jul - 20
Ecclesiastical History Society Summer Conference: Churches and Education
Christianity has always been involved in education, from the very earliest communities teaching those about to be baptised, to present-day churches’ involvement in schools and higher education. Christianity has a core theological concern for teaching, discipleship and formation, but this is overlaid by a long and complex history of the various relationships between churches and education.
From simple instructions in the ‘rule of faith’, Christian communities developed forms of catechesis, and still more sophisticated instruction for those more advanced in the faith. This raises questions about the relationship of such practices to the educational traditions of Greece and Rome and to those outside the Roman Empire. Did Christian education develop differently in Byzantium and in western and northern Europe? Monastic education clearly played a crucial role: but who precisely provided it, for whom and to what ends? To what extent was monastic scholarship acquainted with non- Christian and heretical texts? How did the education of the faithful differ between monastic and parish contexts? How was it affected by successive reform movements and new forms of Christian asceticism? Many of these questions continued to resonate in the early modern and modern worlds, when the question of churches’ interactions with to other sources of scholarship and education became acute, and when encounters between different brands of Christianity and between Christianity and other religions intensified and broadened, not to mention the growing engagement between Churches and the modern State, as well as secularity.
See also the Call for Abstracts and more information on the website.