The place of religion in education from the stand-point of Roman Catholicism

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This work has been written for two main reasons: (a) "Religion in education" is a real problem which all educational authorities and teachers have to face. Before the State took it upon itself to educate the children of the nation, the Church of Rome, and later the Protestant Churches also, gave both religious and secular education, the emphasis lying on the former. Once the state had taken over control of education, the emphasis shifted to the latter. Gradually, religious and moral instruction, leading to a practice of Christian religion, were neglected until they were virtually omitted in many public schools. This tragic result was brought about by the combined influence which naturalism and the scientific method, applied to other than the fields of science, had exercised upon education since the days of the Renaissance-Reformation period. Men everywhere are becoming aware of the powerlessness of modern education to produce Christians. Our children are no longer educated, in the sense attached to the word education in former times, but simply prepared for living in a secular sense. While some are quite contented and ask no more than this of education, others maintain that education should also include the culture of the soul. (b) The Church of Rome has always maintained the religious principle in education. It has therefore a special right to speak on "Religion in Education". The approach to the problem in this thesis is made from the Roman Catholic standpoint, and the fifth chapter is entirely devoted to Catholic Education, in order to illustrate that it is possible to combine the religious and the secular elements into one, viz. Christian education.

Includes bibliographies.