ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0050.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Religious Studies Keywords: Religious Education; Catholic schools; Catholic education; ecclesiastical drift
Online: 2 November 2022 (08:39:55 CET)
Just when Catholic school Religious Education (RE) needs to be more outwardly focused on the contemporary search for meaning, its discourse has ‘drifted’ almost so exclusively into ecclesiastical terminology that its value as a spiritual/moral subject is being eroded –creating an ever widening discontinuity with classroom realities and young people’s spirituality. Religious educators’ perceptions of this problem, labelled as ‘ecclesiastical drift’, were investigated. While ecclesiastical terms were respected, issues related to their excessive usage were identified. By contrast, the unanimous, positive endorsement of educational terms raises the question why such language is largely missing from many Catholic accounts of RE.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0175.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Catholic education; Catholic schools; Religious Education; de-traditionalised culture
Online: 7 July 2021 (10:37:19 CEST)
Philip Phenix’s (1964) book Realms of meaning started the ever growing movement concerned with how school education might help young people in their search for meaning in times of rapid social change. Today, in globalised, digital, secularised, de-traditionalised culture, the importance and urgency of this role have never been greater. Cultural change has accelerated exponentially, and for many – including students in religious/Catholic schools – traditional religious sources of meaning are no longer prominent or plausible reference points. Catholic schools, whether independent or semi-state institutions because of government funding, can make a valuable contribution young people’s spiritual/moral education, no matter what their level of religious affiliation or practice. This article argues that such a contribution requires change to the discourse or narrative of Catholic school Religious Education, with corresponding adjustments to content and pedagogy. Its present trajectory, which is excessively concerned with promoting a Catholic identity in students, needs to be modified. Both the religious and non-religious students, especially in the senior classes, would derive greater spiritual and religious benefit from the inclusion of more life-relevant and issue-related content, together with a critical, research-oriented pedagogy. Such an approach proposes that the Catholic Church’s schools should offer unconditionally a meaningful spiritual/moral education that is relevant to all students, rather than a traditional one which seemed to presume that all students are, or should be practising Catholics. This does not minimise attention to the Catholic tradition, but it allows for a study of how people negotiate the task of constructing meaning and values in a complex culture. The article also looks at the ‘headwinds’ that hinder the implementation of this approach. The article is focused specifically on the Australian context where Catholic schools are semi-state institutions because they are funded by both state and federal governments. The issues are still likely to be pertinent to Catholic education in other countries, while taking into account significant contextual differences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0646.v1
Online: 26 April 2021 (10:11:24 CEST)
This paper reports data from a study of young Catholic activists. They were concerned about the expansion of Islamist populism in democratic Muslim-majority Indonesia. They actively built inter-faith coalitions with local liberal Muslim youth groups, and with pan-national Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest independent Islamic organization in the world. Islamist populism prioritises religious identity over the national identity of citizenship. In framing their citizenship activism against the current tide of Islamist populism, the informants in our study selectively engaged aspects of Catholic theology. They articulated their religious identity as coterminous with a nationalist identity centred on multi-faith tolerance and harmony. That discourse in itself refutes a key principle of Islamist populism, which argues for primordial entitlement.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0502.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, History Keywords: Ellacuría; liberation theology; El Salvador; Catholicism; central America; philosophy; martyrdom; catholic education; Jesuits; UCA
Online: 26 July 2018 (04:23:28 CEST)
The life and work of Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J. is of radical vision, and revolutionary change. His dynamic life and works accompanied El Salvador and the Universidad Centroamericana through perhaps the most tumultuous years of the country’s history, yet there has been limited work done to examine his contributions. This paper shows how Ellacuría viewed the role of a Christian intellectual, and a Christian university within his philosophical and theological framework. I argue that Ignacio Ellacuría held, similarly to his soteriological views, that the intellectual must also be willing to sacrifice all for the sake of his/her work in a pattern of discipleship/martyrdom prefigured by his exemplars Christ and Socrates. It was this dedication to praxis and theory that western theology and philosophy had respectfully lost since their foundations which he sought to restore to a central role. In conclusion, the Christian intellectual and institution, according to Ellacuría, must use its voice and life in service of the people even to the point of martyrdom; he would argue, the implicit reason for Christian martyrdom and the crucifixion of Christ himself.