbritannien.

Bergdahl, L. (2011). Unfinished Selves: Rethinking Freedom as an Iconic Relation of Self to Others, EASR 2011 (European Association for the Study of Religions), 18-22 September, Budapest, Hungary.

Bergdahl, L. (2011). Seeing Education Otherwise: After Secularization. Paper presented at Education in a Post Secular Society Conference, Saturday 29th January 2011, Canterbury, Great Britain.

Bergdahl. L. (2010). ’”Giving an Account of Oneself”: the limits of dialogue and the irony of narratability’. Paper presented at ECER, Helsinki.

Bergdahl, L. (2009). Response paper to panel on cosmopolitanism and education at AERA, American Educational Research Association, San Diego, 13-17 April, USA.

Bergdahl. L. (2008). ’Lost in Translation – on the Untranslatable and its Ethical Implications for Religious Pluralism’. Paper presented at SCPT (Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology), Gordon College, Boston, USA.

Bergdahl. L. (2007). ’”Educating for a World out of Joint”: Challenging Orders and Borders for Religious Diversity in Liberal Education’. Paper presenterd at PESGB, Oxford.

Bergdahl. L. (2006). ’Exclusion and Embrace. Paper presented at NERA, Örebro University, Sweden.


Bergdahl, L. Det Banalt Goda. Ledare i tidskriften Signum: Katolsk Orientering om Kyrka, Kultur & Samhälle. Nr. 4, 2018

Bergdahl, L. #metoo och moderlöshetens kultur. Artikel i tidskriften Signum: Katolsk Orientering om Kyrka, Kultur & Samhälle. Nr. 8, 2017

Bergdahl, L. Demokratins motstridighet. Ledare i tidskriften Signum: Katolsk Orientering om Kyrka, Kultur & Samhälle. Temanummer: Demokrati. Nr. 4, 2017

Bergdahl, L. Att skola skönhetssinnet. Artikel i tidskriften NOD: Forum för Tro, Kultur och Samhälle. Temanummer: Postsekulär kompetens?, Nr. 2-3, 2016, sid. 65-69.

Bergdahl, L. Vad vill vi säga? Om yttrandefriheten och det goda samhället. Ledare i Signum: Katolsk Orientering om Kyrka, Kultur & Samhälle. Nr. 2, 2015.

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