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Ovidius University from Constana

Babe-Bolyai University from Cluj Napoca

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
IN THE EUROPEAN CONTEXT

Coordinators of volume:
Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Dnu POPOVICI
Lect. PhD Claudia POPA
Lect. PhD Mihaela OROS

Tehnoredactare i copert: Pr. Dr. Nicolae Marius Paicu

Organizatorii Simpozionului:

Prof. Univ. Dr. Teodosie Petrescu,


Arhiepiscopul Tomisului
Pr. Prof. Univ. Dr. Bogdan Moise,
Decan al Facultii de Teologie Sfntul Apostol Andrei din Constana
Prof. Univ. Dr. Virgil Frunz,
Decan al Facultii de Psihologie i tiinele din Constana
Prof. Univ. Dr. Rzvan Ionescu,
Prodecan al Facultii de Teologie Sfntul Apostol Andrei din Constana
Pr. Conf. Univ. Dr. Dnu Popovici,
Prodecan al Facultii de Teologie Sfntul Apostol Andrei din Constana
Lect. Univ. Dr. Ctlina Mititelu,
Facultatea de Teologie Sfntul Apostol Andrei din Constana
Lect. Univ. Dr. Claudia Popa,
Facultatea de Psihologie i tiinele educaiei din Constana
Lect. Univ. Dr. Mihaela Oros,
Facultatea de Psihologie i tiinele educaiei a Universitii Babe-Bolyai din
Cluj Napoca
Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naionale a Romniei
Educaia religioas n context european / coord. vol.: pr. conf. univ. dr.
Dnu Popovici, lect. univ. dr. Claudia Popa, lect. univ. dr. Mihaela
Oros. Bucureti : Editura Didactic i Pedagogic, Bibliogr.
ISBN 978-973-30-3736-1

I. Popovici, Dnu (coord.)


II. Popa, Claudia (coord.)
III. Oros, Mihaela (coord.)
ntreaga responsabilitate pentru coninutul materialelor aparine n exclusivitate
autorilor.

Universitatea Ovidius din Constana


Universitatea Babe-Bolyai din Cluj Napoca

SIMPOZIONUL INTERNAIONAL

EDUCAIA RELIGIOAS
N
CONTEXT EUROPEAN
- mai 2014 -

Tiprit cu binecuvntarea

Prof. Univ. Dr. Teodosie PETRESCU


Arhiepiscop al Tomisului

Editura Didactic i Pedagogic R.A.


Bucureti, 2014

Content:

Prof. PhD Teodosie PETRESCU, Archbishop of Tomis,

Foreword .......................................................................................... p. 9
Prof. PhD Rzvan IONESCU,

A Question for The Third Millenium: Is Theologys Place Among The


Academic Space Anylonger? ........................................................... p. 11
Fr. Professor Emeritus Nicolae V. DUR,

A Modern Higher Education Institution, Ovidius University of


Constantza (Romania) ..... p. 26
Prof. h.c. Manfred WAGNER,

Religionspdagogische Ausbildung in Baden-Wrttemberg ............... p. 45


PhD Prof. Andrs MT-TTH,

Interpretations of Religious Change .... p. 56


Fr. Prof. PhD Gheorghe ISTODOR,

Christian - Orthodox Education in the Current Post-modern European


Context ............................................................................................ p. 70
Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Dnu POPOVICI,

The Internet a Modern Means for Spreading Religious Information ... p. 80


Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Dnu POPOVICI,

Aspects concernant lducation religieuse selon ge et instruction . p. 95


Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Dnu POPOVICI,

The Education of Emperor Constantine the Great and its reflection on


his relation with the Church of Christ ... p. 111
Assoc. Prof. PhD Mihaela DIMITRESCU, Assoc. Prof. PhD Corina
Maria ENE, Lect. PhD Yvonne LACROIS,

Knowledge-based Society and Higher Education in Romania. Private


Universities Offer Adaptation to The Needs of The Labour Market in
The Era of New Technologies ........................................................ p. 121
Assoc. Prof. PhD Mihaela DIMITRESCU, Lect. PhD Luiza SRBU,
Lect. PhD Yvonne LACROIS,

Considerations on Higher Education Funding in European Union


Increasing Academic Performance .... p. 136

Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Doru DAMEAN, Prof. Nicoleta DAMEAN,

Religious Education Contribution to Prevention of School Violence ... p. 148


Fr. PhD Nicolae Marius PAICU,

Christian Education Deifying Logotherapy ... p. 154


Lect. PhD Mihaela OROS,

Der reflexive Lehrer nderung des Bildungsparadigmas zur


Ausbildung von auerordentlichen Lehrern ................................. p. 171
Lect. PhD Ctlina MITITELU,

The Right to Religious Education. The Romanian Legislation and


Religious Education ....... p. 180
Lect. PhD Mariana MITRA,

Family Education through Violence .............................................. p. 189


Lect. PhD Claudia POPA,

European Social Policies for Religious Educations ....................... p. 200


Fr. Lect. PhD Nicuor TUC, Fr. Lect. PhD Drago BLAN,

Gods Place in The Contemporary Romanian School .................... p. 209


Fr. Lect. PhD Adrian VASILE,

The Catechetical School of Alexandria - a model of Christian .. p. 219


Fr. Lect. PhD Iosif Gyulai MUREAN,

Religious Music and The Teaching Role of This Art .................... p. 231
Fr. Asist. Prof. PhD Maxim VLAD,

Orthodox Canonical Legislation on Religious Education Today ........... p. 240


Fr. Asist. Prof. PhD Iulian ISBOIU,

L'ducation religieuse en Roumanie et les Recommandations de


l'Assemble Parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe .. p. 252
Fr. Asist. Prof. PhD Nicolae POPESCU,

About speaking in Parables and Salvation .................................... p. 267


Fr. PhD Ioan Valentin ISTRATI,

Religious Education n European context. Several remarks .. p. 284


Deacon Dr. Ioan DURA,

Education in a Pluri-Religious and Secular Context: Interreligious


Dialogue as Basis for a Good Social Cohabitation ......................... p. 288
PhD Candidate Rzvan Constantin CMPULUNGEANU,

Religious Education - Component that Shapes Human Personality .... p. 293


Abbreviations p. 305

FOREWORD
I will begin this short foreword by affirming, clearly,
unequivocally and with no exception, that on the level of our European
continent we should all admit an undeniable truth: namely that the
Christian religion and all that springs from it, ethics, art, and mentalities
have decisively marked the culture of all the European peoples. The
European Union encourages by the principle of unity in diversity the
continuity of the national identity, of the local traditions and of the
values shaped along the centuries and does not pursue an artificial and
sterile leveling, a destruction of the cultural specifics of this continent.
The contribution of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the
shaping and development of the national cultural treasure cannot be
contested or considered historical forgery; on the contrary, it has been
clearly acknowledged by means of the Law on Religious Freedom and
the General Regime of the Cults Art. 7 (2). The first schools and
printings in Romania were the work of the Church, and the
representative artistic works and the crucial historical moments
highlight the role of the Church in the creation, continuity and
transmission of the national spiritual, moral and cultural values.
We should not forget that until the moment of the adoption of
the Public Education Law (25 November / 7 December 1864), the
Romanian education has taken place almost exclusively within the
framework of the Church, and during the period of the Organic
Regulations, the hierarchs of the Church also had attributions of school
overseers. By the Public Instruction Law of 1864, Religion held an
important place, both in primary education, where the Catechism was
taught, and in secondary and high school, where the discipline called
back then Religiunea (Religion) was taught.
Together with many other economic, political and social
transformations, the year 1990 brought along as well the possibility of
reforms and transformations on the religious level. The reintroduction of
Religion in the public school immediately after the fall of communism
was not a gesture of simple concession to the demands of the religious
cults, but the recognition of the need for moral healing and value-related
healing of a society deeply marked by its experience of the decennia of
communist atheism. The reintroduction of Religion, after the year 1990,
in the public education system on the primary, secondary and high
school level - from where it had been removed by the atheist communist
regime in the year 1948, by force and contrary to the Romanian
tradition -, consequently represents an act of moral reparation and not a
novelty or a hasty decision. Therefore, after the year 1990, an
essentially religious people has been given again the right of being what
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it really is by means of the way it educates its young, according to its


natural and constant identity and culture.
Christs return in the Romanian school has been the first step
forward on the way from dictatorship to freedom, from darkness to
light. By the educational approach of the Religion classes, the Church
supports the society as a whole, promoting love, friendship, peace,
understanding, mutual help and cooperation, all these being the basic
principles of the Christian faith. Knowing our own religious values
represents a form of minimal cultural politeness, a sign of normality, a
natural desire of perceiving the origins of the human soul and the
importance of spirituality in a world that seems to willingly surrender to
the economic horizontal. Religious education invites to reflection, to
self-knowledge, to a conversion to the world of the true and especially
eternal values. Religious values are meant to bring communion among
people, to bring solidarity among the members of a community.
Being an indispensable part of a solid general culture, defining
for the identity of the citizen of todays European Romania, the
religious culture, education and experience represent, regardless of the
denomination by means of which they are passed on to the young
generations, the fundament of the social values and ethical options in
the new European context.
As hierarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church but also as a
professor having an experience of several decennia in the academic
amphitheatres, being educated by my forerunners, brilliant hierarchs and
professors, I confess that I make no difference at all between the service
at the Holy Altar and serving the Word in front of the students. And I
also know something else. It is not a secret. It is a truth that I invite you
to discover: namely that every academic discipline finds its place in the
contents of the Orthodox Theology. Our arms are always open to
communion, which means communication and interdisciplinarity. This
is why I have patience and total optimism waiting for you anytime at the
brotherly table of faith, to be together, to commune together, education
and faith, science and confession, culture and sacrifice, on the way to
the endless Kingdom of faith, hope and love!

Prof. PhD Teodosie Petrescu,


Archbishop of Tomis

10

A QUESTION FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM: IS


THEOLOGYS PLACE AMONG THE ACADEMIC
SPACE ANYLONGER?
(twelve thresholds of knowledge and recognition of the primacy)
Prof. PhD Rzvan IONESCU
Vice Dean of The Faculty of Theologie from Constana
Abstract:
Nowadays for many people modernity means the "liberation" of
education from the shackles of faith. The militant ignorance of a so-called
academic majority or the pride that is more aggressive of the autonomous
human rationalism are not, unfortunately, accidents along the way, but
rather worrying signs of a steady evolution of mankind. In a world where,
every day that passes, faces forthright with the phenomenon of secularization,
a phenomenon that for a long time caves in the Western society and will
continue to be, by refraction, even more present in the Romanian society also
along our full integration in the European structures, reticulation of the two
terms theology and culture, and by extension, theology and scientific research
or theology and education, religion and education, stands for an attempt as
respectful as-much-needed relocation of their cohabitation into normality.
Keywords:
Christianity.

theology,

secularization,

modernity,

European,

1. Starting from an event on the banks of the Tiber


The question from the title would can wonder some, as I'm sure
that it will the others, irritated by the presence of God in the public
space, it will become a prominent glibly activism, ready to prompt
discard so many rules, precepts, rules and customs that, right now, are
no longer consistent with the expansion of human freedoms in an
impropriate world, fundamentally amnesic in terms of eternity but
always willing to consume without rest, the moment. The quick
moment, which the human cannot stop, neither slow down, nor
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speeding it up. It remains memorable the passage from "Crime and


Punishment" 1 which the Russian theologian Paul Evdokimov makes
reference to, when the spirit of the killed woman by Svidrigailov was
shown to him, reminding him that he forgot to turn the watch. If the
man could stop the watch, might not prevent the inexorable flight of
time pointing to the latter Judgment. Thus, Kierkegaard described the
awakening of a sinner in the inferno: "What time is it? - he screams;
and Satan answers with a cold indifference: Eternity 2. So, the human
is only capable of counting the time, without trying to understand the
flow of the hourglass. What it has left is the chronologic time- a cold
and impassible measurement of the mechanic period of existence.
Returning to the question from the title, I will say that it was
inspired by an event that happened years ago how you, right on the
banks of the Tiber, in the city whose heart is the Vatican, the Catholic
Church fortress. The inauguration of the academic year in January 2008
at the University "La Sapienza" in Rome was not a calm one. Several
students have protested against the presence of Pope Benedict XVI at
that event, denouncing the "obscurantism" of the Pope showed in his
speech entitled "Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and
Reflections" issued on 12th September 2006 at the University of
Regensburg. On that occasion, Benedict XVI recalled an episode he
had witnessed in 1959, when he began the work as an academic
professor at the University of Bonn.
At that time it existed besides a very direct contact with students
and another one between teachers. They met before and after lectures,
historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, theologians, given the
existence of two colleges of the same profile in the university. Once every
semester there was a so-called "accademicus dies" in which the teachers
from all the colleges were presented before the students of the entire
university, making possible a genuine experience of "universitas":
meaning the experience that, despite all specializations, which sometimes
make intercommunication impossible, there is a common point in all the
work given by a sole reason, but of course, with polychrome sizes. Shared
responsibility for a correct use of reason became a vivid experience.
The two faculties of theology, interrogating upon philosophic
dimension of faith, was conducting an activity which, clearly, was part
of the "whole" reality "universitas scientiarum" (university of science),
F. M. Dostoievski, Crim i pedeaps, Ed. Cartea Romneasc, 1982, p. 330.
Apud Paul Evdokimov, LOrthodoxie, Delachaux et Niestl, Neuchtel
(Switzerland), 1959, p. 205.

1
2

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even though not everyone could share the faith, to whose correlation
with common reason theologians struggled. This inner cohesion in the
universe of reason has not been disturbed even when one of the
teachers noticed in the university the existence of something weird: two
faculties who dealt with something that did not exist - God! "Even in
the face of skepticism so radical and this should be done in the context
of the faith of Christian tradition: this, within the university, was an
obvious conviction" - added Pope Ratzinger.
Of course this was not the only statement through which the
Pope irritated the European progressives. Also, the evoking dialogues
once had mattered between Manuel II Palaiologos and a Persian scholar
on the jihad and spread the faith by the sword. Student protests at "La
Sapienza" letter of support joined signed by 67 teachers to the rector of
roman university, Renato Guarini, through which they appreciated the
Pope's visit as an "inappropriate" event, thus requiring its cancellation.
In the text that the Popeshould have said on the 17th January 2008, text
published in L'Osservatore Romano, it said: "I do not come to impose
faith, but to ask for the courage to seek the truth." Let us add, to the
knowledge of those that still manifest worries by looking to the
affecting issue of primacy between the hen and the egg the irony,
University "La Sapienza" was founded in 1303 by none other than ... a
pope, respectively Boniface VIII!
After all, nothing new in the incident happened then in the
Eternal City. With nearly two thousand years ago, the discourse about
the "resurrection from the dead" of another citizen of her, Paul the Jew
form Tarsus in Cilicia l, "the electoral agent of Jesus Christ" - how
would Emil Cioran appoint - was sent, indeed blandly, but with the
same mistrust of the Athenian Areopagus elite epicureo-stoic: "We will
listen about it another time."
2. The courage to recognize the sources of civilization
Militant ignorance of a so-called academic majority or the pride
more and more aggressive of the autonomoushuman rationalism are not,
unfortunately, accidents along the way, but rather worrying signs of a
steady evolution of mankind. In a world where, every day that passes,
faces forthright with the phenomenon of secularization, a phenomenon
that for a long time caves in the Western society and will continue to be,
by refraction, even more present in the Romanian society also along
our full integration in the European structures, reticulation of the two
13

terms theology and culture, and by extension, theology and scientific


research or theology and education, religion and education, stands for
an attempt as respectful as-much-needed relocation of their
cohabitation into normality. Incidentally, the divorce between the two,
which in time turned into an abyss of hell began in the Middle Ages
and accentuated with the Renaissance and Enlightenment, for historical
reasons specific as possible.
To avoid control of the Roman Catholic Church 3 philosophers
have made a strategic setback, saying they had nothing to do with
theology, as if their fundamental problem would not be the one that
always been that of the existential meaning, the origin of the existential
fact, of the existential purpose, everything that we used today to call
metaphysics or theology. So metaphysics, closely related to religion,
religious institutions represented azimuth on which those whom we
used to call "Enlightenment philosophers" focused shooting, having as
guns the quill and the spirit of course.
"Enough of metaphysics, now we must take everything from the
beginning, our only chance to change the history of Europe it is a
sliding of accent towards the affirmation of the physical and the
natural" - and they told and their achievement was not small. Slowly
the man turned his eyes from the supreme spiritual values of the world,
from God to the transient values of this world, by became today the
slave of the latter. At that age, I doubt that anyone would have
supposed how much will be spoiled by this change of switch
technology and science (see for example the XIXth century man in a
poor steam locomotive, the end of human evolution!).
Instead, it is beyond any doubt that secularization sank human,
it is learned today from the beginning of the third millennium, into a
profound spiritual crisis that prevents to manage and to dominate their
conquests. "Install the same fairground carousel; move it with
harshness, we all, the whole civilized humanity, did a long race in
circles. As some children climbed on wooden hobby-horse, it seemed
that this should not end never, ever going ahead without any deviation.
Evul Mediu a nsemnat din pcate pentru Europa i prima apariie a totalitarismului,
neles ca un sistem de organizare al vieii ce controleaz toate aspectele existenei
umane, nu numai libera exprimare ci chiar i gndirea uman. n Europa
Occidental totalitarismul a avut din nefericire un caracter religios, cauzat de
dorina Bisericii Catolice de a controla pn i cercetrile tiinifice pentru ca
acestea s fie conforme principiilor pe care catolicismul roman le formulase la
nivelul tiinelor.

14

This race circle was the following: Renaissance-Reformationlights-bloody revolutions socialist-democratic societies-attempts. This
race could not happen from the moment in which the Middle Ages had
exhausted its substance; it became unbearable, because the
establishment of God's kingdom on earth was done by force, with an
unlimited violence, accompanied by a despotic crushing of the human
person, of suppression of her essential rights in the use of the Whole.
We were attracted, forcibly pushed into the Spirit and naturally we
pranced, we struggled, we plunged into the matter. Thus began the long
period of humanist individualism, so began the building of modern
civilization on the following principle: "The man is the measure of all
things and it is above all " 4.
On the other hand, the Church strategically barricaded in its
dogma, often invoking the purity of true faith (orthodoxy). For this
reason, many were and still are tempted to see in Orthodox Christianity
a sullen religion, gloomy owner of philosophy, consciousness
suffocated by sin and eternal punishment of hell imminent. It's also true
that this stereotype was fed and by the followers (not few) of a pietism
both gregarious and insolent, always ready to recite word by word and
incontinent fragments of Scripture or the Fathers. A certain ambiguouscautious attitude, short-circuited when shriveled with a superiority
complex on one hand, when the obscure inferiority complex on the
other hand, it "animated" guilty relationship between the two camps.
The fact that, for instance, after the fall of communism the Romanian
Academy thought fit to establish a Section of theology, together with
the philosophy, gives the measure hope to enter in a normal line of
thinking beings built by thinking beings, belonging to a historical
reality which testifies about the fact that arose together with modern
Romania which built up with the Church and the School. Together and
in this order.
The Church without School or the School without the Church
cannot exist - it is or should be the result of an analysis of European
history made with sincerity.
3. Sources of Christian education
Christianity was not the only salvation of the soul, it meant
culture and civilization. Leaving aside the Christian values, when trying
Alexandr Soljeni n, Discurs la primirea premiului Uniunii jurnalitilor italieni (31
mai 1974).
4

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a definition of culture means to ignore reality. Dostoevsky believed that


atheism does not exist in reality, because it's not a way of living.
Atheism can only be a state of rebellion against God, a condition which
also states his way back there. Like demons which work against God,
they believe in its existence. Any human being aspires to God even
without knowing it. It can choose other ultimate aims, other love - as
Jacques Maritain 5 says - but always he will want God, even against his
election. If there would be a life goal, then it doesnt matter the means
used to achieve it.
Christianity shows, however, that the purpose of existence is not
life, but the resurrection. And what is the purpose of culture? Any
culture is born and dies. Spengler's words echo the death of culture. Are
we really at the end of it, paraphrasing Fukuyama's challenging title?
Should we give our confidence to the voices warning of the danger that
attaching Christianity to a sunk culture through violence, vulgarity,
risking to be attracted by it in a whirlpool? They - not less - hardly
believe that when Christianity will be again in a moment all alone, that
is free of "culture" today, only then will be able to show again the
creative force, giving birth to another culture.
The theology (derived from the Greek word God word, science) usually means science or knowledge of God and his
works. This sentence practically defines a virtually unlimited field of
interest, given that the relationship between man and divinity
manifested in religious feeling, the whole human existence, both in its
external manifestations as in the interior. For theology, nature is God's
creation, it is the mirror that reflects the world beyond the glow of the
Creator 6.
Therefore, God is the center of patristic thought. All creatures
are moving from Him and turn to Him. The creation is the most
revolutionary patristic thought, its peak is to identify the Logos with
Jesus Christ. This identification, which was a scandal for the Greek
philosophy and Jewish mentality, was the highest point of Revelation.
The coming of Christ in the world has meant replacing partial Logos
with full Logos in the historical person of Christ. Patristic thought had
such the opportunity to harmonize the human and the supernatural.
The limited human spirit is carried through the steps of perfection to
5

Jaques Maritain, Humanisme integral. Problemes temporales et spirituels dune


nouvelle chretiente, F. Aubier.
6
Ernst Robert Curtius, Literatura european i Evul Mediu latin, Ed. Univers,
Bucureti, 1970, p. 98.

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ineffable light of divinity that unites forever. Up there, in the endless


azure, the souls of men and angels will sing praise to divine beauty and
the thinking of Holy Fathers shows not only the way to the paradise of
this imperishable beauty 7 . In the patristic writings, the divine
revelation is depicted as a source not only of faith, but also of scientific
knowledge and aesthetic concepts. Patristic thought starts from God,
then descends to the world and man, to finally return with these two to
its supernatural goal.
Philosophy, theology and perfection, these are the three
constituents of patristic thought. Although the criterion is knowledge of
philosophy, theology faith and contemplation of perfection, there is no
contradiction between them; they are preparing each other and work
together harmoniously because the spiritual activity of man is unitary,
- intellectual knowledge - religious faith and contemplation of God are parts of the same spirit.
4. Is Orthodoxy still modern?
Orthodoxy and Modernity - here's a juxtaposition that has the
gift to evoke an audible warning of many states actually antagonistic
but which, in an all right Christian world ought to be rather the typical
example of oxymoron 8 . The question which is often asked is what
connection could the Church have with modernity and post modernity - and unexpected blunt expression of an insolent present - as
long as it (the church) bases its dogmas in the first eight centuries of
Christianity, the facts of the past, of a time already spent? In other
words, it suggests us that there is a problem or rather an out of time
between Orthodoxy and Modernity time. It is true that the Church has
kept unchanged dogmas, traditions, worship and organization of the
seven ecumenical councils set, constituting a single solidarity and
harmony body in which all Christians articulate, with one head: Jesus
Christ.
As a dogmatic tradition, Orthodoxy has its roots in Eastern and
in a historical sense it is identified with the great patristic synthesis, i.e
with the articulation of the theological, liturgical and canonical
building on the basis of apostolic faith during the ecumenical councils.
Ioan G. Coman, Probleme de filosofie i literatur patristic, Ed. IBMBOR, 1995, p. 49.
Procedeu stilistic care const n a uni dou cuvinte n aparen contradictorii (ex.
tcere elocvent) pentru a da expresiei un caracter neateptat (cf. Fl. Marcu & C.
Maneca Dicionar de neologisme Ed. Academiei, Bucureti, 1978, p. 772).

7
8

17

But, no Orthodoxy nor patristic theology can not be limited to this time,
because on the one hand tradition is in a continuous process of
interpretation and update 9, and on the other hand the ressurected Christ
takes in its resurrected reality large parts of humanity history as
cotemporan with its development as a church 10. In other words, to the
insolence of a diachronic identified present as modernity and post modernity, Orthodoxy responds with a synchronous unusual presence
of Christ.
Therefore, I must note that the atomization of the two terms,
Orthodoxy and Modernity is not only unproductive but also deeply
conformance with the attitude and forever lively marks of genuine
Christianity, a proved fact- perhaps? - during the last century. Surely
this should be the angle of view from Orthodoxy to Modernity. The
point of view of Modernity towards religion (in general) and
Orthodoxy (especially) is the opposition, or at least hostile; this is
another matter whose landmarks and scattered coincidences well seek
to even mention in passing in what follows.
Exegetes of local impact with modernity and post - modernity
(see HR Patapievici) 11 note in a legitimate way that the vast majority of
Eastern European countries had not completed the modernization when
the falling into communist mixer occured. We take in to account here
the four minimal components of the political and economic ideals of
the Enlightenment: (1) the concept of equal citizenship regardless of
religion, ethnicity, sexual etc and the existence of a civil society,
structured through effective administration, (2) the existence of some
representative institutions of the state to ensure respect for individual
rights and social consensus of respect laws, (3) free market economy
and (4) secularization, which in Europe has meant the separation of
church and state and the emancipation of social life by the religious
sphere.
Therefore, communism (obstacle to modernity) would be the
reason why today we barely get into something that actually was once
(Europe), replacing giubeaua with the proletarian cap and after a short
intermezzo forty-eighter with hat, but with a happy face of
autocephalous ecclesiastical and national wholeness. In other words,
Ion Bria, Dicionar de teologie ortodox, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1981, p. 274.
Dumitru Stniloae, Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea omului, Ed. Omniscop, Craiova,
1993, p. 392.
11
H. R. Patapievici, Discernmntul modernizrii - 7 conferine despre situaia de
fapt, Ed. Humanitas, Bucureti, 2004, pag. 26.
9

10

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communism is a historical accident which removed us(for a while) of


modernity and not another side (upside -down) of the same modernity.
Few are those who have the lucidity, honesty and courage to denounce
that during the the Bolshevik Revolution, the there was the French
Revolution fulfillment and in the two great calamities of the 20th
century, fascism and communism were evil fulfillments of Jacobintotalitarian state. We ended withthe kings of the earth, now lets deal
with the kings of heaven - said Lunacharsky - public education
commissioner, in a speech in Moscow on the topic "Why should not we
believe in God?" 12 .
That is why I think that for a correct definition of contemporary
European benchmarks and globalized trends, the academic space (be it
school, university or academy) must identify points of coincidence
between communism and modernity routes or in other words to try to
answer the question "What get them into battle?".
5. What is communism?
When it comes to communism, which still enjoys a good
intellectual reputation in the world of freedom, people have a measure
of different judgment towards the Nazism. In a curious twist, each time,
the importance of the Holocaust is stated in a polemic way as
overwhelmingly greater than the horror of tens of millions of victims of
communism. It's like Nazism would have been a crime against
humanity while communism was one in favor of humanity. The fact
that nowadays, the international public opinion continues to tolerate
the communist propaganda and the Marxist Leninist ideology, which
by the class enemy extermination theory is as pernicious as Rosenberg's
racist theory proves that human reason is half drowsy 13. The Romanian
world - part of the European Union - must not forget that a year or two
before 1964 when political "bandits" were to be released from prison
in Aiud, the communists attempted an experiment in the preceding
rehabilitation issue.
Given the fact that among the detainees there were many clergy,
but also faithful people fecwho finally turned their faces towards God
due to the suffering imprisonment, the regime of isolation decided to
oblige, especially priests, to sign a written document that consent the
renegation to religion. We add to this the "celebration" of the liturgical
12
13

Marx Cramer, LInternationale bolchevique contre la Religion, Geneva, 1915.


H. R. Patapievici, op. cit., p. 24.

19

ritual with urine and faeces 14 or desecration of Christian places, almost


always accompanied by eye removal of saints, carving up beyond
furious fresco plaster, the blasphemous primitivism, missing the chance
that the white eye but also the others sight accuses fervently. I let the
hermeneutics of this "ideology" to political analysts.
The communism, as a system, didnt limit to (or could not) the
social and economic order. Let us make an effort to memory, to
remember who was (is) the core doctrine of Marx. And who could
identify him better than his intimate friend and collaborator, a certain
Fr. Engels: The two great discoveries: the materialist conception of
history and the discover of the secret of capitalist production through
surplus value we owe to Marx. Socialism became a science with them .
The concept of historical materialism means that all of human
history, with all the political, religious and legal phenomena , is a major
evolutionary process in which nothing is permanent and unchanging,
but needs birth and extinction, and where, any progress is made only on
the basis of economic relations. Marx's sources? On the one hand, from
Hegel, asking the necessity of evolution, but not its absolute idealism,
and on the other hand Feuerbach, from which it borrows the
materialistic concept, which, however, it changes assigning not a
mechanical evolution, like this, but a dialectic one.
By formulating the theory of historical materialism, i.e trying to
explain human society and its evolution through only one material
factor of economic production, Marx is forced to make an intelligible
theory, to give a philosophical theory of absolute size, thus giving
satisfaction to absolute necessity of the human mind. This leads to
metaphysical materialism - philosophical conception, as the last and
only reality of the world is materia and the spirit in all its
manifestations and its products is only a derived phenomenon,
secondary, an epiphenomenon. In this way, communism provided a
theory of salvation in secular terms due to the background of desecrated
spirit of modernity.
The metaphysical conception of materialism sins fundamentally
through brutal and unjustified denial of what is the essence of human
nature and its innermost aspirations. It is more than possible to
determine the true human individual and social needs, without
Nu foarte demult, de aceast dat nu ntr-un spaiu concentraionar, ci n deplin
libertate, la o expoziie londonez Senzation, reluat apoi la Brooklyn Museums of
Arts, chipul Fecioarei Maria a avut parte de acelai tratament, strnind doar protestul
catolicilor (vezi H. R. Patapievici, Omul recent, Humanitas, 2001, p. 230).
14

20

knowing its nature. However, the human nature presents itself as


essential and characteristic, it is primarily its life with irresistible
aspiration to knowledge and absolute love. The primary human
tendency - conscious or instinctive - to the knowledge and love of the
absolute, is the first and fundamental feature of its nature. And religion
and metaphysical thinking are its expression. For this reason,
communism was successful, because it is, in essence, a secular religion,
perfectly adapted to human religious instincts still desecrated radically
and fatally unequivocal material of modernity 15 . The Bolshevik
Constitution of 1929, through its confessional Article prohibited any
religious propaganda but anti-religious propaganda 16 was left free.
Remembering such happenings belonging to the East European history,
we can not not evoke for example, the recent European disputes
regarding prohibition of any religious symbols in schools, considered
- as propaganda. The vigilance of commissioner of secular republic
from the land of Voltaire showed its vigilance due to the move John
Paul II to Lord, when the voices of some politicians found it necessary
to lower to half-mast flags and mourning day as contrary facts specific
to secular republic! The Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, quickly
defused the situation, hurrying to explain that the mourning was made
for a head of state (the Vatican) and not for a religious leader (RomanoCatholic church). In what concern Madrid, the situation was the same
and, several members of the Socialist Party refused to get up to the
minute of silence held in memory of former Supreme Pontiff in the
Spanish parliament.
6. Recurring fascination of equality
Few ideas have exercised a fascinating seduction over people
than that of equality. History of Communism puts its birth as a system
of three ideas: the common good, equality and employment. What is
the Christian contribution to the absolute equality of men?
H. R. Patapievici, Omul recent, Ed. Humanitas, Bucureti, 2001, p. 168. (n anul
1919, Lon Blum, om cu totul respectabil socialist, radical, umanitarist i evreu
cum l descrie H.R.P., scria urmtoarele: Credina socialist este unica versiune a
acelui instinct universal de dreptate i solidaritate care corespunde condiiilor
actuale ale existenei sociale i economice. Toate celelalte au fost depite de
trecerea timpului [] Socialismul este astfel [] aproape o religie, nu numai o
doctrin. (Vezi, Omul recent pp. 188-189).
16
n toamna anului 1930, la Leningrad s-a nfiinat chiar i o universitate
antireligioas pentru copii.
15

21

The essential equality and individual inequality of people.


Regarding the essential equality of the Saviour's words addressed to his
disciples - Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all creation makes Christianity a religion not addressed to a particular people but
to all mankind. For in one Spirit we baptized all of us to be one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and all in one Spirit we watered
- says Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (I Corinthians
12: 13). Hence, there are two consequences: 1) that there is no
difference between Jews and pagans; and with all opposition of
Judaizers, the gospel was also preached to the pagans.
Hearing these, they were silent and glorified God, saying: Thus,
God also gave repentance unto life to the pagans (Acts 11: 18); and 2)
there is no difference between slave and free man. Therefore, the
Gospel is proclaimed to all. Christianity could not abolish slavery by
means of modern revolutions, causing social disturbances, with
incalculable consequences. But the seed sprouted by Christ tossed in
time. Being unable to abolish slavery, slaves apostles advise them to
obey their master serving with goodwill, as they would serve the Lord
and not men (Ephesians 6: 5-8). St. Ap. Paul advises the masters to put
aside the threat, knowing that also their Lord is in heaven, and that He
does not fit the bias (Ephesians 6: 9) and give their servants what is
right and proper knowing that they also have a Master in heaven
(Colossians 4: 1). Moreover, he sends back Onesimus, Philemons
slave, but not as a servant, but above a servant, as a beloved brother
(Epistle to Philemon 16) 17.
The neighbours love is a fundamental Christian commandment,
and through the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ identifies our
neighbour in any people. Moreover, the love of neighbour is not fully
realized only through the practice of two great virtues, namely
forgiveness to those who have harmed us: Then Peter came to Him and
said, Lord, how many times will my brother fail to me and I forgive
him? Perhaps, seven times? He said to Jesus: I do not say to You seven
times, but until seventuple seventy times (Mt 18: 21-22) and even
reward them well: You have heard that it was said, 'Love your
neighbour and hate your enemy "and I say unto you, Love your
enemies, bless thoser who cursed you, do good to those who hate you,
and pray for those who persecute and damage you. To be the sons of
your Father who is in heaven, that He makes the sun rise on the evil
and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust (Mt. 5: 4317

Vezi, H.R. Patapieci, op. cit., p. 309.

22

44). In this way, Jesus teaches the principle of equality, which the old
world did not know it more, he adds the principle of love of neighbour
and love even of their enemies, which emphasizes the essential equality.
But, the same Christianity that talks about equality, says firmly
the principle of difference between people; and if we consider only the
parable of the talents well see not only the differences from one
individual to another as through a charming simplicity, but also the
righteous judgment of equal proportions. (We can mention here the
diversity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit spoken by St. Paul in the
chapter XII, Epistle to the Corinthians 1-12). The Gospel Christian
attitude result from these two categories of texts: on the one hand, the
essential equality of men, and on the other hand the principle of
individual difference. A society that takes into account only one of
these aspects of human nature, sin not only against human nature, but
sin also against nature and God, possessor of nature. The Christian
Church has understood from the beginning the profound meaning of
these relations and for this reason, even though it fought for equality
where it was required, never ceased to defend the rights of the
individual from his particular characteristics. Thus, the principle of
social egalitarianism preached by communism and socialism is refuted
by the authority of divine teachings.
Contemporary multiculturalism states firmly the principle of
equal opportunities of every culture, which consequently requires that
all cultures have the same value. Equality becomes today the supreme
principle of value for all fields. No virtue, moral principle that should
impose the primacy natural way through the competition. Not being a
natural value, equality must be imposed. Who requires? The party,
leader, ideology, state through its state representative institutions or
civil society and its institutions.
It is well known Rocco Buttiglione's case, whose rejection as a
member of the European Commission last autumn caused sparked
comments. Former Italian Minister of European Affairs and candidate
for (rejected) the position of Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and
Security within the European Commission, Rocco Buttiglione,
currently Professor of Law at the University of Rome, said in an article
published abroad and taken over by "Day" newspaper in March 2005:
Indeed, the cited committee of the European Parliament entered the
sphere of moral conscience by stating that anyone who does not adhere
to a positive moral evaluation of homosexuality can not hold the
position of Commissioner (our underline).
23

This means that anyone who adheres to the moral doctrines of


most Christian churches should be considered an inferior citizen of the
European Union. According to this principle, Konrad Adenauer, Robert
Schuman and Alcide de Gasperi - three of the founding fathers of the
European Union wouldnt come up to the required standards [...] Thus,
the European Union is on the way to creating a kind of morality police
and will launch a modern inquisition, one that constitutes a violation of
religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
Here's how, with this type of intellectual constraint, we are
determined to position ourselves outside of Christian morality, instead
we stand for the sake of equality at the heart of political correctness ideology when it is denounced as such by force of coral - centrifugal
offense of human rights violations, throws you out of the city,
consequently losing you a citizen. Christian morality is therefore taxed
as a crime of opinion, after which you either chauvinistic, xenophobic
or racist. Morality becomes a sad and utterly reprehensible occasion of
discrimination. Or, who discriminates today, not only that he does not
deserve to be considered a true citizen, ultimately he can not even be
human.
There are two issues to be identified with political correctness: 1)
there is an ideology with which a minority imposes its own views and 2)
the totalitarian communist origins of modernity disclose that power is
as a serious threat to freedom contemporary, cure for the naive people
who imagine that communism is dead and gone "into nonexistence," to
reproduce an inept stereotype rubric "deaths" in advertisements. You
will say, good and what relation is there betweenButtigliones case and
egalitarian and deceased communism? Well, I will say that this type of
modern political correctness, like the revolute communism, crumbles
the family in the most direct way.
Epilogue or warning
Nowadays for many people modernity means the "liberation" of
education from the shackles of faith. But the authentic Christian, the
truth, as a norm of redemption, it can be found in the person of Jesus
Christ (which will be with him till the end of days, not in the real world
and in her culture of objects of wishes. Christs body bones - the
christened ones- are with Him and He is with them in His world.
Authentic Christians look like that they are not from this world, since
they belong to Christ and His Church, and Christian name comes from
24

His name. Their modernity its a paradoxical one. For Orthodoxy,


modernity means "synchrony"- the synthesis between eternal and
passing by; but on the other hand it also means "diachrony", because it
wins over the abysses, contemporary with any level of age, equally to
the XXIst century similar to the age of the Apostolical Fathers. Of
course, no one and nothing can be contemporary with aeonial God, the
Lord. Plenary and out of time God is coexistent only with Himself. And
yet here lies the essential of synchrony: meaning "living at same time
with another" (Eusebiu de Cezareea) but also "the one that spends time
with another" (Origen). So, modern is the one that lives together with
us. About Him it is said that "His nest is among us". Nesting is the
appanage of a foreign traveller. This nesting has a precise place"among us". It is, and it will be, now and ever and for all eternity. Thus,
"the foreign" is contemporary with all times registers.
"Late up I have loved you, oh, You, beauty, so old, but also new,
late up I have loved you. And You were inside of me, and I was outside,
and there was me, outside. I was looking and I hurried through these
beautiful things that You have made, me, the one without beauty. You
were with me, but I was not with You; they were keeping me away
from You those things which if they were not inside of You, it would
not exist. You have called on me and cried out and You have ended my
deafness. You have lighten and glowed, an cast away my blindness,
You bestrew odor and I have breathed it, and now I am following You
with passion; I have tasted You and now I am hungry and thirsty after
You; You have only touched me and I have turned on yearning after
Your peace"- Happy Augustin confesses.
Although with us, or living in us, today Christ still remains a
stranger in the night. A modernity that cannot be touched. Even later.
But not too late. And this is it the purpose of the academic. To learn the
time and knowledge lesson. The courage of knowing and recognize the
truth.

25

A MODERN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION,


OVIDIUS UNIVERSITY OF CONSTANTZA
(ROMANIA)
Fr. Professor Emeritus Nicolae V. DUR
Ovidius University of Constanta
Abstract:
From the pages of this article, any competent researcher can notice that
the education system and process within Ovidius University of Constantza,
Romania, is not different from those in other EU Countries, although there are
still certain things to do and adaptations to make in order to comply with the
realities of our geographic, cultural, and spiritual area (e.g., the presence of the
three monotheist religions), since the recommendations and basic principles of
The Bologna Process have been made known among the university people and
applied effectively in the life of this University.
Keywords: the education system, the principles of The Bologna
Process, the European Universities.

Universities across Europe try not only to respond to the needs of


more diverse learners by increasing their activity for continued
professional education and reorientation, but also they present and
discuss the new strategic orientation of Europes higher education 1, as
our Conference, hosted by the University of Southampton from United
Kingdom, obviously proves. The fact that the Southampton University
Conference takes into discussion as a theme of study and reflection
exactly this new strategic orientation of Europes higher education, but
via the concept of an engaged University, is another proof that a
number of European Universities have already undertaken concrete
1

See, N. V. Dura, Instruction and Education within the themes of some International
Conferences. An evaluation of the subjects approached by these from the angle of
some Reports, Recommendations and Decisions, in the Proceedings of the
International Conference Exploration, Education and Progress in the third
Millenium, Galai , April 24th-25th, 2009, vol. II, pp. 203-217.

26

actions to respond to the needs of more diverse learners, while others


are being involved in the process of implementing this new strategic
orientation of European University Associations for the modernization
of the higher education and lifelong learning.
As the European University Association has recently stated (in
May 2011), the Universities are "crucial actors in regional
development", and they have "the potential to become strategic motors
of development through their key role in the knowledge triangle of
education, research and innovation and by implementing strategies to
attract researchers, staff and students, including international
students" 2 . One of these Universities playing a decisive role in the
development of the region that covers the Romanian territory situated
between the Danube and the Black Sea known as Scythia Minor 3 in
the Roman world and Dobrudja in the present-day Europe is the
University named after the poet Ovidius 4, who lived his last years in
the city of Tomis (the present-day Constanta), where he wrote not only
his famous Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, but also a poetry book in the
Romanian ancestors (Geto-Dacians`) language. Here, in the Romanian
Dobrudja were also born, had lived and worked among others John
Cassian ( 435), Latin language writer, and Dionysius Exiguus (545),
Latin and Greek language writer, who through their didactic and
scholarly activities and their contribution brought to the promotion and
development of the European Humanist and Christian culture, were
honoured among the founders of the European medieval culture 5.
2

Statement by the European University Association in response to the European


Commission Consultation onthe Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe, Ch. A, 8.
http://www.eua.be/Libraries/Publications/EUA_Statement_in_response_to_EC_Consultat
ion_on_Modernisation_of_Higher_Education_in_Europe.sflb.ashx
3
See, N. V. Dur, Scythia Mynor (Dobrogea) i Biserica ei apostolic. Scaunul
arhiepiscopal i metropolitan al Tomisului (sec. IV-XIV) (Scythia Minor
(Dobrudja) and its apostolical Church. The archiepiscopal and metropolitan See of
Tomis (the IV-th to XIV-th centuries), Ed. Didactic i Pedagogic (The Didactical
and Pedagogical Publ. House), Bucharest, 2006, 267 p.
4
Idem, Publius Ovidius Naso, poet al geto-dacilor tomitani (constnenii de astzi)
(Publius Ovidius Naso, poet of the Tomitan Geto-Dacians), in Ovidianum, Year VI,
no. 35, 2011, pp. 34-36.
5
Idem, Scythia Mynor (Dobrogea) i Biserica ei apostolic ((Scythia Minor
(Dobrudja) and its apostolical Church), pp. 1-267; Idem, Monahismul n Dacia
Pontic. Clugrii scii (daco-romani) i contribuia lor la afirmarea unitii
ecumenice i la dezvoltarea culturii umanist-cretine europene (Monachism in
Pontical Dacia. The Scythian monks (Daco-Roman) and their contribution to the
ecumenical unity and to the development of the European humanistic and Christian
culture), in Analele Universitatii Ovidius din Constanta, Seria Teologie (the Annuals

27

Ovidius University of Constantza (Romania) not only has the


human potential needed to become an important strategic engine
involved in the development of Dobrudja Region, but also the
possibility to implement the strategies to attract researchers as well as
international students, including those who are integrating in the
process of lifelong learning. Indeed, one of the European Universities
involved in the process of strategic orientation in the field of Higher
Education is Ovidius University of Constantza (Romania). More than
20,000 students activate in the sixteen faculties of this University,
which also has a Department for Distance and Low Frequency
Learning (DL and LFL). This Department establishes the curricula and
the payrolls for every academic year for the specializations that
organize curricula for DL and LFL.
Ovidius University as a State Higher Education Unit is
representative for the national Higher Education system and has been
continuing since 1961 the tradition of Excellency and innovation in
education and research. At present, it is a modern Higher Education
institution, passing through a real renewal phase and confirming real
reserves of scientific and technical creation. At the same time, it is one
of the most powerful universities in Romania. Through its dynamism it
is able to satisfy the needs of education and specialization of the young
generation both at a regional and national level and at an international
one.
Ovidius University is part of the Higher Education national
system, as a State autonomous University. This institution, as a legal
entity, provides non-profit education and scientific research, is
organized and functions according to its own University Charter and
of Ovidius University of Constantza, the Series: Theology), no. 1/2004, p. 39-50;
Idem, Valorile religios-cretine i motenirea cultural, religioas i umanist a
Europei. Laicitate i libertate religioas (The religious and Christian values
and the cultural, religious and humanistic heritage of Europe. Laicity and
religious liberty), in the vol. of the Symposium Modernitate, postmodernitate i
religie (Modernity, postmodernity and religion), Constantza, May 2005, Vasiliana
'98 Publ. House, Iassy, 2005, p. 19-35; LEglise de Scythie Mineure et ses Primats
tomitains, in Dionysiana, I (2007), No. 1, p. 352-396; Idem, The Scythian (DacoRoman) monks and their Contribution to the European Christian Humanist Culture,
in the vol. Dialogue of Civilizations, ed. David Muskhelishvili, New York, Nova
Science Publishers, 2010, p. 33-42; Idem, tiin, religie i cultur n Scythia Minor
(Dobrogea) (Science, religion and culture in Scythia Minor (Dobrudja)), in the vol. of
the Symposium tiin i religie. Conflict sau convergen? (Science and religion.
Conflict or convergence?), Constantza, May 2005, Vasiliana '98, Publ. House, Iassy,
2005, p. 13-25.

28

Regulations, aligned to the national Education Law in force. It


complies with the provisions stipulated by The Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, The European Convention on Human Rights, and
The Treaty that enforces The European Constitution. Ovidius
University has also joined The Magna Charta of European Universities,
established in 1988 in Lisbon, and among others is a member of EUA
and EURASHE and a founding member of The Black Sea University
Network.
The errand of Ovidius University has three dimensions:
- The Didactic Dimension, consisting in the training of the
specialists with higher education, by all university and post-university
forms of education stipulated by the legislation in force, according to
the profiles and specializations for which the University is legally
acknowledged and authorized, e.g.: Bachelor Studies, Master Degree
and PhD, Lifelong Learning, and Post-University Studies.
- The Scientific Research Dimension, which consists in
organizing and carrying under legal conditions of the scientific research
activities, technologic development, design, consulting, expertise,
services; orientation of the Research Centres towards Excellency in the
various expertise fields of the Faculties.
- The Civic and Cultural Dimension, which consists in organizing
the cultural, artistic, and sporting life within the University; thus,
Ovidius University of Constanta could acquire, besides its status of
centre for didactic, professional training and scientific research, the
status of main centre of education, civilization and culture of the socioeconomical community within the geographic area where the
University carries out its activity.
Ovidius University of Constantza has assumed the mission of
training higher education specialists in the priority fields of the
economical and social life in Romania, implicitly for the Dobrudja
Euro-Region. The University activates and develops according to The
Development Strategic Plan (established for four years) and to the
objectives included in The Annual Operational Plan.
The particularity of Ovidius University of Constanta is
remarkable not only in terms of the responsibilities assumed for the
services offered, of the protection of the societys interests regarding
the quality standards, of the ensuring of an efficient institutional
structure for supporting and improving the quality of Academic
programs, of the ensuring of the transparency of services, of
encouraging the diversity and innovation process, but also in terms of
29

the engagement of the University in the process of implementing the


new European strategic orientation regarding the Distance and Lifelong
Learning.
A form of Low Frequency Learning (LFL) exists since 1999 in
the Faculty where the signers of this paper carry on their activities, i.e.
The Faculty of Law and Administrative Sciences, which is part of
Ovidius University of Constanta.
In order to help the young persons that cannot attend the courses,
our Faculty has implemented a Program for continuous improvement of
the educational offer, which is peculiar to the new educational system,
more accessible and flexible, closer to the students, and in accordance
with the recently implemented achievements in informational and
communication technologies available in our Faculty. The Low
Frequency Learning is necessary mainly for the high-school graduates
that are employed and provide paid activities and are not able to attend
the day courses.
The LFL is devised in such a way that the students efficiently
assimilate the educational curricula through the periodical meetings
with the titular professors, in the form of synthesis lessons, study
materials made available for the former, and by guiding them through
the process of assimilation. Thus, we ensure a flexible form of
education and the students have the possibility to choose the most
appropriate option regarding the right place and periods of time for
learning, aiming at acquiring higher education qualification finalized by
the graduation exam.
The Bachelor degrees issued for the LFL graduates are equivalent
to those issued for the day courses organized for the same specialization.
The Faculty of Law and Administrative Sciences offers LFL curricula
for the specializations Law and Public Administration, elaborates the
curricula in accordance with the goals of the respective specializations in
such a way that we take into consideration the particularities of the LFL
and ensure the equivalent quality of the day courses.
The Ovidius University managed also to give to the process of
higher education a social dimension, assuring for this purpose all
provisions needed for having equitable access into, progress and
completion, accomplishing thus the mains political objectives proposed
by the Bologna Process. As we have been informed by the organisers 6,

The Conference is organized by EUA, the European Access Network (EAN), the
European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) and the European

30

this Conference hosted by the University of Southampton will


present and discuss lifelong learning as a key strategic orientation of
Europes higher education institutions via the concept of the engaged
university, that is a university that does not only respond to societal
needs, but positions itself to build cooperation and partnerships. Among
the Universities that join this concept is the University we are coming
from, i.e. Ovidius University in Constanta (Romania), which has a real
interest not only in promoting the lifelong learning agenda, as it was
meant and proposed by the European Universities Charter on Lifelong
Learning and by the European Commission (EC) funded project
"Shaping Inclusive and Responsive University Strategies Project SIRUS", but also in the strategic orientation of Europes higher
education institutions via the concept of the engaged University.
In our global era, the knowledge for all qualified potential
students, learners of all ages, is acquired in many different forms and
places, including through lifelong learning strategies initiated by the
Universities, which " are not only providers of higher education and
research, but also major employers in their own right" 7. Therefore, the
Universities have to act "as role models in society by offering lifelong
learning opportunities for their own employees whether academic,
administrative or technical and auxiliary staff. They should also be key
actors says European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning in
lobbying for coherent policy development in national systems" 8.
Taking into account the changing skills required by the labour
market, the Universities have to strengthen the relationship between
research, teaching and innovation in a perspective of lifelong learning,
which still remains for us a source of new research methodologies and
topics.
They also have to develop partnerships at local, regional and
national levels with a range of other educational institutions,
employers, employees organisations (trade unions) as well as with
other stakeholders, in order to provide attractive and relevant
programmes.
As it is known, in January 1987 there was established the
European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU),
Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), http://www.eua.be/
fileadmin/user_upload/files/Publications/EUA_Charter_Eng_LY.pdf
7
European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning, ed. by European University
Association (EUA), 2008, p. 7.
8
Ibidem.

31

which is "the representative organisation of both the European open


and distance learning universities and of the national consortia of
higher education institutions active in the field of distance education
and lifelong learning" 9.
Among the main objectives of the SIRUS project, entitled
"Shaping Inclusive and Responsive University Strategies (SIRUS), which was launched by EUA, in a Consortium with the European
Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), the European
University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) and the European
Access Network (EAN), - we retained that this aims to offer to the
Universities support in developing and enhancing lifelong learning
strategies and to contribute to the further development of policy
recommendations.
As it is well known, among others, the European University
Association (EUA) assist Europes universities in developing their
specific role as lifelong learning institutions, as it is expressly
mentioned in the European Universities Charter on Lifelong
Learning 10, published by EUA in July 2008 in Brussels (Belgium).
European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning is based on
the results of the EC funded project "Shaping Inclusive and
Responsive University Strategies SIRUS". This project, which
brought together 29 Universities from 18 European countries, has been
organised by EUA, in cooperation with the European Association of
Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), the European University
Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) and the European Access
Network (EAN).
Accordingly to this Charter, "currently the terminology of
lifelong learning embraces many concepts including initial education
for disadvantaged groups, continuing education and training for wellqualified graduates, and post-retirement opportunities for cultural
enrichment and is subject to considerable local, regional and national
interpretation" 11.
As it is pointed out in the text of this Charter, the lifelong
learning provision is of benefit to "individuals, employers and the
society as a whole", because it finds ways "to open up a wider range of
educational services to new learners and to returning learners, and to
9

G. Ubachs, European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), p. 1


(www.edtu.nl).
10
European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning, Brussels, 2008.
11
Ibidem, p. 3.

32

ensuring continuing opportunities for learners throughout their lives" 12.


But the concept of lifelong learning supposes not only that the
education is pursued throughout life, but also that this is "flexible,
diverse and available at different times and places", becoming thus "a
policy goal for supporting economic growth" 13.
The Charter drafted by the EUA on Lifelong Learning requires to
the Governments of the European Union States to strengthen "regional
partnership with higher education institutions and social partners, as
they are vital to the successful planning and delivery of lifelong
learning educational services" 14.
The same Charter says that for the implementation of the national
lifelong learning strategy, all the Governments have to inform and
encourage the citizens "to take advantage of lifelong learning
opportunities offered by the Universities" 15.
Finally, according to this Charter, the Governments have to act,
like the Universities, "as role models of lifelong learning institutions" 16.
Indeed "the Governments have it is said in the same Charter a
responsibility to ensure that universities are valued for their
contribution to lifelong learning" 17 . But the Governments have to
prove concretely and financially this responsibility so that the
Universities be able "to respond to the demands of a fast evolving
lifelong learning society and of a long-term labour market needs" 18,
because any effort of a University in this regard "requires significant
financial investment" 19.
Referring to this responsibility of the Governments, the same
Charter assesses that they not only have to promote "social equity" and
"a culture of learning throughout life" for all citizens, as "individuals,
public and private employers and others actors", who have to be
provided "with information on accessing lifelong learning educational
opportunities", but also to ensure a real support to the Universities" in

12

Ibidem, p. 6.
Draft Report. Bologna beyond 2010, pp. 7-8 (BFUG (FR) 14_9 draft Beyond 2010
report), http://www.bologna.msmt.cz/files/BFUG-beyond-2010-report.pdf.
14
European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning , p. 9.
15
Ibidem, p. 10.
16
Ibidem.
17
Ibidem, p. 8.
18
Ibidem.
19
Ibidem.
13

33

order that these be open "to all who have the potential to benefit from
higher education at whatever time in their life " 20.
The Governments of each country of U.E. also have the
responsibility "to ensure high professional standards" 21.
According to EUAs recent statement on the "Innovation Union"
strategy, "innovation requires a wider interpretation and
understanding", and "innovative comes from contributions across the
full spectrum of sciences, from engineering and technical sciences,
medical and life sciences and the social sciences, arts and
humanities" 22. In fact, according to the same Declaration, "the social
sciences, arts and humanities" play a major part in "interdisciplinary
research perspectives", and "they will be essential to tackle effectively
societal" grand challenges "in the areas of energy, climate change,
health, sustainable cities etc." 23
As one can remark, EUA has also considered the
recommendations of the meeting held at Uppsala University 24 (May,
2011) along with the corrections needed as regards the role of the social
sciences and humanities in the Common Strategic Framework for
future EU research and innovations funding.
In order to deepen the reflection and the academic research on the
role of Lifelong Learning Programme, further insight is needed not
only into the concept itself, but also about the content of the "quality
culture notion", which has not only different approaches among the
academic world, but it also faces "some considerable challenges" 25.
20

Ibidem.
Ibidem, p. 9.
22
EUA position on the EC "Green Paper" on a Common Strategic Framework for EU
Research and Innovation Funding, Copyright by the European University Association,
Brussels,
2011,
p.
1,
http://www.eua.be/Libraries/Publications/
EUA_position_on_the_EC_Green_Paper_on_a_Common_Strategic_Framework_for_
EU_Research_and_Innovation_Funding.sflb.ashx
23
Ibidem, p. 6.
24
See, "Recommendation Paper" on the role of social sciences and humanities in the
Common Strategic Framework for future EU research and innovation funding. Issued
by
Uppsala
University
and
partner
signatories
(May
2011),
http://www.uu.se/filedownload.php?id=5524
25
Ol. Vettori and M. Lueger, No short cuts in Quality Assurances Theses from a
sense-making perspective, in EUA Case Studies 2011. "Building bridges: Making
sense of quality assurance in the European, national and institutional context. A
selection of papers from the 5th European Quality Assurance Forum" (18-20
November 2010. Hosted by University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France, p. 50,
http://www.eua.be/Libraries/Publications_homepage_list/EUA_Building_Bridges_we
b.sflb.ashx
21

34

As it was pointed out, "learning from others has its limits" 26 .


Indeed, not any experience transfer in the field of higher education,
including of lifelong learning, can be received, adapted or grafted into
our own institution. At the same time, "importing successful models
can have severe drawbacks ", because this transfer disregards in fact
"the historical dimension of any institutional quality culture" 27 . This
reality is also certified by the fact " that even EUAs quality culture
concept is experiencing a departure from its original normative ideal in
the context of its dissemination process, marking a shift of the quality
culture notion towards a more functionalist meaning where quality
culture is about the development of, and compliance with, processes of
internal quality assurance " 28.
So far, the problem regarding the autonomy of Ovidius
University, recte its juridical status, has been on the agenda of
numerous meetings and debates held in many European Universities,
often concluded with reference documents 29.
As it is known, the relationship between State and institutions of
higher education has a long history. As regards "the modern
university", we know that this "was put at the disposal of the nationstate by its German philosophical founders, and one of the main
functions of this university "was to train future civil servants, which led
to the nineteenth century nation building missions of the university" 30.
Under the "Bologna beyond 2010 Agenda", the autonomy of the
University is defined as "less regulation, keeping government
intervention at arms length". Yet, the same Agenda recognises that
"institutional autonomy is placed within this increasing number of
interacting and overlapping layers of governance", but this could not
alter the content of this state of autonomy, because "autonomy and
regulation are not contrasting pairs" 31. Anyhow, the general conviction
of the university people is that " the government must behave as if it

26

Ibidem.
Ibidem, p. 52.
28
Ibidem.
29
See, for example, University Autonomy in Europe I. Exploratory Study, by Thomas
Estermann & Terhi Nokkala (EUA, 2009), http://www.eua.be/typo3Conf/
ext/bzbsecurelink/pushFile.php?cuid=400file=fileadmin/useruplood/files/Publication
s/Doc-Caseers.pdf
30
Draft Report. Bologna beyond 2010 , p. 14.
31
Ibidem.
27

35

deals with institutions that are as autonomous as the American ones and
face the question of how to finance them" 32.
As in many countries, in Romania the funding of higher
education takes place by means of allocating grants to higher education
providers by the public authorities of the State, among which the
Ministry of Education is the first actor involved. But, through the
introduction of output criteria instead of input criteria in the
calculation of funding and through the use of instruments such as
performance based funding and contract funding a practice already
used in other countries of the European Union we risk to follow a
redistribution policy "from low income groups to wealthier ones since
all tax-paying citizens bear the cost" 33. Therefore, we cannot no longer
talk of a real social European policy in higher education, because "to a
large extent", the students come "from wealthier social groups" 34.
It was already recognized at the European level that " in
practice very few countries are going to be able to provide sufficient
public funds to fund all the higher education provision they would
like". But, we have to bear in mind the fact that the responsibility of the
public authorities of every State "is not limited to providing direct
funding. It includes laying down the rules under which alternative
funding may be sought and provided" 35. Here is, why, the rules laid
down for the higher education have to be adequate not only to the
concrete needs and possibilities of the respective country, but also to
the objectives of the social dimension of higher education.
From the Statement made by the European Commission
Consultation on the Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe, in
May 2011, we can retain that "EUA believes that keeping in mind the
paramount importance of respect for university autonomy, strengthened
cooperation and partnership between governments, universities and the
(European Commission, n.n.) are crucial to make further change
happen" 36.

32

Ibidem, p. 15.
Ibidem.
34
Ibidem.
35
Ibidem, p. 16.
36
Statement by the European University Association in response to the European
Commission Consultation on the Modernization of Higher Education in Europe.
Introduction no. 1, 2011, http://www.eua.be/Libraries/Publications/EUA_Statement
_in_response_to_EC_Consultation_on_Modernisation_of_Higher_Education_in_Eur
ope.sflb.ashx
33

36

According to the Council of Europe Recommendation on public


authorities responsibility for the higher education and research
adopted by the Councils Committee of Ministers these public
authorities have tree main responsibilities:
a) "exclusive responsibility for the framework within which
higher education and research is conducted";
b) "leading responsibility for ensuring effective equal
opportunities to higher education for all citizens, as well as
ensuring that basic research remains a public good";
c) "substantial responsibility for financing higher education and
research, the provision of higher education and research, as
well as for stimulating and facilitating financing and
provision by other sources within framework developed by
public authorities" 37.
Concerning the so-called "exclusive responsibility" of the public
authorities in the field of higher education and research, in the "Draft
Report - Bologna beyond 2010"
they mention that this
Recommendation points out the fact that "public authorities may have
an important role in some areas without claiming a monopoly", but, "in
other areas", their role "cannot be shared with other actors" 38. In fact,
The State is considered by "Bologna beyond 2010 Report" as a
"regulator, a catalyst rather than a direct provider", which raises indeed
"the question of the regulatory framework" 39.
Among others, at the Seminar on Lifelong Learning held in
Sorbonne in December 2007, one said that the European Universities
have acknowledged "the diversity of individual learner needs and
therefore their responsibility to adopt programmes and ensure the
development of appropriate learning outcomes in a learner-centre
perspective" 40.
Acknowledged this diversity of individual learner needs and ipso
facto its responsibility to adopt programmes and ensure the
development of lifelong learning, Ovidius University of Constantza
(Romania) promoted the process of continuing education and provided
appropriate guidance and counselling services for the post-secondary
students, adult learners, professionals who seek to up-grade skills for
the workplace, senior citizens etc. They demanded the Faculties of our
37

Draft Report. Bologna beyond 2010 , p. 14.


Ibidem.
39
Ibidem.
40
European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning , p. 5.
38

37

University to give them the opportunity to be included in the


programmes concerning an education of high quality throughout their
lifetime.
Since "University Lifelong Learning (ULLL)" has to focus
primarily on the needs of the learners, this kind of institutions of higher
education have to provide to these not only a professional staff, able to
disseminate a high quality lifelong learning, but also to take into
account their economic and social resources. Therefore, Ovidius
University had to consider this reality when undertaking the appropriate
strategies for acquiring such economic and social resources.
Ovidius University has sufficient autonomy to develop its own
strategy for lifelong learning, including for deciding its own admission
requirements, proving thus that the Romanian Government ensured to
the Universities of our country "autonomy and developing incentives
for lifelong learning" 41 , as expressly requested by the European
Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning.
As it is known, the main components of the EUs higher
education modernization agenda are: "Curricula Reform", "Governance
Reform" and "Higher Education and Society". The Curricula Reform
consists in the "modernization of curricula in academic disciplines
identified as priorities by the Partner Countries, using the European
Credit Transfer System (ECTS), the three cycle system and the
recognition of degrees" 42. Ovidius University has also passed through a
real modernization process as regards the curricula for each academic
discipline, taking into account the two European systems, i.e. The
European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), and The Three-Cycle
Education system and the recognition of diplomas.
As regards the second component of the EUs higher education
modernization agenda, this consists among others in a reform in the
"management" of the University, in "quality assurance", in
"institutional and financial autonomy", in "equal and transparent access
to higher education" and the "development of international relations" 43.
This main desideratum too, included on the agenda of The European
Union for the modernization of higher education, has been achieved in
many regards in the activity of Ovidius University, too.

41

Ibidem, p. 9.
Tempus IV (2007-2013), http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/programme/about_tempus_en.php
43
Ibidem.
42

38

The last component, "Higher Education and Society", consists in


"training of non-university teachers", "development of partnership with
enterprises", "knowledge triangle education-research-innovation",
"training courses for public services (ministers, regional, local
authorities)", "development of lifelong learning in the society at large"
and "qualifications frameworks". These priorities of Tempus IV
Program have also been included and fulfilled in the activity of Ovidius
University. This reality obviously comes out (among others) from the
"knowledge triangle" (education, research and innovation), as well as
from the Programme of lifelong learning, to which our University pays
a special attention.
In order to prove that lifelong learning is recognised "as a
national priority" 44, a country has to develop a quality assurance system
for higher education. Such a system has also been implemented within
Ovidius University in Constanta through the development of
appropriate guidance and counselling services, which are indeed "
particularly important to those individuals most at risk of failing to
complete higher education programmes and who have little support
from family, friends and colleagues" 45 . In fact, according to the
European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning, The
Governments of EU States "also need to ensure that guidance, careers
and counselling services are linked up in a lifelong learning perspective
to provide continuous support to citizens at all levels of education. This
support should be relevant as mentioned in the pages of The
European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning to students of
all ages, and from all social and cultural backgrounds" 46 . The same
Governments have also to take action "on matters such as social
security rights, precariousness of employment rights, lack of financial
support for lifelong learning, and loss of pension contributions during
periods of study" 47.
The Tempus Programme, established in 1990, supports the
modernisation of higher education and funds two types of action: "Joint
Programmes" and "Structural Measures". By these Joint Programmes,
they can develop, modernise and disseminate "new curricula teaching
methods or materials, as well as boosting quality assurance and
management of higher education institutions", and by the "Structural
44

European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning , p. 8.


Ibidem, p. 9.
46
Ibidem.
47
Ibidem.
45

39

Measuses" it aims "to develop and reform higher education institutions


and systems in partner countries; to enhance their quality and
relevance, and to increase convergence with EU developments" 48.
Ovidius University in Constanta has also joined the Program
proposed by The European Commission, namely to the fourth phase of
the Tempus programme, which covers the period from 2007 to 2013,
entitled "Reform of higher education through international university
cooperation". As it is known, Tempus is the European Unions
programme, which supports the reform and modernisation of higher
education in the Partner Countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the
Western Balkans and the Mediterranean region, mainly through
university cooperation project. According to the objectives of the
Tempus IV Programme (2010/C278/12), the main one "is to contribute
towards facilitating cooperation in the field of higher education among
Member States of the European Union (EU) and partner countries in
the surrounding area" in the light of "the Europe 2020 Strategy, the
Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and
Training (ET 2020) and the Bologna process" 49.
The Tempus IV Programme aims also "to promote voluntary
convergence of Partner Country higher education systems with EU
developments in the field of higher education such as the Lisbon
agenda and the Bologna process" 50.
Ovidius University has been and is still taking into consideration
within its Cooperation Projects especially such "EA developments in
the field of higher education such as the Lisbon agenda and the
Bologna process".
The aims of the European Access Network (EAN), which is "an
independent, non-profit Society, organized for education purposes and
operating under English law" 51 , are "to encourage wider access and
successful participation in higher education, leading to worthwhile
employment, for those groups of citizens who are currently underrepresented, whether for reasons of gender, ethnic origin, nationality,
48

Tempus: modernisation higher education in EU neighbours, http://ec.europa.eu


/education/external-relation-programmes/doc70_en.htm
49
European Commission. Call for Proposals-EACEA/32/10. Tempus IV Reform of
higher education through international university cooperation (2010) C 278/12/Art.1,
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:
278:0018:0021:EN:PDF.
50
Tempus IV (2007-2013) .
51
The Constitution of the European Access Network, Art. 1, http://www.eanedu.org/upload_data/EAN%20Constitution/New-Constitution-2011.pdf

40

age, disability, employment status, income level, family background,


geographical location, or earlier educational disadvantage" 52.
Although Ovidius University is not yet a member of this nonprofit Society (EAN), our members strive to implement the
"objectives" 53 of the latter, especially "the four pillars of the EAN", that
is "Access, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion". Indeed, University Ovidius
also promotes effective policies for wider participation in higher
education for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, develops
programmes on access, equity and diversity issues, promotes
integration and social inclusion, co-operation with national and
international bodies to widen participation and encourage lifelong
learning, shares international pedagogical strategies to achieve an
inclusive higher education, encourages international exchanges among
students and professors etc.
Meeting the challenges of the European University (EU) 2020
agenda, the Conference met in Aarhus between 12-15 April 2011
declared that "higher education and research hold the key for the
future", and the European universities" have a crucial role to play"
for the future of Europe, contributing by their activity "to new
knowledge, and to educating talented individuals to the creative and
research for innovative solutions" 54.
According to the Salzburg II Recommendation (3-5 February
2005), "the goal of doctrinal education is to cultivate the research
mindset, to nurture flexibility of thought, creativity and intellectual
autonomy an original, concrete research project" 55 . The same
Recommendations recall that such institutions "need autonomy to be
able to establish, and be accountable for, diverse structures with
different research strategies and strengths" 56.
As regards the duration of doctoral programmes, the Bologna
Seminar on "Doctoral Programmes for the European knowledge
Society", met in Salzburg, 3-5 February 2005, decided that these
52

Ibidem, Art. 3.
Ibidem, Art. 4.
54
European University Association Aarhus Declaration 2011. Investing today in
Talent for tomorrow, May 2011, ed. by European University Association, nr. 3, p. 2,
http://www.eua.be/Libraries/Newsletter/Aarhus_Declaration.sflb.ashx
55
Salzburg II Recommendations. European Universities Achievements since 2005 in
implementing the Salzburg Principles, no. 1, Copyright 2010 by the European
University Association, Brussels, 2010, p. 2; http://www.eua.be/Libraries/
Publications_homepage_list/Salzburg_II_Recommendations.sflb.ashx
56
Ibidem, p. 4.
53

41

"should operate within an appropriate time duration (three to four year


fulltime as a rule)" 57.
In
implementing
the
Salzburg
II
Principles
and
Recommendations (2005), which "represented a key milestone in the
reform process of doctoral education in Europe" 58, Ovidius University
accepted in fact the process of reforming the PhD School, which took
into consideration both the recommendations regarding the duration of
PhD programs, and those that aim that such programs offer
"geographical as well as interdisciplinary and international mobility
and international collaboration within an integrated framework of
cooperation between universities and other partners" 59. As a concrete
result, our PhD Schools have already signed International Collaboration
Protocols and have mentioned both in the University Charter and The
Organization and Functioning Regulations the need that the projects
take into discussion interdisciplinary subjects, which would also
involve programs of mobility and contact with other PhD Schools in
the EU.
As it is known, "there is now a tendency to consider doctoral
candidates as early stage researchers thus giving them employee
status" 60. Therefore, the Universities have to prepare for the doctoral
candidates, who are young researches, " a wider variety of careers
than in the past, i.e. not only in the academic environment, but also in
industry, non-profit organizations, private companies, or private and
public independent research centres" 61. As regards this tendency, we
can say that it has also been materialized in the policy of Ovidius
University in Constanta (Romania), which recognizes the PhD
candidates, "as early stage researchers", an employee status.
In its Draft report, entitled "Bologna beyond 2010" 62, - finalised
to a great extent by the extraordinary BFUS meeting held in Sarajevo
on June 24th and June 25th 2008 - the European University Continuing
Education Network (EUCEN) gave a clear indication that " the
segmentation of the European higher education sector in Europe was
outdated and harmful", and that the Bologna Process has been in many
respects "revolutionary for cooperation in European higher
57

Ibidem, p. 2.
Ibidem, p. 1.
59
Ibidem, p. 2.
60
Draft Report. Bologna beyond 2010 , p. 6.
61
Ibidem, p. 7.
62
BFUG (FR) 14_9 draft Beyond 2010 report, http://www.bologna.msmt.cz/files/
BFUG-beyond-2010-report.pdf
58

42

education" 63 . Indeed, from its beginnings the Bologna Process was


meant "both to strengthen European integration and the
competitiveness of European higher education through the introduction
of a system based on undergraduate and postgraduate studies and to
foster student mobility through easily readable programmes and
degrees. Quality assurance has played is mentioned in the Draft an
important role from the outset, too" 64.
According to the same Bologna beyond 2010 agenda, "
curriculum design, joint degrees and the ensuing necessary institutional
partnerships are to be further developed" 65. That is why we do not have
to create or to search for a "university model for the small countries" 66,
but for the "Universities Consortium", which implies cooperation and
partnership between Universities across Europe on equal basis.
Certainly, the new ones or the small ones could benefit to some extent
from the knowledge and mainly from the experience of the Universities
with a long existence and excellency, but not to copy it tale-quale in
order to be accepted in different European University Organisations,
which are and could remain the main voice of the academic European
community, but they have to strive always to foster the cooperation and
partnership on an equal basis and ipso facto on mutual respect, taking
thus also into account the national strategies and policies of each
University.
To sum up, we can say that the Principles and the
Recommendations established by the Bologna Process have been taken
as the basis for all the reforms undertaken by our University, including
The Lifelong and Distance Learning. In fact, any competent researcher
can notice that the education system and process within Ovidius
University of Constantza, Romania, is not different from those in other
EU Countries, although there are still certain things to do and
adaptations to make in order to comply with the realities of our
geographic, cultural, and spiritual area (e.g., the presence of the three
monotheist religions), since the recommendations and basic principles
of The Bologna Process have been made known among the university
people and applied effectively in the life of this University. But, in this
regard, what makes us realistic and optimistic, at the same time, is the
fact that in the academic world of Tomis (Constantza) there is a
63

Ibidem, p. 2.
Ibidem.
65
Ibidem, p. 10.
66
G. Ubachs, European Association of Distance Teaching Universities , p.1-2.
64

43

unanimous desire to implement these recommendations and principles.


In fact, by its activity, Ovidius University enframes itself in the sphere
of preoccupations of The European University Associations and
Organizations and, ipso facto, in the policy of EU Education
Commission, as well as in the Process of Implementation of the New
Strategic Orientation of Europe Regarding the Higher Education.

44

RELIGIONSPDAGOGISCHE AUSBILDUNG IN BADENWRTTEMBERG 1


Prof. Honoris Causa Manfred WAGNER 2
Babe-Bolyai Universitt Cluj-Napoca
Zusamenfassung:
Nach der Grndung des Pdagogisch Theologischen Zentrums der
Evangelischen Landeskirche in Wrttemberg vor ber 40 Jahren hat sich der
Religionsunterricht, der durch Pfarrer erteilt wird, sprbar verbessert. Der
Unterricht verfgt vielfach ber eine hohe Attraktivitt unter den Schlern.
Interessierte Schler haben an manchen Gymnasien die Mglichkeit,
Religionsunterricht als Schwerpunktfach zu whlen. Das ist sicher einer der
Grnde, warum die Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland bis jetzt keinen
gravierenden Nachwuchsmangel an Geistlichen zu beklagen hat. Der

Bei der Ausarbeitung des Themas erhielt ich wertvolle fachkundige Beratung und
Anregungen von Frau Ursula Ripp-Hilt. Sie ist Schuldekanin der Evangelischen
Landeskirche in Wrttemberg fr die Kirchenbezirke Bblingen und Herrenberg.
Beraten wurde ich auch von Herrn Dr. Manfred Schnitzler. Er ist staatlicher Lehrer an
der Realschule meiner Heimatgemeinde Schnaich. Promoviert hat er im Fach
Religionspdagogik an der Eberhard-Karls-Universitt Tbingen bei Professor Dr.
Friedrich Schweitzer. Er ist in der evangelischen Kirchengemeinde engagiert und
erteilt an seiner Schule auch evangelischen Religionsunterricht. In frheren Jahren
war er an der Ausbildung der Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer der Landeskirche in
Religionsunterricht am Pdagogisch Theologischen Zentrum (PTZ) in Stuttgart
beteiligt. Beiden, sowohl Frau Schuldekanin Ripp-Hilt als auch Herrn Dr. Schnitzler,
danke ich herzlich fr ihre wertvolle Untersttzung.
2
Beauftragter fr kumene und Partnerschaften mit Kirchen in Osteuropa der
Evangelisch-lutherischen Landeskirche in Wrttemberg als Kirchenrat und
Prlaturpfarrer; Frderung orthodoxer Kirchen beim Wiederaufbau des
Religionsunterrichts u.a. in Serbien, Rumnien und Belarus; Mitglied im
Stipendienkomitee der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland fr Studierende aus
orthodoxen Kirchen und aus Osteuropa; 2010 Titel Professor honoris causa der
Babe-Bolyai Universitt Cluj-Napoca fr den Aufbau von bilateralen Beziehungen
zwischen Rumnien und Deutschland auf den Gebieten Theologie, Sozialassistenz
und Religionspdagogik; Vortrge zur Verstndigung zwischen evangelischen und
orthodoxen Kirchen an der Babe-Bolyai Universitt Cluj, Ovidiu Universitt
Constana, der Geistlichen Akademie Minsk und der Doctorantura des Moskauer
Patriarchats in Moskau.

45

finanzielle Einsatz fr die Ausbildung der Religionslehrer lohnt sich. Die


Jugend ist die Zukunft einer jeden Kirche und eines jeden Landes. Sie ist
besonderer Aufmerksamkeit wert. Dies hat in der Evangelischen Kirche seit
Martin Luther Tradition.
Schlsselwrter:
Religionspdagogische
Ausbildung,
Religionsunterricht, die Praxis ser Ausbildung in Religionspdagogik.

1.
Allgemeines
zum
Religionsunterricht
in
Baden3
Wrttemberg . An den Schulen in Baden-Wrttemberg erteilen
sowohl staatlich als auch kirchlich angestellte Lehrkrfte
Religionsunterricht. Das bedeutet, dass sowohl staatliche als auch
kirchliche Institutionen Religionslehrer 4 ausbilden. Zwei Drittel der
Religionslehrkrfte sind staatlich ausgebildet und vom Staat angestellt.
Ein Drittel sind kirchlich ausgebildete Religionslehrer. Diese Gruppe
setzt sich zusammen aus Religionspdagogen und Pfarrern. Alle
Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer 5 der Evangelischen Landeskirche in
Wrttemberg haben sich an der Erteilung von Religionsunterricht zu
beteiligen. Das sind in der Regel sechs Wochenstunden 6.
3

Die Kultushoheit liegt in Deutschland bei den Lndern der Bundesrepublik


Deutschland. Diese gestalten die Schulpolitik unterschiedlich. Das Land BadenWrttemberg gilt als ein religionsfreundliches Land im Vergleich zu Bundeslndern
im Norden und Osten Deutschlands. In Baden-Wrttemberg bekennt sich ein relativ
hoher Anteil der Schler und ihrer Eltern zu einer Religionsgemeinschaft.
4
Die mnnliche Form Lehrer schliet die weibliche Berufsbezeichnung Lehrerin mit
ein, um die Ausfhrungen mglichst kurz und knapp halten zu knnen. In
Deutschland ist es gegenwrtig vielfach blich, die weibliche Form von
Berufsbezeichnungen zu verwenden. Diese werden dann mit einem groen I
geschrieben, z.B. LehrerInnen. Angemerkt sei, dass z.B. in Norwegen die weibliche
Bezeichnung Lehrerin, die einige Jahre gebraucht wurde, wieder aufgegeben
wurde. Lehrerinnen bezeichnen sich gegenwrtig wieder als Lehrer und nicht als
Lehrerin.
5
Im Folgenden wird fr Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer entsprechend der Bezeichnung fr
die Lehrer und Lehrerinnen die mnnliche Form verwendet.
6
Die Anzahl der Gemeindeglieder einer Parochie entscheidet ber die Hhe der
Stundenzahl fr den wchentlich von Pfarrern zu erteilenden Religionsunterricht. Wer
bis zu 2000 Gemeindeglieder (in orthodoxem Sprachgebrauch: Seelen) hat, muss
sechs Stunden Religionsunterricht erteilen, ab 2000 Gemeindeglieder reduziert sich
die Zahl auf vier Stunden. Geistliche, die weniger unterrichten mchten, knnen dies
beantragen. Bei der Reduzierung um zwei Wochenstunden wird ihr Gehalt um ca.
250 verringert. Der Staat ersetzt der Landeskirche einen Teil der Kosten, die fr die

46

Kirchliche Voraussetzungen fr die Ausbildung in


Religionspdagogik (RP)
1.1 Der neutestamentliche Auftrag. Jesus in Matthus 28, 20:
lehret sie halten alles, was ich euch befohlen habe. Das bedeutet, dass
in umfassender Weise ber Jesus Christus und alles, was den Glauben
an ihn einschliet, zu unterrichten ist. Dazu gehren also nicht nur die
neutestamentlichen Schriften, sondern auch das Alte Testament und die
Kirchengeschichte sowie die gegenwrtig aktuellen theologischen
Fragestellungen. Um dieser groen katechetischen Herausforderung zu
begegnen, bedarf es eines umfassenden Katechumenats. Wir
bezeichnen es als Gesamtkatechumenat. Dazu gehren die im
Folgenden genannten Bereiche.
1.2 Gesamtkatechumenat
1.2.1 Familie. In den Familien wird Grundlegendens im Hinblick auf
die religise Entwicklung der Kinder vermittelt. Die Familien werden
dabei zunchst durch die Kirchengemeinden und dann auch durch den
Religionsunterricht an den Schulen untersttzt:
1.2.2 Kirchengemeinden sorgen mit einem breitgefcherten Angebot
fr die Weitergabe des christlichen Glaubens an die nchste
Generation. Zu diesen Angeboten gehren:
o
Mutter-Kind-Gruppen fr Kleinkinder
o
Kirchliche Kindertagessttten
o
Minikirche
o
Kindergottesdienst
o
Kinderbibelwochen
o
Konfirmandenunterricht
o
Kinder- und Jugendarbeit
o
Freizeitangebote (Lager, Ferienprogramme, Waldheime)
o
Schlerbibelkreise an hheren Schulen
o
berregionale Untersttzung fr die Kirchengemeinden
1.2.3 Der Religionsunterricht an den Schulen ergnzt das Angebot
der Kirchengemeinden und vermittelt Wissen, das weit ber die
Mglichkeiten einer Kirchengemeinde hinausreicht.
2.
Staatliche Voraussetzungen fr die Erteilung von
Religionsunterricht an den Schulen und die Ausbildung in
Religionspdagogik.
Erteilung des Religionsunterrichts entstehen. Dies ist ein Beitrag zur Bezahlung der
kirchlich angestellten Religionslehrer und der Pfarrer.

47

2.1 Das Grundgesetz Deutschland und die Religionsfreiheit. Artikel


4 des Grundgesetzes der Bundesrepublik Deutschland gewhrt
Religionsfreiheit: (1) Die Freiheit des Glaubens, des Gewissens und
die Freiheit des religisen und weltanschaulichen Bekenntnisses sind
unverletzlich. (2) Die ungestrte Religionsausbung wird
gewhrleistet. Aus diesem Artikel folgt, dass der Staat die
Wahrnehmung der Religionsfreiheit zu ermglichen hat. Diese Freiheit
kann nur ergreifen, wer ber Kenntnisse einer Religion verfgt. Also
hat der Staat dafr zu sorgen, dass seinen Brgern eine entsprechende
Bildung ermglicht wird. Hinzu kommt, dass die religise Dimension
des Lebens zu beachten ist. Religion gehrt zum Wesen des Menschen.
Kinder haben deshalb ein Recht auf religise Bildung. Zu diesem Recht
soll die Erteilung von Religionsunterricht an staatlichen Schulen
verhelfen. Dieses Recht fr die Schler ist in Deutschland durch den
Artikel 7, Absatz 3, des Grundgesetzes gewhrleistet. Nach diesem
Artikel ist der Religionsunterricht als einziges Unterrichtsfach als
ordentliches Lehrfach fr ffentliche Schulen abgesichert 7. Schler
knnen, solange sie religionsunmndig sind, von ihren Eltern vom
Religionsunterricht abgemeldet werden. Ab dem Eintritt der
Religionsmndigkeit kann ein Kind selbst ber die Teilnahme
entscheiden. 8 Wer ab der achten Schulklasse vom Religionsunterricht
abgemeldet ist, erhlt als Ersatz Ethikunterricht.
2.2 Staatliche Ausbildung in Religionspdagogik. Um die
staatlichen Verpflichtungen, die sich aus dem Grundgesetz ergeben,
realisieren zu knnen, sorgt der Staat fr eine differenzierte Ausbildung
in Religionspdagogik. Dabei ist er demokratischen Grundstzen
verpflichtet. Religionsunterricht an staatlichen Bildungsinstitutionen ist
ordentliches Lehrfach, so dass die Leistungen der Schler auch benotet
werden. Bei der inhaltlichen Gestaltung des Religionsunterrichts ist der
Staat auf die Kooperation mit den Religionsgemeinschaften
angewiesen. Die Fachaufsicht obliegt in Baden-Wrttemberg den
Kirchen.

Der Religionsunterricht ist in den ffentlichen Schulen mit Ausnahme der


bekenntnisfreien Schulen ordentliches Lehrfach. Unbeschadet des staatlichen
Aufsichtsrechtes wird der Religionsunterricht in bereinstimmung mit den
Grundstzen der Religionsgemeinschaften erteilt. Kein Lehrer darf gegen seinen
Willen verpflichtet werden, Religionsunterricht zu erteilen (Grundgesetz der
Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Art. 7, Abs. 3.
8
Ab dem vollendeten 14. Lebensjahr sind Kinder in Deutschland uneingeschrnkt
religionsmndig

48

3.
Ausbildungssttten
fr
Religionspdagogik.
Religionslehrer werden ausgebildet fr das Lehramt an Grundschulen,
Haupt - und Werkrealschulen, Realschulen, Gemeinschaftsschulen,
Gymnasien und berufsbildenden Schulen. Einen weiteren Bereich
bildet die Sonderpdagogik. Fr die einzelnen Schularten bestehen
unterschiedliche Ausbildungssttten.
3.1 Kirchliche Ausbildungssttten fr Religionspdagogik:
3.1.1 Evangelische Fachschulen fr Sozialpdagogik (staatlich
anerkannt). Hier werden die Erzieherinnen und Erzieher fr
Kindergrten und Kindertageseinrichtungen ausgebildet.
3.1.2 Evangelische Hochschulen fr Soziale Arbeit, Diakonie und
Religionspdagogik (staatlich anerkannt). Die Absolventen dieser
Ausbildungssttte werden als Religionslehrer im Primar- und
Sekundarbereich eingesetzt, jedoch nicht in der Oberstufe der
Gymnasien.
3.1.3 Religionspdagogische Zentren der Landeskirchen, z.B. das
Pdagogisch Theologische Zentrum der Evang. Landeskirche in
Wrttemberg (PTZ). An diesen Zentren werden hauptschlich die
Pfarrer nach dem Universittsstudium in Religionspdagogik
ausgebildet. Dem Universittsstudium in Theologie schliet sich eine
zweijhrige Praxisausbildung, das Vikariat, an. Das erste halbe Jahr
dieses Ausbildungsvikariats ist der Religionspdagogik gewidmet.
Zuerst hospitieren die knftigen Pfarrer einige Wochen bei einem
erfahrenen Pdagogen, der allgemeine Schulfcher unterrichtet. Danach
folgen drei Kurse fr Religionspdagogik am PTZ. In Gruppen werden
dann Unterrichtsstunden von Religionslehrern besucht. Im Anschluss
daran werden die knftigen Geistlichen bei der eigenen Erteilung von
Religionsstunden
drei
Monate
lang
durch
erfahrene
Religionspdagogen des PTZ begleitet und untersttzt. Den Abschluss
dieser intensiven Ausbildungsphase bildet eine Lehrprobe. Diese
grndliche Ausbildung fhrte insgesamt zu einem hohen
Qualittsstandard des Religionsunterrichts, den Pfarrer erteilen.
3.1.4 Bibelschulen und theologische Seminare (freie evangelische
Trger, z.B. Diakonissenmutterhaus Aidlingen, Liebenzeller Mission,
CVJM Sekretrschule in Kassel, Johanneum in Wuppertal, Bahnauer
Bruderschaft in Unterweissach). An diesen Ausbildungssttten werden
Lehrkrfte ausgebildet, die in der Regel eine intensive kirchliche
Sozialisation genossen haben, aber ber keinen hheren Schul- oder
Studienabschluss verfgen. Meistens sind die betreffenden Personen

49

hoch motiviert fr ihre Aufgaben (Vergleiche dazu den nchsten


Punkt).
3.1.5 Ausbildung von ehrenamtlich ttigen Gemeindegliedern in
religionspdagogischen Arbeitsfeldern. Die Landesverbnde fr den
Kindergottesdienst und die Evangelischen Jugendwerke laden
Jugendliche der evangelischen Landeskirchen zu Schulungen ein. Sie
sollen zur Mitarbeit in einem weitgefcherten Netz von kirchlichen
Angeboten fr Kinder und Jugendliche angeleitet werden. Die
Mitarbeitenden im Kindergottesdienst 9 sollen hauptschlich befhigt
werden, biblische Geschichten kindgem zu erzhlen und zu
vermitteln. Mitarbeitende in der kirchlichen Jugendarbeit 10 werden
angeleitet, Elemente der christlichen Katechese und Erziehung in das
Freizeitangebot fr Kinder und Jugendliche einzubeziehen.
3.2 Staatliche Ausbildungssttten fr Religionspdagogik:
3.2.1 Staatliche Fachschulen fr Sozialpdagogik (vgl. die
Ausbildung an kirchlichen Fachschulen fr Sozialpdagogik)
3.2.2 Pdagogische Hochschulen (Ausbildung von Lehrern fr den
Unterricht im Primar- und Sekundarbereich)
3.2.3 Evangelisch-theologische
Fakultten
der
Universitten
(Ausbildung von Religionslehrern an Gymnasien)
3.2.4 Staatliche Seminare fr die praktische Lehrerausbildung im
Anschluss an die Hochschulausbildung und die erste Staatsprfung fr
das Lehramt. (Siehe unten: Diese Ausbildungsphase fr staatliche
Lehrer, die knftig Religionsunterricht erteilen werden, hnelt der
Ausbildung
an
den
religionspdagogischen
Zentren
der
Landeskirchen).
4.
Die Praxis der Ausbildung in Religionspdagogik fr
kirchliche und staatliche Lehrer
4.1 Voraussetzungen. Fr die Ausbildung in Religionspdagogik an
kirchlichen Ausbildungssttten sind eigene Lebenserfahrungen in
9

Die meisten evangelischen Kirchengemeinden bieten sonntags spezielle


Gottesdienste fr Kinder an. In der Regel bestehen diese Gottesdienste aus einem
liturgischen Teil und einer Einheit, in der biblische Geschichten altersgem erzhlt
werden. Je nach Mglichkeiten der Gemeinden werden verschiedene didaktische
Methoden einbezogen, wie z.B. Malen, Singen, szenische Darstellungen etc. Gestaltet
werden diese Gottesdienste von Laien, die durch die Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer fr ihre
Aufgabe geschult und an landeskirchlichen Zentren weitergebildet werden (fr
Wrttemberg: http://kiki.ichraum.de/).
10
Die kirchliche Jugendarbeit verfgt ber ein flchendeckendes Angebot fr Kinder
und Jugendliche im Freizeitbereich (fr Wrttemberg siehe: http://www.ejwue.de/ ).

50

religiser Praxis erwnscht: z.B. im Leben einer Kirchengemeinde, die


frhere Teilnahme an religionspdagogischen Angeboten sowohl der
Schule als auch der Kirchengemeinden (siehe oben: Ausbildung von
ehrenamtlich ttigen Gemeindegliedern auf religionspdagogischen
Arbeitsfeldern). Die staatlichen Ausbildungssttten knnen dies nicht
zur Voraussetzung machen. Aus diesem Grund gehrt zur Ausbildung
an staatlichen Institutionen eine Einfhrung in wesentliche Bereiche
der Theologie und der Lebensgestaltung aus dem christlichen Glauben.
Alle Ausbildungssttten bauen auf vorausgehende Ausbildungen und
Bildungsabschlsse auf, die an staatlichen oder privaten
Ausbildungsinstituten
erworben
werden
knnen
(z.B.
Realschulabschluss, Berufsausbildung oder Abitur).
4.2 Hospitationen
der
Studierenden
an
kirchlichen
11
Ausbildungssttten und pdagogischen Hochschulen.
4.2.1 Hospitationen allgemeinbildender Unterrichtsstunden. Diese
dienen zu Beginn aller Ausbildungsphasen dazu, sich generelle
Kenntnisse des Unterrichts zu verschaffen. Dazu gehren didaktische
Methoden,
Gesprchsfhrung,
Medieneinsatz,
Umgang
mit
Disziplinproblemen, Kollegialitt der Unterrichtenden etc.
4.2.2 Hospitationen bei Unterrichtsstunden in Religion. Hier werden
die knftigen Lehrer mit der Praxis des Religionsunterrichts durch
praktische Anschauung vertraut gemacht.
4.3 Studien-Disziplinen bei der Ausbildung in Religionspdagogik
4.3.1 An den kirchlichen Ausbildungssttten werden im
Zusammenhang der religionspdagogischen Ausbildung auch
theologische Grundkenntnisse vermittelt: Altes und Neues Testament,
Kirchengeschichte, Dogmatik, Ethik, Konfessionskunde, Kenntnisse
des Gottesdienstes, Gestaltung von Schulgottesdiensten und
Kirchenrecht.
4.3.2 An staatlichen und kirchlichen Ausbildungssttten wird etwa je
zur Hlfte in Fachwissenschaft und in Fachdidaktik gelehrt. Zum
letzteren gehren Ziele und Modelle des Religionsunterrichts sowie die
Religionsdidaktik.
11

Hospitationen an Schulen waren bis vor wenigen Jahren fr Studierende an den


Universitten, die dort fr das hhere Lehramt an Gymnasien studierten, in der Regel
nicht vorgesehen. Seit einiger Zeit wird von ihnen allerdings nach Abschluss des
Grundstudiums ein halbjhriges Schulpraktikum verlangt. Jetzt ist im Laufe des
Studiums ein Praxissemester einzulegen. An einigen Ausbildungssttten wird zu
Beginn des Studiums ein Orientierungspraktikum angeboten. Diese nderungen
sollen die Qualifizierung der Religionslehrer und die Qualitt des Religionsunterrichts
weiter erhhen.

51

4.4 Prfungen zum Abschluss der ersten Ausbildungsphase. Die


Ausbildungen schlieen ab mit schriftlichen und mndlichen Prfungen
in den unterrichteten Fchern. Fr die Hochschulausbildung ist dies das
erste Staatsexamen. Das Bestehen der Prfungen erlaubt die Aufnahme
in den zweiten Ausbildungsgang, das Referendariat an den staatlichen
Seminaren.
4.5 Eineinhalbjhrige Praxisausbildung. Der Hochschulausbildung
schliet sich das Referendariat12 an. In einer Kombination von
theoretischem und praktischem Unterricht an staatlichen oder kirchlichen
Seminaren wird in die Praxis des Religionsunterrichts eingefhrt. Der
knftige Religionslehrer wird einem Mentor an einer Schule zugeordnet,
der in allen Fragen des Unterrichts und anderen Fragen, z.B. Kontakt mit
den Eltern der Schler, beratend zur Seite steht. Zusammen mit dem
Mentor analysiert der Kandidat seinen eigenen Unterricht und versucht,
Schlsse zu ziehen, um den Unterricht bestndig zu verbessern. Hinzu
kommt eine weitere Begleitung durch den Fachleiter fr
Religionspdagogik der staatlichen oder kirchlichen Seminare.
Whrend des Referendariats wird auch das Schulrecht gelehrt. Den
Abschluss bildet wiederum eine Prfung, das zweite Staatsexamen.
Nun kann der Kandidat in den Schuldienst bernommen werden.
4.6 Weiterbildungsangebote fr Religionslehrer. Um die
bestndigen Vernderungen in der Gesellschaft und aktuelle
Entwicklungen in der Religionspdagogik und -didaktik kennen zu
lernen, wird den Religionslehrern ein breites Spektrum an Fortbildung
angeboten. Daran beteiligen sich die Schuldekane der Landeskirche fr
die jeweiligen Regionen, die kirchlichen Ausbildungssttten und das
Pdagogisch Theologische Zentrum (PTZ) der Landeskirche. Auch
staatliche Institutionen bieten Weiterbildungen an, z.B. die
Landesakademie fr Fortbildung und Personalentwicklung.
4.7 Aufsicht ber die Religionslehrer. Der Religionsunterricht wird
organisiert und berwacht von den Schuldekaninnen und Schuldekanen
der Landeskirche 13. In regelmigen Abstnden kommen sie zu
Unterrichtsbesuchen in die Schulen. Zu Beurteilungen der
Religionslehrkrfte knnen auch die Schulleitungen hinzugezogen
werden.
12

Das Referendariat fr den Grund- und Hauptschulbereich dauert eineinhalb Jahre,


dasjenige fr Gymnasien einen Monat lnger.
13
In Baden-Wrttemberg und in Bayern besteht eine flchendeckende Struktur fr die
kirchlichen Schuldekane, die in anderen Lndern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland so
nicht existiert.

52

5.
Chancen und Grenzen des Miteinanders von
kirchlichen und staatlichen Religionslehrkrften an den Schulen
5.1 Staatlich ausgebildeten Religionslehrern fehlt, nicht generell,
aber in manchen Fllen, die kirchliche Anbindung. Das erfordert von
Seiten der Kirchengemeinden und der Landeskirche eine gewisse
Frsorge fr die staatlichen Religionslehrer. Die staatlich angestellten
und Religionsunterricht erteilenden Lehrer sind an den Schulen
insgesamt integriert. Ihr Unterricht erfhrt in der Regel eine hohe
Akzeptanz unter den Schlern und bei den Kollegen, die nicht Religion
unterrichten. Im Religionsunterricht begegnen die Religionslehrer meist
nur denselben Disziplinschwierigkeiten wie in anderen Fchern, die
sie unterrichten. Bei Schulkonferenzen knnen sie Erfahrungen mit
Schlern im Religionsunterricht einbringen. Staatliche Religionslehrer
schtzen in der Regel die Kooperation mit Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrern
z.B. bei der Gestaltung von Schulgottesdiensten 14. Die Professionalitt
der Geistlichen bei Schulgottesdiensten trgt dazu bei, dass
Gottesdienste bei vielen akzeptiert werden, auch bei Lehrern, Schlern
und Eltern, die kirchlicher Arbeit kritisch gegenber stehen.
5.2 Kirchliche Lehrer fr Religion kommen nur zur Erteilung von
Religionsunterricht an die Schulen. Sie sind an der Schulentwicklung
nicht voll beteiligt. Am Schulleben nehmen sie nur punktuell teil. An
den Schulkonferenzen knnen sie aus zeitlichen Grnden kaum
partizipieren. Das betrifft im Besonderen die Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer.
Sie haben groe Arbeitsgebiete, die ihnen nicht erlauben, am Leben
einer Schule intensiv teilzuhaben. Andererseits verbinden sich mit der
Prsenz von Geistlichen an staatlichen Schulen auch groe Chancen.
Mit den Pfarrern ist die Kirche sowohl bei den Schlern als auch bei
den Lehrern prsent. Die Pfarrer knnen auf besondere kirchliche
Angebote hinweisen und dazu einladen. Im Besonderen haben Pfarrer
die Mglichkeit, eine Verbindung zwischen der kirchlichen
Jugendarbeit und der Schule zu suchen. In der Zukunft wird es im
Bundesland
Baden-Wrttemberg
vermehrt
sogenannte
Ganztagsschulen geben. Hier besteht dann zunehmend die Mglichkeit
einer Kooperation zwischen Kirche und Schule. Von den staatlichen
Schulen wird das kirchliche Angebot der Schulseelsorge 15 gerne

14

Schulgottesdienste bedrfen sorgfltiger Planung und Vorbereitung, um eventuell


entstehenden Disziplinproblemen nicht unangemessen begegnen zu knnen.
15
Die Evangelische Schulseelsorge im Kirchenbezirk Tbingen ldt z.B. die Schler
zu folgenden Themen ein: Alle hacken auf dir rum, Du bist am Boden zerstrt, Du
fhlst dich eingeengt oder eingesperrt, Du siehst keinen Ausweg, Dir ist alles zuviel

53

angenommen. Das dient insgesamt dem Wohl aller Beteiligten am


Schulalltag.
5.3 kumenische Erfahrungen 16. Die evangelischen Landeskirchen
und die rmisch-katholischen Dizesen im Bundesland BadenWrttemberg haben annhernd dieselbe Anzahl an Gemeindegliedern.
Schon aus diesem Grund ergibt sich die Notwendigkeit einer
kumenischen Verstndigung auch auf dem Gebiet des
Religionsunterrichts. In manchen Orten werden deshalb die Schler der
ersten beiden Klassen sowie der fnften und sechsten Klassen
abwechselnd von evangelischen und katholischen Religionslehrern
unterrichtet. Dies ist ein Beitrag, um ein gutes kumenisches Klima im
Land zu frdern. Orthodoxe Schler nehmen je nach rtlichen
Gegebenheiten am evangelischen oder katholischen Religionsunterricht
teil. In einzelnen Bundeslndern, wie z.B. in Nordrhein-Westfalen,
wird offiziell Religionsunterricht fr orthodoxe Schler angeboten.
Gegenwrtig gibt es Bemhungen, orthodoxen Religionsunterricht auch
in Baden-Wrttemberg einzufhren 17.
5.4 Religionsunterricht wird meist in sogenannten Randstunden
erteilt, also in den ersten oder den letzten Unterrichtsstunden eines
Tages. Schler, die nicht am Religionsunterricht teilnehmen, knnen
dann entweder spter in die Schule kommen oder frher nach Hause
gehen sofern ihnen kein Ethikunterricht erteilt wird.
5.5 Hoher Anteil von Frauen unter den Religionslehrkrften.
Religionsunterricht wird hauptschlich von Frauen erteilt. Das gilt
sowohl fr die staatlichen wie fr die kirchlichen Lehrkrfte. Dazu ein
Beispiel: Am Staatlichen Seminar fr Didaktik und Lehrerbildung
fr Grund-, Werkreal- und Hauptschulen in Sindelfingen kommen
pro Kurs auf ca. 30 knftige Religionslehrerinnen zwei knftige
Religionslehrer.
6.
Schlussbemerkungen. Nach der Grndung des
Pdagogisch Theologischen Zentrums der Evangelischen Landeskirche
geworden, Du weisst nicht mehr weiter, Du fhlst dich leer und verbraucht, keiner
versteht Dich.
16
Die evangelischen Landeskirchen in Baden und in Wrttemberg haben sich mit den
beiden katholischen Dizesen im Bundesland Baden-Wrttemberg ber den
gemeinsamen Religionsunterricht verstndigt. Sie schlossen die Vereinbarung
zwischen der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden, der Evangelischen Landeskirche
in Wrttemberg, der Erzdizese Freiburg und der Dizese Rottenburg-Stuttgart zur
konfessionellen Kooperation im Religionsunterricht an allgemein bildenden Schulen
vom 1. Mrz 2005.
17
Vgl. Orthodoxe Bischofskonferenz in Deutschland, www.obkd.de. Koordinatorin
fr Orthodoxen Religionsunterricht ist Dipl. theol. Kerstin Keller.

54

in Wrttemberg vor ber 40 Jahren hat sich der Religionsunterricht, der


durch Pfarrer erteilt wird, sprbar verbessert. Der Unterricht verfgt
vielfach ber eine hohe Attraktivitt unter den Schlern. Interessierte
Schler haben an manchen Gymnasien die Mglichkeit,
Religionsunterricht als Schwerpunktfach zu whlen. Das bedeutet, dass
sie wchentlich vier Stunden Unterricht in Religion erhalten. Unter den
Schlern, die von dieser Mglichkeit Gebrauch machen, finden sich
viele, die durch den qualifizierten Unterricht eine Berufung zum
Studium der Theologie erhalten. Das ist sicher einer der Grnde,
warum die Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland bis jetzt keinen
gravierenden Nachwuchsmangel an Geistlichen zu beklagen hat. Der
finanzielle Einsatz fr die Ausbildung der Religionslehrer lohnt sich.
Die wrttembergische Landeskirche 18 wendet rund 50 Millionen Euro
(das ist ein Zehntel ihres gesamten Haushaltsvolumens von rund 500
Millionen Euro) fr den Religionsunterricht und die Ausbildung in
Religionspdagogik auf. Ein hoher Betrag, der aber ohne
Einschrnkung als bestens angewendet betrachtet wird. Die Jugend ist
die Zukunft einer jeden Kirche und eines jeden Landes. Sie ist
besonderer Aufmerksamkeit wert. Dies hat in der Evangelischen Kirche
seit Martin Luther Tradition. Er hat sich schon zu seiner Zeit fr eine
gute Bildung der Kinder und Jugendlichen eingesetzt. Hren wir dazu
zum Schluss ein paar Worte von ihm: Wenn dem Teufel ein Schaden
geschehen soll, der ihn wirklich treffen wird, muss er durch die Jugend
geschehen, die in der Erkenntnis Gottes aufwchst und Gottes Wort
ausbreitet und andere lehrt. Es ist eine groe und ernste Sache, an
der Christus und aller Welt viel liegt, dass wir dem jungen Volk helfen
und raten. Liebe Herren! Wenn man Jahr fr Jahr so viel aufwenden
muss fr Rstung, Wege, Stege, Dmme und dergleichen unzhlige
Dinge mehr, damit eine Stadt Frieden und Ruhe habe, warum sollte
man nicht viel mehr oder doch so viel fr die arme bedrftige Jugend
aufwenden, indem man ein oder zwei geeignete Mnner als
Schulmeister hlt 19. Dem ist auch heute, ca. 500 Jahre spter, nichts
hinzuzufgen.

18

2.144.920 Mitglieder hat die Evangelische Landeskirche in Wrttemberg. Sie ist


damit nach Mitgliedern gerechnet die sechstgrte der 20 EKD-Gliedkirchen. Weiter
statistische
Angaben
sind
zu
finden
unter:
http://www.elkwue.de/landeskirche/zahlen-und-fakten/.
19
Zitiert nach Horst Beintker, Leben mit dem Wort, Handbuch zur Schriftauslegung
Martin Luthers, Erlangen 1985, S. 454 f.

55

INTERPRETATIONS OF RELIGIOUS CHANGE


Prof. PhD Andrs MT-TTH
Head in the Department for the Study of Religions
University of Szeged, Faculty of Arts
Abstract:
Central and Eastern Europe can be seen as a laboratory for the social
scientist and, likewise, for religious scholars. Since the political and economic
turning point of 1989/1991 we observe turbulent processes which may be
analyzed within the theoretical frameworks of the academic study of religions.
After first clarifying some terms e.g. region, religion and paradigm; I will
outline four theoretical approaches, which are especially suitable for analysis
of contemporary regional processes. First, and most frequent, paradigm of
secularisation; second the collective effervescence of Durkheim and the theory
of social drama from Victor Turner; third, civil region from Bellah; fourth,
the empty signifier from the field of critical discourse analysis of Laclau and
Mouffe. To conclude, I will round off with some methodological and practical
consequences for the regional study of religion in Central and Eastern
Europe. In particular, for a deeper understanding of religious and social
processes in countries with Orthodox Christian majority.
Keywords: Christian, change, Europe, civil, Orthodox, religion, social.

I. Four Models for Examining Contemporary Processes in


Central Eastern Europe
According to Nietzsche, there are no facts, only
interpretations. This notion has been frequently quoted from the
philosophers Notebooks 1 from the 1880s by those who identify with
the hermeneutical turn in the 20th century. Hermeneutics has replaced
metaphysics: while philosophical thinking in previous centuries
focused on discovering, expressing and protecting truth, the greatest
1

Nietzsche, Wille zur Macht 481. cf. Stanford Encyclopedia Philosophy:


http://plato.stanford. edu/entries/nietzsche.

56

challenge today lies in negotiating through the multiplicity of


interpretations. This paradigmatic shift has influenced not only
philosophy, but also the social sciences. But before leaving behind the
dynamics of plural interpretations - the clich everything is relative
springs to mind - in the hopes of gaining the sense of safety that facts
can offer us, we should consider the liberating effect of hermeneutics
on communities and on ways of thinking by admitting that facts in a
given community are produced through waves of interpretations
repeatedly re-defined in the course of social discourses. Therefore,
neither facts nor interpretations are permanent. The only permanent
factor is the community that constitutes meaning. Thus hermeneutical
thinking does not allow for despotism, but acknowledges the diversity
of possible interpretations and the essential feature of communities: that
they are interpretative.
II. Four possible interpretations of religious change
This point was important to clarify because religious change is
often discussed, at times fiercely debated, on the level of so-called
facts. As a result, interpretations are often left un-reflected, as are the
communities and their interests that determine these. In this study, I
elaborate on four possible interpretations of religious change. I have
chosen models that have been successfully used in analysing
contemporary religious processes in Central and Eastern Europe. Of the
four models, the first one, the secularisation theory, seems to be the
most widely known, although some basic misunderstandings about it
still prevail. The second one is the theory of social drama and liminality
developed by the English anthropologist Victor Turner, which is
particularly appropriate for analysing social turns. The third model is
related to the concept of civil religion proposed by the American
Robert Bellah, which is suited to elucidating religious changes and the
political processes within the region in the past twenty years. Finally,
the fourth theory is connected to the concept of the empty or free
floating signifiers by the Argentinean Ernesto Laclau, developed within
the context of critical discourse analysis, which has only recently been
applied to the analysis of religious dimensions. These are all social
scientific theories, yet as changes occur not only at the social, but also
at the individual level, in the innermost personal sphere, as expressed in
the arts, for example, research into this latter area requires other
theories and approaches (e.g. psychological). It must be noted,
however, that no single theory can capture the diverse nature of
57

religious phenomena and thus only an interdisciplinary approach that


integrates various methodological and theoretical considerations can
lead to a balanced and thorough understanding.
1. Secularization
Religious Studies turned to the investigation of the reasons for
the decreased number of believers in European countries in the 1960s.
Research at the time only managed to focus on Western European
countries because data gathering in Eastern Europe using proper
sociological methods could only begin in the 1970s - in which Mikls
Tomka took the lead by conducting studies first in Hungary and then in
other countries of the region. The ideas of Bryan Wilson and Peter L.
Berger 2 led to the composition of the original secularisation theory.
They maintained that secularisation is a natural concomitant of
modernity, in the course of which the traditionally religious legitimacy
of the world had lost its plausibility. This thesis - which Thomas
Luckmann wrote off as a modern myth - has spread very rapidly
within sociology, triggering fierce debates with a lasting impact that
can be felt even today.
Debates about the theory turned towards institutional religions
in the 1990s, focusing on various changes within Christian churches.
American researchers in particular called attention to the fact that in the
US - unlike in Europe - religions had been highly institutionalised. As a
result, European scholars also turned their attention to the
institutionalisation of various religious activities, surveying the
religious scene outside the US. This interest, however, has remained
within research focused on Christianity.
For our purposes, three layers or aspects of the secularisation
process must be considered: (1) areas of the profane have become
independent of and emancipated from religious institutions and norms;
(2) religious beliefs and forms of behaviour have lost their significance;
and (3) religion has become restricted to the private realm. While these
features have developed in parallel in the various European countries,
they differ significantly in their particulars. In some cases it can be
observed that the strengthening of secularisation in a society does not
necessarily indicate a decline in religious belief. In fact, religion as a
societal subsystem may gain strength - especially if traditionally it is a
2

Cf. Peter L. Berger et al., eds., The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent
Religion and World Politics (Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center;
Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1999).

58

non-Christian, syncretic, esoteric, and pluralistic one - and traditional


Christian religious teachings and world views may emerge as
significant social factors to be considered on the local and global levels.
Secularization on the macro and meso levels
In his discussion of secularisation, Dobbelaere 3 distinguishes
between three dimensions: macro, meso and micro. He understands
macro to refer to the overall societal level, meso to the level of
subsystems, and micro to the individual level.
On the macro level, which refers to the whole of society,
secularisation is not the reason behind the development of modern
societies and their current characteristics, but is the consequence of
functional differences between societal subsystems. In fact, with regard
to religion, secularisation simply points out the relation of religions to
other subsystems that are becoming or have become autonomous
throughout modernity. The secularisation theory in this sense captures
nothing more than the segmentation of societies. This is so much the
case that Dobbelaere agrees with Wilson and cites his argument that in
modernity religion simply begins functioning as a subsystem. As a
result of the operational logic of functional subsystems, religious
authority has suffered considerably: religious authority and morality,
for example, are partly or fully disregarded in the economy and the
education system, which operate in accordance with their own logic.
On the meso level, the plurality of religious supply has created a
type of religious marketplace, where religious communities compete for
the souls of people, occasionally making agreements about proselytising.
New religious groups have appeared on the supply side of the religious
marketplace, which is considered by many as a sign of religious revival
as well as a counter-balance to secularisation. These groups, however,
signify a change in the social position of religions, which Dobbelaere
identified as a mid-level manifestation of secularisation.
Secularization on the individual level
Micro or personal-level secularisation can be captured
statistically by individualism, bricollage religiosity, lack of churches,
and the increasing passivity of church members. These members relate
to their community as a result of choice, which determines their
3

Cf. Karel Dobbelaere, Towards an Integrated Perspective of the Processes Related


to the Descriptive Concept of Secularization, Sociology of Religion 60, no. 3 (1999),
pp. 229-247.

59

activities and goals within the group, as well as allowing them to switch
between different religious communities. Personal needs enjoy priority,
and members opinions of their church are based on their level of
personal satisfaction. As a result, in response to the utilitarian attitude
of the members, churches and religious communities in general move
in the direction of services. These changes cannot simply be explained
by secularisation, as they form part of broader social processes
characterized by changes in values, the individualization of choice, the
loss of traditions, an increase in mobility, and utilitarian individualism.
The rising power of rational choice manifests itself in changes in
attitude towards religious dogmas: many international studies from the
past 30 years confirm that faith in the so-called conventional Christian
dogmas has been weakening, while other traditional beliefs seem to
have emerged as essential segments of religious doctrine in Europe,
such as the belief in reincarnation. Extremely powerful and seemingly
persistent debates over faith characterize modern societies: the debates
about abortion and euthanasia, for example, indicate high social
relevance of particular religious convictions.
Rational fictionalisation of modern societies
It is important to underline that the emergence of the
secularisation theory in the 1960s was enhanced by the recognition that
the number of people seeking religious experience had been decreasing
in modern societies as had the impact religious institutions exercised
over social life. The theory, however, does not criticize religion, nor
does it predict its decline. It exercises a wider scope: it contextualizes
the ways in which rational fictionalisation has taken place in modern
societies, influencing religion in the process as well. To illustrate this
with an example: this theory is able to explain not only why the number
of people attending churches decreases, but also why the number of
people defining themselves as religious in some way remains the same,
or why more young people with degrees claim that they believe in God
than in previous decades.
Secularization and de-secularisation
The phrase secular society has become quite widely used,
suggesting that religiosity and religious influence in various areas of
society nowadays are waning more than in previous periods. Trends in
the opposite direction, such as a steady growth in desire for spirituality,
the increasing influence of religion on politics, and the boost of esoteric
60

and neo-pagan religions are often described as de-secularisation.


Secularization processes and secularisation theory, however, should not
be confused. The first refers to a certain direction, while the second
reveals and explains reasons and correlations related to it.
The former socialist bloc
Based on secularisation theory, it can be seen that similarly to
other post-socialist countries religious changes in Hungary have not
taken place in the same manner and in the same direction in the past
two decades. Based on data collected by Mikls Tomka and Paul M.
Zulehner 4, it can be concluded that on the macro level the relations
between church and state have been adequately settled in most
countries in the region, even if occasionally serious or seemingly
serious conflicts have emerged along the way. Religious supply has
increased on the meso level in all countries, and the various religious
institutions have thoroughly integrated into the newly emerging civil
society either on their own or through the personal motivation of their
members. Moreover, in certain cases, these institutions are among
leading advocates for change. As for personal religiosity, the
unevenness that characterized most countries immediately after the
regime change in the 1990s has by now disappeared. Data collected in
the past ten years show no major changes in this regard: they indicate
no significant rise or decline in personal religiosity.
This can be concluded within the interpretative framework of
the secularisation paradigm based on the various data available. At the
same time, people familiar with the turbulent political and cultural
situation that has characterized the various societies of the region may
argue for a theory that is capable of explaining radical social change.
Turners theory of social drama and liminality provides the framework
for such an investigation.
2. Social drama
While observing the African Ndembu tribe, Turner 5 noticed that
tribesmen dealt with conflicts that had emerged for various reasons
according to their own rhythm, based on which he developed his theory
known as social drama. This theory distinguishes between four phases

See their two surveys of the Aufbruch from 1998 and 2008.
Cf. Victor Turner, A ritulis folyamat: struktra s anti-struktra [The Ritual
Process: Structure and Anti-Structure] trans. Istvn Orosz (Budapest: Osiris, 2002).
5

61

in the process of conflict management and, by extension, in the


management of major social changes:
1. Breech: specific groups break away from the norms of the
majority or the former society;
2. Crisis: the resultant conflict gradually widens and deepens;
3. Regressive action: an attempt to resolve problems, often by
group leaders through mediation and arbitration;
4. Reintegration of the disturbed social group or recognition of
an irreparable break or schism.
Of these four phases, Turner primarily concentrated on the
middle two, in the course of which preceding relations no longer apply,
while the new ones replacing them have not yet taken shape. He
labelled this middle period the liminal phase. As his attention turned
towards complex societies, he began to use the term liminoid instead of
liminal. Reaching beyond the formality of rites, this concept captures
the matrix of basic structures in complex societies. Turner calls the
structures characterized by liminality anti-structures. Based on the
concept of liminality, he argued that societies are capable of
developing. He contended that societies are characterized by a dialectic
relationship between structures and anti-structures that are manifested
in liminality and communitas.
Rites of passage and liminality
Rites of passage accompany or produce the transition from one
state to another. Turner called the condition of being in-between two
states liminality, or the threshold state, which is characterized primarily
by a void although Turner himself did not use this term. Liminal
entities are neither here, nor there 6, he stated as he described this
paradox situation. People in this state are structurally invisible; they are
neither alive nor dead, but both alive and dead at once. Both individuals
and groups can find themselves in such a paradoxical situation and can
be characterized by the nudity of neophytes, who may as well be called
abominations, because they are alien in every possible way both to the
previous state and to the next one. Their behaviour is passive, and they
are receptive to punishments with the power of purification and
transformation. Subjects existing in this betwixt state are connected
through intense comradeship and egalitarianism; differences in social
status disappear, a process accompanied by homogenisation.
6

Turner 1969, 95.

62

Communities emerging through liminality


Turner contrasts communities formed through liminality with
organized societies structured in terms of the law, politics and the
economy, in which words such as more or less and up or down tend to
make sense. On the other hand, a liminal phase is characterized by the
lack of law and sacrament. Communities in this phase are barely or
only rudimentarily structured. Although the communitas model is
powerfully related to religion and the sacred, it signifies the sacred that
has no status in the transitory phase, and not the sacred that is
connected to the social status of religion in complex societies. Passing
beyond this threshold of the sacred, therefore, can lead to a higher level
of religious and social strata.
The three types of communitas
Turner distinguishes between three types of communitas:
existential or spontaneous, normative and ideological. Existential
communitas is characterized by complete spontaneity, immediacy, and
lack of structure. Regardless of the historical period in which it
emerges, it soon integrates into the broader social structure. In
normative communitas, the existential communitas becomes structured
and organized into a social system. The ideological communitas
delineates the utopia of the social system, relying on the set of
spontaneous experiences rooted in the unstructured, immediate
relations characterizing existential communitas. Each type of
communitas is essentially temporary in nature, as structure is inevitable
after all. Turner illustrates this - besides his observations of the
Ndembu society - through certain examples: the grey friars, who
initially represented a communitas and then became the Franciscan
Order, a regulated and structured community; the hippie movement of
the 1960s; and the sahajiya movement of Bengal. Based on Turners
works, it may be presumed that he would have applied his theory of
social drama to describe the regime change in Central Eastern Europe 7.
Theory of social drama and the regime change
In 1990, institutions - including religious denominations gained independence in Hungary as did the public realm. This resulted
in a series of perplexing upheavals not only in politics and the
economy, but in the religious arena as well, motivated not only by a
7

See also Catherine M. Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1992).

63

wide variety of fantasies and interests, but also deep conflicts


submerged for numerous decades as history had not allowed one to
process them. The painful loss of much of the countrys territory and
population as a result of the Treaty of Trianon (1920), the highly
conservative and nationalist Horthy era that followed (1920-1944), the
communist political takeover after World War II, the Revolution that
challenged the government in 1956, and the regime change in 1989-90
all represented traumas to be dealt with, primarily not in terms of
specific data, but rather in terms of their meaning, significance, and
status in the shrine of social memory. With regard to Christianity, this
could be observed through the debate that emerged in connection with
agents in churches reporting to the authorities under socialism.
III. Civil religion
The system of social relations that rapidly evolved after the
regime change - and that in some ways has not been settled since then presented people in power, including politicians, scientists, intellectuals
and the media with the challenge of locating the force that could
establish symbolic cohesion in society. This is distinct from the
uniformity which dictatorships have attempted to achieve, fortunately
without much success. In terms of social sciences, social cohesion
simply refers to the ability of the society to operate functionally although this may seem a distant and hardly attainable goal in Hungary,
one may rightfully note. Social cohesion is also a form of unity, through
which the members and institutions of a society agree upon the most
essential values and objectives, even if these are constantly debated
because of the plurality of views and interests. With no fundamental
consensus regarding the most basic human and social issues, we see the
chaotic and unmanageable situation that Tomka - in applying
Durkheims theory - rightly called anomie, or a lack of orientational
norms.
The representation of these basic norms has been traditionally
considered to be the duty of religion and churches. In Europe, it has
been Christianity and the Christian churches that have primarily
guaranteed the metaphysical relational matrix behind human regulation
as well as ensuring for many centuries that these norms determine
socialization, especially through educational institutions. Many people
today believe that in modern societies, in the age of irreligiousness and
religious pluralism - especially in the Central Eastern European region this anomie may be improved by strengthening national identities.
64

Whatever religion is unable to achieve because of secularisation,


nationhood may be able to do. After the regime change, the motivation
to revitalize national pride intensified in the societies of this region and
powerful forces were mobilized through nationalist rhetoric all over
Croatia, Slovakia, Poland etc. - especially in countries with orthodox
majorities in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe. National and
nationalist ideologies do have their own symbolic systems, rites,
heroes, and sacred texts - which scholars of religions consider as being
religious by nature, but not religious in the traditional sense. Thus, they
call these civil religion, which is separate, but not in conflict with
religions proper.
The main elements of civil religion
Civil religion in Robert Bellahs 8 understanding - drawing
rather on Durkheim and Parsons than on Rousseau - is a symbolic
referential system that unites societies. The main elements of this
system are: one, a general belief in the existence of a God - not
specifically defined - which is reminiscent of the Protestant fides
fiducialis, a form of faith that establishes a sense of general belief in a
deity - as opposed to the intellectual acceptance of particular tenets.
Two, civil religion operates an extensive system of symbols through
which one can relate to ones society. With his focus on the United
States, Bellah defines civil religion as the institutionalised collection
of sacred beliefs about the American nation. 9 These national sanctities
include parallels between the nations history and the history of biblical
Israel; the partially divine nature of the power of the American
President; the absolute applicability of the Ten Commandments; and
finally, the universal mission of the American people to spread and to
protect freedom to the edge of the world.
National religion
By elevating the notion of nationhood above society itself, that
is, by transforming it into a meta-concept, into a kind of religious
concept figuratively, the theory of civil religion is applicable not only
in the case of the US, but also to describe changes in other societies. In
every place where the existing power structure attempts to achieve
8

Cf. Robert N. Bellah, Civil Religion in America, Daedalus 96, no. 1 (1967), pp. 121; Robert N. Bellah, The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in a Time of
Trial (New York: Seabury Press, 1975).
9
Bellah, 1967.

65

social cohesion and integrity through an idea or where such ideas are
being referred to regularly in general social discourses, the theory of
civil religion may provide a relevant interpretative framework. Since
civil religion is not highly dogmatic, it appears, or may appear, not as a
challenge to the various denominations in a given society, but rather as
a symbolic system of the basic values and most common goals in which
they all tend to share. As a consequence, non-religious members and
organizations in society do not feel that they are absorbed by a
particular religion or denomination, as their national religion is civil in
nature.
Civil religion in the region
In Hungary as well as in other Eastern and Central European
countries, political activity regarding civil religion has escalated and
then subsided in different waves throughout the past two decades.
Sanctities, which would have been able to express and to protect
national integrities in 1990, soon became instruments of political
struggles and thus have lost this potential. The concept of the nation
itself was sacred for various circles and prophets of the second public
space as of the 1970s but then was transformed into a tool to divide
societies soon after the regime change. While in Poland and in
Slovakia, the Catholic faith plays the integrative role of civil religion,
and in France this is achieved through lacit, or secularity, Hungary,
like other countries in the region, has seen all symbols and concepts in
this regard become desacralized. Identifying and utilizing the elements
of civil religion through which the most basic social consensus may be
achieved represent a major undertaking, and it is impossible to predict
when and how well this may work. At the same time, the logic of civil
religion warns us that it must be approached in terms of functionality
and the level of its substantial content must be kept at quite a low
level 10.
IV. The empty signifier
Social integration and the maintenance of social cohesion are
achieved through extremely complicated processes. In the last 20 years,
countries of the region were faced with the task of dealing with the
explosion of the public realm, among other things. After the gradual
10

Grace Davie, Global Civil Religion: A European Perspective, Sociology of Religion


62, no. 4 (2001), pp. 455-473.

66

disappearance of censorship, the overall presence and power of the


global media presented one of the greatest challenges. Undertaking
social responsibility and practicing power in the widest possible sense
in fact represent nothing more than a multi-layered, complex process of
communication, identified as discourse in Communication Studies. The
founding figures of the classical theory of social discourse were Jrgen
Habermas and Thomas Luhmann, among others. As for critical
discourse analysis, the most prominent authors to outline the specific
relationships between concepts and hegemony are Ernesto Laclau and
Chantal Mauffe 11. A central concept of their theory is that of the empty,
or floating, signifier.
The term was borrowed from semiotics. While in their early
works Saussure and Wittgenstein as well as others following their lead
presumed a permanent link between the signifier and the signified,
postmodern linguistics in particular see a loose connection or none at
all, because various meanings can be assigned to the same concept. The
emphasis, thus, falls on the signifier. Empty, or floating, signifiers can
be described as having a non-existent or an unspecific, rather vague
signified - like a circle without a focus.
Social field and political discourse
In discourse theory, the social field is always open by its very
nature, and political efforts are aimed at filling up this field. None of
the existing societies possess completed and closed social dimensions,
but are characterized by the constant desire to close and complete these.
Promising images of this finalized stage represent inherent constitutive
elements of political discourses. Empty signifiers play a crucial role in
this process. Political discourse is structured solely around these empty
signifiers that operate as junction points. Emptiness is an essential
feature of these points, axes or focal points; otherwise, they would not
be able to fulfil their role, which is to mark or signify, which does
nothing but to make the creation of hegemony possible.
In order for an ideology or political view to be able to emerge as
a hegemony, it is necessary to generate a shared political identity
between the social actors with different identities and value systems.
11

Cf. Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemonie und radikale Demokratie zur
Dekonstruktion des Marxismus (Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 1991); Ernesto Laclau,
Emanzipation und Differenz (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2007).

67

Hegemonic ideology is able to bring the various social actors into the
same system of identity by setting a boundary as the result of which the
former social plurality is reduced to a simple dichotomy. This boundary
can be created through the empty signifiers. The actors are not
interested in the boundary per se, but rather in the oppositional contents
of the two segments into which the political field was divided. The
empty signifier, therefore, is a tool in the political discourse through
which transitory forms of hegemonies can emerge, and through which
actors in the political field can define themselves in the new discourse.
Social discourse on religion
The concept of the empty signifier introduced by Laclau and
Mouffe can be adopted in social discourse on religion. If religion plays
the role of an empty signifier, the concept must be empty, undefined,
fluid and general. Thus, neither a particular religious tradition nor a
specific type of tradition can exist in this discursive status. Religion
with no specific content can be an empty signifier only if the members
and groups of a given society articulate their self-definitions in such a
way that they define their own understanding of religion along with
their relations to it. Whenever there is a moment or time in the course
of social processes when heterogeneous social actors articulate their
identity by referring to religion, it functions as an empty signifier in the
discourse.
Debates and invalidation
This concept of discourse theory offers the possibility of
understanding social debates about religion. In the region, public
discourses on religion are usually amplified before national
parliamentary elections and they abate after subsequent local elections.
The level of general social awareness regarding issues of religion is
quite low, but religion still seems to an appropriate means through
which various cultures, personalities and political powers can express
themselves. And at the same time, religion is also an adequate tool for
the different cultures, individuals and political forces to express
themselves. Discourse events like this can be observed as of the
beginning of the 1990s, in debates that took place, for example, in
connection with the presumed introduction of compulsory religious
education in state schools or with the return of a primary school in the
town of Dabas-Sri to the Catholic Church. Religions and their various
institutions and educational components were not substantively
68

represented in these social debates, but as a means of political


disavowal. Discourses on religion have become an instrument for
enforcing political interests.
Continuing the discourse
None of the four theories discussed contains a concrete
message, upon which a safe bastion may be erected against other
theories or interpretations. Still, it is worth becoming acquainted with
these along with other theories as well because the plurality of social
realities and their religious dimensions allow for a multiplicity of
interpretations, each displaying a segment of the cultural and political
spaces of the region, the understanding and operation of which are of
concern to everyone living here and perhaps not only to them. The
brief discussion of these theories above, naturally, would not prepare
one for their application. It might have been sufficient, however, to
illustrate for readers interested in the contemporary religious processes
the kind of knowledge that is required to consider these in a complex
way and with a sense of responsibility and, for those in power, to
discuss these issues.
I started the discussion of the spectrum of these social theories
by referring to hermeneutics, and I would like to finish it with a quote
from the same discipline: In matters of post-metaphysical
contemporary thinking, it has become gradually clear that the truth
value of a statement does not depend on whether it has satisfied the
subject. Moreover, when we talk about correspondences, we rely on
statements that become meaningful in certain discourses defined
through certain paradigms and the truth value of which lies primarily in
the fact that a particular community considers it to be true 12.

12

Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo, Die Zukunft der Religion (Frankfurt am Main:
Suhrkamp, 2006), p. 62.

69

CHRISTIAN - ORTHODOX EDUCATION IN THE


CURRENT POST-MODERN EUROPEAN CONTEXT
Fr. Prof. PhD Gheorghe ISTODOR
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
European post-modern society has apparently towards religion in
general and Christianity in particular an attitude of tolerant acceptance and
recognition of its public space. In fact, by religion, European society especially in the West - means a syncretistic mix of Christian and nonChristian elements being equally valued and accepted. This attitude caused
by the phenomenon of secularization of current European society, also affects
the authentic religious education in the sense that it is hijacked the
educational purpose, which should not be directed towards man's salvation
and perennial traditional Christian values, but should be directed towards
the formation of civic characters anchored in a secular social and
philosophical ethics with religious tolerance and lack of discrimination
accents.
Keywords:
teacher
education,
Christianity,
secularism,
desacralization, de-Christianization, syncretism, philosophical ethics,
Christian moral, social ethics.

I. Education and Contemporary Pedagogy. General


Highlights.
Christian Education is a special field within Christian teaching,
but also in the Orthodox axiological system. This means that Christian
education is directly related to both the revealed dogma of the church,
and to Christian moral values. It refers only to man, it is a part of his
becoming and fundaments his relationship with the Creator, Sanctifier
and Providential God.
In purely profane (secular) spirit "education is a social and
primary phenomenon, appeared once with human society, fulfilling the
social function of information and training of man, studied by
70

pedagogy that has made it a proper object of research and its central
concept." 1 It refers both to the child and the adult, through child
"understanding the human being from the moment of conception, from
life before life, videlicet since intra-uterine life the human education
begins". 2
On the other hand, the pedagogy is "the social science with
academic status which studies education in an institutionalized
framework as a process of improving man, being interested in present
and future of mankind. 3
We see therefore that there is a close relation between pedagogy
and education, pedagogy is defined as being science of education, its
purpose being the education, videlicet "conscious and deliberate
exercise with plan and method, aiming at training and transformation
of man in constant source of bliss for society and for himself. 4
We notice again purely immanent dimension that secular sciences
of education give both pedagogy and education. This dimension is
characterized by human autonomy, his anthropocentrism, as this
desacralized individual who builds a system of pseudo-values with
secularized accents. We must solidly affirm that at the base of today`s
laic pedagogy lays Christian foundation which leads to great lay
teachers stress - in pedagogy - religious education, based on the
relationship between faith and education. 5
Secular pedagogy has a definite influence on religious education.
The danger is that it is isolated from the Church, and its action is to
have the explanation only through the purely philosophical pedagogy.
Secular pedagogy remains the conservative of the great teacherphilosophers` principles like Socrates, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Herbart
or of some practice teachers - as Pestalozzi and Comenius - so we
think in a religious book that Christian pedagogy should be preserving
firstly its great catechists` principles during the great Christian
tefan Brsnescu, Dicionar de pedagogie contemporan, Ed. Enciclopedic
Romn, Bucureti, 1969, p. 1.
2
Constantin E. Jurc, Experiena duhovniceasc i cultivarea puterilor sufletului,
doctoral thesis, Bucureti 1998 p. 84.
3
Ioan Gvnescu, Pedagogia general, ed. a II-a, Bucureti, 1992, p. 131.
4
Cf. Ibidem.
5
Relationship between faith and education should start from the principle proposed
by St. Augustine, which identifies in faith the source of understanding, the faith
being a necessary step on the road of knowledge and self-knowledge accordingly to
my doctoral thesis Christian mission as permanent and practical activity, Ed.
Sigma, Bucureti, 2006, pp. 149- 152).
1

71

catechumenate. In other words, Christian pedagogy since the first


Christian centuries has been the basis and foundation of knowledge of
Christian pedagogy today 6.
Gladdening is that we see however, even in the secular sphere, a
genuine perception on faith, education and religion, which rejects the
characterization of religion as "irrational" that would lead to
"expulsion" of it, but rather - as if Christian philosopher Nae Ionescu recognizes the existence of a rationality in faith "sui generis" and
assimilates religious thinking type of an immediate knowledge in
educational obvious meanings 7.
In this section`s conclusion, we can say that modern secular
education and pedagogy can have a deleterious influence on religious
education, as far as influencing and distorting the meaning,
significance and purpose of Christian education and pedagogy,
reducing it to just extreme pure dimension of intellectualism within
religious education in school. Nevertheless we must affirm the priority
of Orthodox religious instruction, which must at all costs avoid
extremes and errors of Jesuits and Pietists who absolutely despised the
secular culture. Therefore, the whole phenomenon of education and
religious instruction in a secular (laic) society or even secular - must
be leaving the fundamentals of Revelation, of Christian dogma and of
the valuable patristic treasures of the church.
II. Religious Christian Education in the Current European
Context
Current European context is not - as already mentioned favorable to authentic Christian education and pedagogy due to
secularization of Western society, in particular. However we find
Christian education and pedagogy within contemporary European
society and we have the call and responsibility of promoting and
imposing them as determinant factors for life and formation of
contemporary man.
Christian pedagogy is the Pedagogy of Grace or Pedagogy
for God. It is a straight path to the Truth, it leads to contemplation of
God and shapes through good and holy deeds the life of human
believer. It is "Pedagogy of the word", divine pedagogy of the

6
7

Cf. Ibidem, pp. 153-155.


Cf. Constantin Cucos, Pedagogia, Ed. Polirom, Iai 1996 pp. 160-161.

72

incarnated Logos, identified by St. Clement of Alexandria as being by


excellence the Teacher 8.
Thus St. Clement deals directly with Christian pedagogy and
education through both his masterpiece "The Protrepsis" and "The
Teacher". We have an education program conducted by Logos - that of
Jesus Christ - in three phases: 1) Logos is the Protrepsis which calls to
conversion; 2) Logos also carries out the work of the teacher,
inasmuch as is in charge of the two components of the human being the passions and actions - (the first restraining them, the last guiding
them on the right track), and 3) Logos becomes the master because It
switches from moral formation to training that produces the gnosis, the
perfect knowledge. 9
According to St. Clement, the true definition of Christian
pedagogy contains both a cult veneration and pedagogy itself,
identified as the most beautiful and faultless goods in life that is
leading man to virtue since childhood. 10 St. Clement called true
pedagogy, beatifical pedagogy and discovered it with the wisdom that
comes from God Himself.
As for the term and concept of "education" to the early
Christian church - which St. Clement was part of - had a deep
meaning, concerning on the one hand the dogmatic initiation and moral
formation on the other.
These are briefly the important directions of religious education
and Christian pedagogy. Returning to the current European context we
must describe its fundamental coordinates: autonomy and
anthropocentrism. The soberness - from a Christian perspective - is
that in these coordinates are formed and perfected all those who, in
turn, need to educate and be teachers of children and adolescents in
actual society. Modern pedagogy combines elements of ethnic or
modern philosophy, with elements drawn directly from the French or
the Bolshevik Revolution. Anthropocentrism of current pedagogy
means re-updating of Protogoras's conception and the autonomy of
man reflects the existence and continuity of atheistic or indifferent
concepts, as a sign of separation from God due to sin. 11

Vezi, Clement Alexandrinul, Scrieri, partea nti (Protrepticul i Pedagogul), Ed.


IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1982, p. 221.
9
Acc. Misiunea... pp. 157-158.
10
Acc. Ibidem.
11
Misiunea..., p. 161.
8

73

However, within secular education and pedagogy we have a direct


connection with human rights and morality. Thus education for human
rights is presented as an act of love, courage, humanity, and sacrifice;
we certainly speak of religious education which regulates the relations
between the Church and school, like between mother and daughter. 12
On the other hand, the only true Christian value found in contemporary
pedagogy, but only at declarative level is related to morality. We say
this because between Christian morality and the modern pedagogy,
identity is just a title, the pedagogic moral being eminently civic moral,
a means of shaping morality as civic ethics. Education in contemporary
pedagogical version is only a factor of transition from moral to
morality, not Christian moral values are important, but a nonecclesiastical morality as complete civic integration in the post-modern
society. 13
We must conclude from this section that we do not find any
reference to God or His Revelation to their church within secular
pedagogy and education, but only non-Christian components such
humanistic education, patriotic education, labor education and
conscious discipline 14.
III. Current European Coordinates on Religious Education:
Secularization,
De-Christianization,
Desacralization
and
Syncretism.
Orthodox religious education face serious obstacles from a
society that defines itself as secular (laic), make much of the separation
between Church and State and often behaves almost the same by
intolerance and aggression as an atheist State, an avowed antireligious. The main challenges towards religion and religious
education in the European Union are those mentioned in section`s
subtitle:
a) Secularization represents one of the fundamental problems
facing the Church at this time. This phenomenon affects mainly
Western Europe, but begins to be felt more and more by Romanian
society in virtue of European integration. It should be noted that
Acc. Vasile Palade, Religia i drepturile omului, doctoral thesis, Bucureti, 1998,
p. 23.
13
Acc. Psihopedagogie, Institutul de tiine ale educaiei, filiala Iai, Ed. Spiru
Haret, 1995, pp. 69-71.
14
See, Ioan Bontas, Pedagogie, Ed. All Educaional SA, 3rd edition, Bucureti, 1996,
p. 256.
12

74

secularization is the separation of Church from the world by


eliminating God from its life. Although secularization is shown as a
positive phenomenon that could lead to the development of society in
all its plans, it still operates a quasi-ideological reductionism,
exclusively tying the man to this world and permanently removes the
spiritual world. As an example, we have documentaries in which
evolution continues to be portrayed as a simple natural phenomenon
with scientific value without divine intervention 15.
Secularization occurs as a result of the struggle between
Church and world culture, moving from theocentrism to
anthropocentrism, a true axiological reversal, with disastrous
consequences over spiritually "by virtue of an autonomy that seems to
flatter his pride, the man becomes a prisoner of immanent world where
lives the sense of alienation from God and makes the experience of
irrational and demonic forces, true word of Christ: "What benefit a
man if gains the world but loses his soul (Matthew 16:25)." 16
Moreover, from the perspective of the sociologists of religion is found
that the sects are the religious side of secularization, in reality they are
the form the religion takes in a culture controlled by worlds` ideology,
in fact the social expression of privatization of religion 17. All these
elements are able to put to the test Orthodox religious education, but
another aspect arose from secularization is considered by far to be the
most harmful to the Church. It is - paradoxically to admit - the return
of the sacred in the secular European society; actually a resecularization through other forms of "religiosity", a return to preChristian paganism 18.
b) Desacralization is a phenomenon occurred due to religious
wars, which led to a revolt against the institution of the Church in the
West. Reform was the one that triggered the process of desacralization,
then the phenomenon grew having as foundation a double position:
that of the "rights" of God against man and that of "rights" of man
against God; tainted by prometeism, autonomous and "free" human
creation is up against "moral God"; too often perceived as a God -

Dumitru Gh. Popescu, Teologie i cultur, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1993, p. 66.
Idem, Ortodoxia i Contemporaneitate, Ed. Diogene, Bucureti, 1996, pp. 68-69.
17
Acc. Lesli Newbegin, Foolishenness to the Grecks. The Gospel and Western
Culture, Geneve, 1986, p. 145.
18
Julien Ries, Religion, Magie et sectes. Une approche phenomenologique, Louvainla Neuve, 1981, p. 97.
15
16

75

gendarme, "sadistic and castrator father." 19 Although Judeo-Christian


biblical tradition is what allowed the passage from Greek rationality which wanted to contemplate the order of the universe - to
experimental and instrumental rationale of modernity, yet it is
devalued and condemned to leave the public space, ironically through
a misinterpretation of Saviour's words: "My kingdom is not of this
world" (Jn. 18:36), which would release the secular. 20 Through
desacralization, there is no room for the Savior in contemporary
European society if still accepting the name of "religious" tolerance or
undiscriminatory "values" in the best case scenario He is presented as a
super-human genius, founder of religion, but without the divine
dimension, at purely human level; unfortunately lately the Saviour is
presented in offensive and blasphemous terms, as the owner of a
humanity degenerated by passions and obsessions. 21 The consequences
of desacralization for the contemporary man would be seen in the
shaping of mentality after materialistic communism patterns in
"values" of secular humanism seriously affecting human freedom and
dignity and globalization leading to deletion of personal identity. 22 All
these issues require full Orthodox religious education in the European
context.
c) De-Christianization is a phenomenon that would have
already appeared in the West, being the expression of Western human
alienation from Christianity and Church; thus contemporary historical
period is proclaimed as "post-Christian" or even post-religious. Present
western man exceeded the phase of militant and aggressive atheism
and indulges today in a phase where the problem is no longer God.
Therefore, we speak of contemporary atheism that has a preference for
non-combatant indifference, an atheism under peace, which is not
necessarily against God, but it ignores God. 23 This phenomenon should
have begun with the late Middle Ages, with the recession of religious
practices and technology and science development overwhelmed by
Oliver Clement, Cretintate, Secularizare i Europa, n Ioan Ic Jr., Germano
Morani n Gndirea Social a Bisericii. Fundamente-documente-analiz-perspective,
Ed. Deisis, Sibiu, 2002, p. 509.
20
Acc. Oliver Clement, Cretintatea... pp. 509-510.
21
In Romanian space to be seen the blasphemous play of Alinei Mungiu Pipidi The
Evangelists.
22
Acc. Mihai Himanschi, Misiune i mrturie. Aspecte misionare n societatea
actual, Ed. Rentregirea, Alba-Iulia, 2008 pp. 7-8.
23
See Michel Paul Gallapher, Parlare de Dio nella culturadi oggi, in La Civilta
Catolic, 1994, p. 144.
19

76

atheist and materialist ideologies, trying to "scientifically" explain the


world through hazard, the Big Bang, the lack of a project and of a
Designer or the famous "God particle." It would have started with the
upper strata of society, with scholars and intellectuals; then gradually
included the popular, workers strata more related to industrialization
and urbanization.
As in the case of de-Christianization, Protestant reformation
contributed to the emergence and development of the desacralization
phenomenon, through the rupture produced within the Western
Catholicism and the de-Christianization is direct linked to units
produced in Western European spiritually, that no longer prays to
Christ and is no longer attached to Christian values shows that its
"values" options are towards a practical atheism, towards materialism
and communism. Thereto we mention its propensity towards hedonism
or utilitarianism and we understand the spiritual crisis triggered by the
remoteness from Christ and His Church in the West. All these
elements have appeared in the Romanian space, too, therefore
Orthodox education and pedagogy either talking about Church life,
either referring to Romanian education remain major threats to
Romanian Orthodox Christian.
d) Religious syncretism is the big problem facing contemporary
human religiosity. We speak of a mixture of two or more antagonistic
systems of belief and practice, an inconsistent mixture of biblical truth,
unbiblical beliefs and practices. 24 Both the Western Christian theology
and the Orthodox; regarded syncretism as a negative phenomenon and
arose from the combination of religious ideas and concepts with the
Christian ones, where the Christian was proclaimed. Incompatibility
should be seen through the light of God, of Christian Revelation which
is unique and unrelated to elements which are even anti-Christian. The
result of such a mixture results in the loss of biblical Christianity, even
those who practice it will still want to be recognized as Christians, they
do not live the true reality of the Bible; is what St. Paul called "another
Bible" or "non-Bible" (Gal. I, 6) 25.
Syncretism is presented as a "necessary step in the process of
inculturation" 26 and as an attempt to solve the problem of
24

Acc. David Sitton, Glossary of Terms and Resources on Tribal Peoples, in


International Journal of Froutier Missous, vol. 15:2, April-June, 1998, p. 109.
25
See M. Weestra, De-Westernizing the Gospel. The Recovery of a biblical Wordview, in
International Journal of Froutier Missions, vol. 16:3, Fall, 1999, p. 130.
26
Peter S. J. Schineller, Inculturation and Syncretism: What is the Real Issue?, in
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, vol. 1:6, No 2, 1992, p. 50.

77

secularization facing the West in particular. This attempt, however, has


done nothing but produce even more confusion in Western`s mind.
More serious is that religious syncretism becomes a vector image and
proliferation, too, for contemporary pseudo-religious sects within the
main sects, syncretism is a way of life and tries to merge esotericoccult Eastern practices with Christian teaching; leading inevitably to
heresies and harmful wanderings for the Orthodox Christian
practitioner, although paradoxically they have caught very good to
Western man, as well as the local. We can conclude that this
coordinate, makes Orthodox education and pedagogy encounter
difficulties in order to fulfill the goal as part of the Church's mission in
the European context today.
Conclusions
We have seen that education and pedagogy plays a fundamental
role in contemporary human life, in his becoming, and the secular or
religious education system comprising must take into account the
realities of today's European context. We tried to present general
benchmarks of contemporary education and pedagogy and we did an
analysis - as we hope objective of Christian education in the current
European context.
Mentioned coordinates helps us understand more - as
theologian, but as members of Orthodox Church - which are present
challenges to the Christian pedagogy and education. Each analyzed
coordinate has a special complexity and reveals both the contemporary
European mentality and paradigm shift from his being about God,
Church, values, purpose of life etc.
Both secularization and the other coordinates reveals today`s
European, largely as superficial and uprooted from religious
perspective, whatever and also prone to accept all sorts of pseudoreligious surrogates, a sign that the religious dimension is truly
ontological for man - that remains somehow God's creation - but
perhaps is degenerate due to lack of communion with his Creator.
Orthodox education and pedagogy remain faithful to the teaching and
practice of the primary Church, which remain fundamental despite the
passage of time and are valued even in a secular or with atheist
reminiscences society. That does not mean that Christian education
and pedagogy - as part of religious education in the Romanian state
would be somewhat outdated and irrelevant, but rather show their
emphasized traditional character of Orthodox ecclesiastical
78

perspective. Both education and pedagogy must be important elements


of the Church's mission in the European context today, to make
educational and catechetical dimension to represent the ecclesiastical
foundations of education and salvation of our faithfuls. We recall the
depth of Orthodox pedagogy and education, evoking over time St.
Clement of Alexandria and his "Teacher" for better understanding the
patristic fundamentals of Christian - Orthodox education and
pedagogy.
Clement shows explicit the characteristic of Jesus` pedagogy:
"Jesus outlined our true life and educated man in Christ. The feature of
His pedagogy is not very rough, but is not perfectly weak because of
His goodness. The teacher does not command, but also shows us that
we can fulfill His commandments. He himself, who forged the man
from the ground, all He was born again by water raised by the Spirit,
educated through Word, instructed by the Holy commandments to
adoption and salvation; He therefore approached the man to make from
man-made of earth a holy and heavenly man and especially to fulfill
the divine words: "Let us make man in our image." 27
Like any work of God 28, Christian pedagogy is logical and
systematic; Clement shows clearly the method of pedagogy of Word:
"Those who speak as to pleasure and not to offend, love less, but those
who reprove to be useful, even if for the moment are angry, they do
good however for later. Our Lord, too does not have regard to the
pleasure of the moment, but seeks further delight. Let us turn now,
towards His pedagogical method, the people loving together with the
prophetic witness." 29
In conclusion we believe that the Orthodox perennial values
transmitted through our Church education and pedagogy can help
contemporary man, to grow spiritually speaking, to transfigure into a
better person with a chance of redemption, useful both for the Church
and for society.

27

Clement of Alexandria, op. cit., p. 223.


In the divine economy in the Middle Ages appears a new ideal - Christian piety,
through developing new human typology based on religion, as a synthesis of all other
life forms or partial types. The indisputable feature of the Middle Ages, is awakening
in people a superior human essence through faith and inner life. (Constanti Narly,
Pedagogie, op. cit., p. 174)
29
Clement of Alexandria, op. cit., p. 209
28

79

THE INTERNET A MODERN MEANS FOR


SPREADING RELIGIOUS INFORMATION
Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Dnu POPOVICI
Vice Dean of The Faculty of Theologie from Constana
Abstract:
Given the role of communication in the pastoral-missionary work of
the clergy and teachers of religion in their day to day activity, we can not do
without modern communication technologies that can facilitate the work of
the ministry involved in the transmission of the teaching and learning of the
true faith.
For the Church the new era of communication makes it necessary the
use of some technical instruments in order to spread data, information or
news on a large scale and in real time.
This study highlights the very important role that the internet, one of
these tools, plays in the transmission of religious information.
The author reaches the happy conclusion according to which
preachers today, be they clergy or religious teachers, should not consider the
internet with hostility, but rather must acquire the necessary knowledge of
handling this means to meet the challenges of the times in which we live.
Keywords: internet, means, communication, modern, religious
education, information, challenge.

Given the role of communication in the pastoral-missionary


work of the clergy and teachers of religion in their day to day activity,
we can not do without modern communication technologies that can
facilitate the work of the ministry involved in the transmission of the
teaching and learning of true faith. The constant changes occurring in
the beginning of the millennium worldwide urge the church to adapt to
the new social contexts, because it must explain the faith to every
generation of believers and for each separate pastoral context in order
to make known to people the love of God for the whole world,

80

expressed through the gospel, and to lead the faithful on the path of
salvation and holiness 1.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, Primate of the Romanian
Orthodox Church is rightly wondering: "How can we remain the same
in a world that changes from day to day? How can we remain
practicing Christians in a secular environment? How can we give daily
life, which is sometimes superficial and banal, a profound and
wonderful significance? How can we transform a crisis of values into a
rediscovery of the values worthy of being passed? And above all this,
we must ask whether, in the act of educating children and young
people, we can separate the values born out of faith from living faith or
intellectual conviction from community life (family, church, social)? 2
We have become so accustomed to preaching, catechesis and
the homily, as the main kerygmatic instruments that the most
conservative of Orthodox clergy could hardly think that there would be
others. But even the sermon reception is not a hic et nunc process, but a
lasting one "somewhat continuous, which is achieved gradually
through successive stages and efforts: the speech that is "the echo "in
the hearts of the listeners continue to be meditated and analyzed even
after the speakers voice stopped 3. There is a varied phenomenology
of the sermon after sermon "or we can talk about a wider meaning of
the orthodox sermon". Highlighting this issue, Picu Ocoleanu said:
"We got used that the sermon be a word from a single direction - the
pulpit - and also directed in one direction, that of the nave, where the
congregation people, the laity are. Moreover, in everyday language, the
word sermon has come to be provided with a moralistic sense, as
applied to any parenting attitude. It is necessary in this context that the
concept should be released of its semantic narrowness compelling it
through both spiritual maladies - clericalism and moralism. Thus, the
sermon is not consumed in preaching from the pulpit to the entire nave.
Immediately after completing this step starts the other side of it, the
one received by the faithful in his heart and continued in his

Viorel Ioni (coord.), Orthodox theology in the XX century and the beginning of
the XXI century, Basilica Publ. House, Bucarest, 2011, p. 5.
2
Daniel, Patriarhul Bisericii Ortodoxe Romne, L`Apostolat radiophonique en
Europe: une aide multiple dans la transmission des valeurs cultives par la foi
chrtienne, n Le dialogue et la cooperation dans la transmission des valeurs la
nouvelle generation, p. 15. http://cerc-eu.org/fr/colloques.php.
3
Anatolie Zarea, Sermon and its listeners in ST, XVIII (1966), nr. 5-6, p. 361.
1

81

reflection 4. Today, however, a rather small percentage of the


population listens to the Sunday sermon in the parish church. However,
the Church can not neglect its essential vocation which is the
internalization of the Mystery of the Incarnation, of letting the human
being know how God's reconciliation with His offsprings happened,
including himself.
This reconciliation is famous today not only through traditional
pastoral, pulpit sermons or theological lectures but also in the agora of
the media 5. Nobody can shout from the rooftops, as in the old Semitic
East. We are talking today about Christ on TV, on the Internet, give
speeches, write newspaper articles. The responsibility of our message
is therefore directly proportional to the extent of the intended audience,
an audience that, although Orthodox Christian majority as they state,
has a lot of catching for a genuine life in the Spirit of Christ 6. Church
ceased to dominate public space, becoming part of it, along with other
associations and groups. In order to make its voice heard and to
manifest critically in the arena of public space, the Church vitally
needs access to mass media.
According to most analysts and sociologists of religion, today,
in the middle era of globalization, we are witnessing an atrophy of the
influence of religion in society and the decline of the influence of
religion is explained also, among other things, through the weakening
interest of faith in the younger generation. This generation is
completely immersed in a world of media and electronic devices,
which attracted the nickname of the digital generation or homo
connectus. The expansion of the Internet world makes it essential, in
the Church, the conceiving of a coherent and adapted cyberspace
pastoral design, especially as one of the most important segments of
4

Picu Ocoleanu, Word Diakonia. Drivers for an Orthodox Theology of Preaching, in


The Logos. Journal of Catechetical Pastoral I (2007), nr. 1, p. 98.
5
Theodor Baconsky, The temptation of the Good. Essays on faith urbanity, Anastasia
Publ. House, Bucarest, 1999, p. 84.
6
The statistics are alarming. According to the official EU documents, Romania
provides West the largest number of prostitutes (12%), (Cf. Romanian sex workers
most prevalent in EU, 26.01.2010, http://euobserver.com/social/29340). Romanians
in the UK face a true culture of blaming because their conationals are beggars and
thieves (Cf. Ion Jinga, Romania in the UK and the Culture of Blame, 07.10.2013,
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-ion-jinga/romania-europe_b_4056727.html). In
2010, in Romania was recorded 1.69 divorces per 1,000 people and one marriage per
1,000 inhabitants (INS); fertility declined to 1.3 children / woman, our country is one
of laggers of Europe, while in 1910, with 5.4 children / woman, Romania was the
European leader!, cf. http://stiri.resursecrestine.ro/73958/statistici-care-ucid-romania.

82

the population that includes adolescents and young people 7 does not
read the church press, does not participate in the Holy Mass on
Sundays, and does not give attention to the radio and television
programs of the Church or religious sites.
As we mentioned above, the new era of communication makes
compulsory for the Church the use of certain technical instruments for
the widespread and real-time dissemination of data, information or
news. This space, however, is not exclusive as it is shared with the
ideas and concepts belonging to other cultures and religions.
The new era of communication implies the updating and
voicing of the right faith and of the spiritual tradition in this virtual
world. It is a new inculturation, a new materialization of the
Christian message 8, this time not in the new world of another
culture, but in the internet world, which is somewhat within all the
other ones. This world of the internet is structured by a real presence of
the persons in the specific medium of the internet. This given creates
specific behavioral and relational typologies whose knowledge and
understanding would lead to a judicious pastorate on the internet.
If we were to balance the positive and negative aspects, it is
difficult to accomplish a correct assessment of the impact of the virtual
religious communities on the religious life, a recent but fast-growing
phenomenon 9. This type of studies followed either the utopian
fascination regarding the many expression possibilities, or the fear and
condemnation of excesses promoted in the virtual space, especially
from an ethical point of view.

See, the editorial Are Millenials a Lost Generation? Published in The Daily Ticker,
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/millenials-lost-generation-130643180.html.
"Millenials" is a sociological term applied to young Americans born between 19802000 and now as adults influence social orientation, economic and political life of the
country. 40% of them still live with their parents, either because they do not have
jobs, do not earn enough to keep themselves, or because it's more comfortable at
home, where the fridge is full and the parents still take care for them. Because they
do not have stable jobs, their chances of earning more after the age of 30 are
crashing. Professional ascent trail starts at 25 and goes upward quickly until about 35
and then decreases. Many of these young people are not married and do not have
children. They do not have properties (houses) or businesses. Only 34% of them have
their home and only 66% have a car. The debts of those who finish school are on
average $ 26,000 per person.
8
Iulian Nistea, Internetul. Tendinte si pastoratie, in ST, 2010, no. 4, pp. 85-92, here p. 88.
9
Zenobia Niculit, Comunittile virtuale religioase si impactul lor asupra vietii
religioase, at http://institutadventist.ro/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Niculita.final_. pdf.

83

C. Helland 10 distinguishes between what he calls religiononline (the manifestation of various religions in the virtual space) and
online-religion (an interactive medium for the practitioners in the
virtual space where they can experiment various forms of communion,
worship or rituals). C. Casey 11 presents the features of the online ritual
and indicates that the participants can go through all the acts of the
ritual (or religious service) with a speed that corresponds their needs,
they can skip some stages or repeat others. At the same time, the
participants do not have direct, tangible access to the objects used as
symbols within the rituals, a fact called by the author, the
revirtualization of the religious ritual. Also, the copresence of the
participants is altered in the virtual space.
The subjects of different persuasions (Christian and nonChristian) responded quasi-anonymously in a 2007 study and negated
the internets role of replacement for the physical participation to the
religious activities in the local communities. The main arguments
regard the direct interpersonal nature of the worship which is cancelled
in the impersonal context of the internet and the condition of worship
within an organization. That which is holy cannot be fully manifested
in a virtual medium 12.
The behavior of the internet users that access religious contents
religious surfers was the object of an ample study accomplished
by the PewInternet & American Life Project organization in 2001. The
results of the study indicate typical activities related to online religion:
search of information regarding own religion or other persuasions, email sending of prayer requests, downloading of religious music, email request or offer of spiritual advice, online purchase of religious
objects, planning of religious activities, search of ideas for religious
ceremonies, affiliation to a forum on religious topics, downloading of
sermons or church services, search of ideas regarding ways to celebrate
religious feasts, search of a new church, participation in virtual chatrooms on religious topics, online religious games, participation to
online worship, participation to online religious classes, and the use of
dating websites of a particular religious persuasion 13.
10

C. Helland, Surfing for Salvation, Religion, 2002, 32 (4), pp. 293-302.


C. Casey, Virtual Ritual, Real Faith. The Revirtualization of Religious Ritual in
Cyberspace, in Online-Journal of Religions on the Internet, 2006, pp. 73-90.
12
R. Kluver & Y. Chen, The Church of Fools. Virtual Ritual and Material Faith, n
Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the internet, 2008, pp. 116-143, here p. 122.
13
CyberFaith: How Americans Pursue Religion Online, Pew Internet. 23.12.2001,
http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/2001/CyberFaith-How-Americans-PursueReligion-Online.aspx (accessed on 04.12.2013).
11

84

H. Campbells 14 research regarding the virtual religious


communities is also important, as he presents these communities as
networks based on histories that cause and offer development
opportunities for the religious communities from the real space, which
are thus supplemented. In terms of the relation with the original
religious communities, the study affirms the usefulness of the internet.
It reinforces the users commitment to the local religious communities
they belong to and to their faiths. The websites and resources
considered valuable are shared and then discussed with friends.
The psychological profile of the religious surfer, as presented
in the study, shows him as being a person strongly attached to the
church and/or to his faith, being either (1) an active searcher who
spends much time looking for religious content, incorporating the
online activities in his daily devotion routine and being strongly
involved in the activities of a church or local community, or (2) a
convert who changed the religious persuasion of his upbringing and
has a strong commitment to the adopted faith being more willing to
seek rather than offer online advice, or (3) the member of a local
religious community, usually female and Christian, who considers the
spiritual practices very important, or (4) the minority or the person
belonging to a religious minority and who feels discriminated. This
type of people uses the internet looking for people who share their
religious beliefs.
Before being confronted by the globalization phenomenon and
by the development of an online network, the Church expressed itself
mainly as a local community, manifesting the characteristics of an
associative community 15. Even though some traditional churches had,
at a superior hierarchical level, the awareness of ecumenicity, at the
level of the laic members, the religious community manifested in the
well delineated geographical space of the local social community and
blended with it in their collective perception. The appearance of virtual
religious communities generated this representation of the religious
world, with the potential of irreversibly altering the traditional
meanings of the religious community 16.
14

H. Campbell, Spiritualising the Internet. Uncovering Discourses and Narratives of


Religious Internet Usage, in Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet, 2005,
pp. 5-31.
15
Franz Foltz & Frederick Foltz, Religion on the Internet: Community and Virtual
Existence, in Bulletin of Science Technology Society, 2003, 23 (4), pp. 321-330.
16
H. Campbell, Religion and the Internet, Comunication Research Trends, 2006, pp. 1-23.

85

Radde-Antweiler 17 is another contributor that completes the


profile described previously. According to him, the religious internet
users are active both socially and religiously. They transfer their
activities from the real life into the virtual space. When questioned
regarding the impact of virtual religious communities on the individual
and community life in the real space, the participants to the
PewInternet & American Life Project study declared themselves
confident in regards to the potential for improvement of the others
spiritual life, but at the same time expressed their fears about the
negative potential resulted from the availability of dangerous and
heretical materials and ideas 18.
Reviewing the literature devoted to the topic, R.I.J. Hacket 19
summarized the benefits of online religion:
Communication and dissemination of the Christian message as
well as uncensored freedom of expressing the religious faith:
connection with other religious organizations and unaffiliated persons,
as the virtual religious communities represent an interface between the
church and the rest of the religious world.
Information: the fast relay of information regarding events and
opportunities of social involvement; quick interaction with people that
can offer services in the religious domain: members of the clergy,
confessors etc.
Learning: the virtual religious communities may offer access to
sacred texts, new ideas, interpretations or personalities of the Church,
classes etc.
Spiritual experience: easy and adapted to the members of the
community;
Religious practice: accessibility, availability for people who are
unable to participate in a real religious community;
Problem solving: counseling;
Global connectivity (the internet facilitates the interaction
between people who share the same religious beliefs and who
17

K. Radde-Antweiler, Religion Becoming Virtualised. Introduction to the Special


Issue on Religion in Virtual Worlds, in Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on
the Internet, 2008, pp. 1-6; Idem, Virtual Religion. An Approach to a Religious and
Ritual Topography of Second Life, in online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on
the Internet, 2008, pp. 174-211.
18
E. Larsen, Wired Churches, Wired Temples, Pew Internet, 20.12.2000, at
http://www.pewinternet.org /Reports/ 2000/ Wired - Churches - Wired - Temples.
aspx (accessed on 07.11, 2013).
19
R. I. J. Hackett, Religion and the Internet, in Diogenes 2006, no. 211, pp. 67-76.

86

otherwise would not have been able to meet for reason of geographical
separation).
Thus, the virtual religious communities demonstrate a special
potential for various categories of people, which explains, at least
partially, the popularity enjoyed within the internet users community.
However, the advantage of electronic media also has some risks. Those
who access the virtual religious communities confront their ideas,
beliefs and values with those of other people who come from different
cultural and geographical spaces 20. The simple exposure to such a vast
space that contains a myriad of communities of completely different
persuasions contributes to the alteration of the individuals attitude
towards inclusivism, relativism or pluralism.
Lorne Dawson inventoried the main directions in the religious
domain on the internet. Thus, he identified three such directions: the
impact of online religious manifestations on religious recruitment; the
(religious) conflicts and the authority their nature and specificity in
relation to the traditional or newer religions; the possibility to transmit
religious experiences online. Also, he remarks the role of cyberspace
in the process of shaping the identity and the possibility of virtual
communities 21.
If we were to talk exclusively about the Romanian orthodox
internet, it began in the mid-1990s and has known a stronger
development in the recent years, with the appearance of electronic
programs accessible to the public with reduced technical abilities, such
as the blogs and the wiki-type systems. There was no lack of reaction
from some theologists or people of the Church who pertinently
analyzed the virtual Orthodoxy, the challenges of the internet and the
media apostleship 22. The start of this online visibility was incurred by
20

Bittarello, M. B., Another Time, Another Space. Virtual Worlds, Myths and
Imagination, in Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet, 2008, pp.
246-266.
21
Lorne Dawson, Researching Religion in Cyberspace: Issues and Strategies, in
Jeffrey Hadden & Douglas E. Cowan (eds.), Religion on the Internet: Research
Prospects and Promises, pp. 25-54.
22
Radu Petre Muresan, Provocrile internetului si apostolatul media,
<http://www.crestinortodox.ro/religie/
provocarile-internetului-apostolatul-media99490.html>; Iulian Nistea, Internet si cyber-relatie. Comunicarea ntre,
<http://www.nistea.com/ciber-relatia.htm>; Ionut Marcel Pop, Fenomenul internet. O
abordare
religios-moral,
21.06.2011,<https://deveghepatriei.wordpress.com/
2011/06/21/%E2%80%9Cfenomenul-internet-o-abordare-religios-morala%E2%80%
9D-de-pop-ionut-marcel/>; Cristian Serban, Internetul. Tinerii n fata provocrii, Ed.
Egumenita, Galati, 2005; Radu Trifon, Crestinism si globalizare. Omul contemporan

87

the radio station Trinitas which created its own website in 1997. The
official website of the Patriarchate was created in 2001-2002, but was
active for a short period of time. However, in 2007-2008 a significant
increase of the number of websites occurred, which gives us the
possibility to talk now about official websites of certain institutions 23
such as the Patriarchate, the mitropolies, episcopacies, monasteries,
parishes, theological institutions and certain religious associations 24.
Also, a quick search reveals the existence of unofficial websites of
institutions (especially presentation sites for monasteries), websites
with specific subject, websites dedicated to bibliographical pursuits
(containing orthodox materials, prayers and liturgical texts, as well as
audio and video resources), news websites that present the most recent
events in Church life; also here we can insert the commercial websites
dedicated to the sale of religious books and objects (publishing houses,
online religious stores). Even if this categorization proves useful for
methodological reasons, we must specify that in terms of content there
is a clear distinction between the categories. Often, the institutional
websites include a catechetic dimension or offer resources, the blogs
and forums can also function as resource providers, while other
websites create multiple feed-back possibilities.
These sites do not usually have a simply informative character,
but the administrators seem to consider the formative, catechetic or
ntre progresul digital si deriva moral, <http://www.nistea.com/media/internet
/crestinism_si_globalizare/titlu-cuprins.htm>; Mirel Bnic, Ortodoxia virtual
ambiguitatea si limitele unui fenomen, republished in Locul celuilalt. Ortodoxia n
modernitate, Ed. Paideia, Bucuresti, 2007, pp. 13-21; Iuliana Conovici, Orthodoxie et
internet ou Orthodoxie versus internet? Contributions a l`etude de l`Orthodoxie
virtuelle, in Studia Universitatis Petru Maior. Series Historia, VI (2006), pp. 243253; Idem, Ortodoxia n Romnia postcomunist. Reconstructia unei identitti
publice, col. Theologia socialis 8, vol. I, Ed. Eikon, Cluj Napoca, 2009, pp. 280-299;
Radu Preda, Comunicare versus comuniune. Marginalii social-teologice despre
internet, <http://www.tabor-revista.ro/pdf/10967.pdf>; Nelu Vasilic, Andrea Scott,
Religion Online. A comparision between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, lecture given at
the CESNUR conference, Torino, September, 11the, 2010. The text can be found
online at www.cesnur.org/2010/to-vasilica-scott.doc.
23
For a list of some of the official ecclesiastic websites we recommend the article
Iulian Nistea, Siturile oficiale ale BOR, 10.10.2008, http://www.nistea.com/
blog/2008/10/10/47-siturile-oficiale-ale-bor/.
24
The actual mission of the Church in cyberspace has a technical dimension, as by
means of professional technical or technological solutions, the necessary visibility is
created for a real orthodox pastorate on the internet. The online presence must be
synonymous to visibility and visibility is obtained as a result of technical processes
mastered by professionals in the field.

88

missionary function as well, making available sermons, prayers,


testimonies of contemporary faithful persons, fundamental texts of the
Church Tradition, liturgical, iconographical or sacred music resources
in an accessible and flexible form, news and information of public
interest for the orthodox world. Thus, the orthodox websites function
as promotion spaces for an orthodox point of view on the life of the
Orthodox Church, but they can also be used as instruments for the
religious education of young people and adults. The usefulness of the
presence of Orthodoxy online is thus proven, as it facilitates the access
of those interested in resources that meet the spiritual needs and
searches of the internet users. The websites mentioned also created the
possibility to articulate new communities around the interest for
Orthodoxy.
It is known that many people surf the internet not just seeking
information, but also looking for personal or spiritual advice to
problems that worry them. The feedback is a desired and very
accessible instrument for internet users, even if it does not permit the
existence of a genuine dialogue between contributors. It is the very
availability of resources; the facility of online publication and the
relative anonymity of the participants to the online communities that
made some theologists immediately raise the issue of the insufficient
articulation of the virtual communities, of their depersonalized
character and even of the way in which the orthodox teachings are
transmitted through the internet. The dilemma is all the greater as the
internet offers only selection criteria in terms of the quantity and
visibility of the information, but none for the quality or credibility of
information. The internet does not offer criteria or guarantees of truth.
The virtual medium is susceptible to manipulation and the use of
notoriety-causing techniques. Thus, the much praised cyberspace, as
medium for the transmission of faith teachings, raises a number of
questions: will the relaying of religious memory on the web fortify
the traditional sources of authority and legitimacy within the orthodox
communities or could the Church Tradition democratize through a
fragmentation into millions of personal versions? Thus, to what extent
does the orthodox presence on the internet allow for a valid unitary and
ecclesiastic dissemination of the right faith? Are there online orthodox
communities vested for the transmission of this right faith?
Another domain where the influence of the virtual religious
communities can manifest in an ambivalent manner is the
organizational one. The fears of the religious leaders, expressed
89

critically from an ethical point of view, refer to the fact that the
devotional experience within the virtual religious communities is often
postmodernist and anti-institutional 25, which involves the rejection
of religious authority in favor of strengthening individual control on
the religious decisions, beliefs and activities. At the same time, the
online webmasters or moderators can begin to function as new agents
of authority 26. Also, the dissident or reformist groups can gather
momentum in the virtual space, undermining the hierarchical structure
of the Church.
However, even though the orthodox blogosphere as a space
for discussion groups, seems incontrollable in terms of content, we
cannot neglect the fact that the administrators of many online websites
are priests, religious or laic people with theological education. In most
cases, the experience of the orthodox faith is for them not only the reflex
of the ancestral tradition, but it represents a way assumed by personal
choice, illustrated by the enthusiasm and missionary availability which
they reveal on their own websites. Most of the orthodox internet uses
that are active online claim guardianship of some confessors, seen as
guarantors of spiritual children's online activities. The role of the priests,
as guides of the orthodox communities, is reproduced online as well, as
they are recognized by the members of the online orthodox communities
as sources of faith truth.
It is true that the same virtual space hosts voices that contest
the authority or the individual or collegial decisions of certain hierarch
or priests. This attitude should be rather perceived as an expression of
the fertile diversity of theological opinions and interpretations, preexisting within the Orthodox Church 27, and whose manifestation in the
internet space tents to exacerbate them by the simple fact that it makes
them visible. The diversity of viewpoints on the same Orthodox
Tradition, visible on the orthodox websites, only stresses the
participants need to continuously learn and practice the virtue of
insight 28.

25

R. Kluver & Y. Chen, op. cit., p. 24.


H. Campbell, op. cit., p. 9.
27
See, for example, the article Mihai Valic, Parohia ntre viaa liturgic i
antibiserica din inima Bisericii, 30.07.2012, available at http://www.apologeticum.ro
/2012/07/
pr-prof-dr-mihai-valica-parohia-intre-viata-liturgica-si-antibiserica-dininima-bisericii/.
28
Iuliana Conovici, Tradition, Community and Authority on the Romanian
Orthodox Web, in ST, 2010, nr. 4, pp. 17-31.
26

90

Regardless of whether we belong (or not) to an online


community, we sit alone in front of the computer monitor. We must
choose the information and opinions that we need and not rely solely
on what the community or the Web offers us. Possibly, the affiliation
to an online community and the use of electronic sources could
convince us of two major issues: 1. In what regards the spiritual
enhancement and strengthening into the faith, there are no easy
answers nor shortcuts. 2. To be theologically informed and to be rooted
in faith are two different things. Moreover, the dis-embodied
communication the internet favors has its limitations. The nowadays
mass-media demonstrates that you can be in a community Facebook,
for example, a virtual community with hundreds of so-called friends
and not be in a communion. In this regard, father Dumitru Stniloae
made the following specifications: You can be extremely lonely even
surrounded by everyone if you are not capable of being part of a
personal relationship, if you cannot feel the whole-heartedness of the
other person. The true communion is a concrete reality: to have the
other person near you and hear them speak, to have someone to hear
you. Regarding this, the Romanian cuvnt (word) is unique and
very significant. It originates from the Latin conventum which
means to be in communion, to be together with someone else. It is
more than a simple word. It is an action. It is a fact. It is a testimony of
one toward the other. It is also a promise, a guarantee that the people
that are engaged in the dialogue listen to each other 29.
The telephone or the internet permit instantaneous
communication, the word exchange, but cannot supply the warmth of
the other person and the joy to have them near. The special moment,
the experience, the empathy are drastically diminished by the virtual
interaction. Moreover, a widespread practice is the assuming of
fictitious personalities in the virtual interaction. The joy of
communion, the experience of certain special moments in real, and
especially sacred spaces, cannot be replaced by the virtual participation
to a community formed in cyberspace.
The real space allows not only the direct, immediate and faceto-face communication, the sharing of concrete physical objects, but
also a shared presence, a direct contact to the physical perception, with
all the senses, of all the other people. Yahoo, Gmail and Skype with
Persoana i Individul dou entiti diferite, interview with father Dumitru
Stniloae, available at http://www.crestinortodox.ro/interviuri/persoana-individuldoua-entitati.

29

91

their video applications may indeed bring considerable comfort to


parents, children, spouses or lovers separated by great distances, but
cannot replace the joy of face-to-face meeting, the experience of
feeling the other person near. Communication in the real space is not
only verbal, as it includes many other non-verbal dimensions, from
gestures 30 to the movement and direction of the look, to the changing
of face color, to the sensing of the other ones warmth and even
smell 31. The virtual space brings useful elements, permits dialogue in
conditions that were impossible before, but also mystifies the true
communication.
The desire and ease to socialize by experimenting new
communities is connected to the ontological need of humans to
commune. Still, communion is connected to the real space, to
corporality, a fact which implies the removal of communities in the
virtual space from the idea of community and the transformation of the
person into an individual. Father Dumitru Stniloae insisted
extensively in his studies and interviews on that fact that the idea of
communion is connected to the presence of the others, to the wholeheartedness of other people: Compared to the individual, the person
lives in communion with other persons so that their lives blend: the
person does not know where their life begins and the other persons
ends as in a continuum I cannot be, cannot exist without the other
person, and the other person cannot exist without me. There is no joy
in isolated life separate from peers. We can never live alone. Even
though we sometimes think with hate or criticism of others, planning
to use the other person exclusively for our purposes, we still need
someone, or other. Under no circumstance can we be deprived of
someones presence, of the presence of the other 32. The cyberspace
interaction pays more attention to the individual rather than the person
30

Peter Collett, Cartea gesturilor. Cum putem citi gndurile oamenilor din gesturile
lor, Ed. Trei, Bucureti, 2011. Gestures are influenced by the presence of people, the
position of the body offering an indication to numerous emotional states: sympathy,
attraction, anxiety, shame, dominance, submissiveness etc. The perception of oral
communication is a composition of 7% words, 38% para-verbal communication and
55% non-verbal communication, a fact that proves how important are the gestures,
posture and mimicry of the speaker. (Cf. Tudorel Rusu, Comunicarea religioas i presa
cretin. Introducere. Rzvan Bucuroiu lectured at the Faculty of Theology of Iasi, in Ziarul
Lumina, 01.11.2013, p. 2A, available online at http://ziarullumina.ro/actualitate/razvanbucuroiu-conferentiat-la-facultatea-de-teologie-din-iasi)
31
Smells are a lack of the virtual spaces, as they cannot be simulated, transmitted or
generated automatically.
32
Persoana i Individul dou entiti diferite

92

because identity is lost in virtual spaces 33. The person is no longer


connected to a face, it becomes an individual and we no longer have
the certainty we talk to whom we believe we do. We cannot lose sight
of the etymological sense of the Greek word prosopon (person),
which is face or mask (lat. persona), and which suggests the
importance of seeing the face.
In one of her works, Diana Saco summarizes the paradoxical
nature of the online forms of expression as follows: We are both more
visible and less visible in cyberspace. We are in a public space that
rather isolates us from the face-to-face contact with the other one and
we are in a private space of privilege designated by us, which can get
us closer as virtual communities. We can develop social relationships
and even friendships with people from across the globe, and yet we do
not know what our next door neighbors look like. We can take part in
our own surveillance and control and still become adventurers in a
space of apparent unbound freedom 34. The author leads us to the
conclusion that what marks in fact todays society is the discrepancy
between the broadening of communication possibilities and the
incapacity to communicate 35.
The Church understands communication as sharing, offering of
spiritual gifts to the peers. Ontologically, the human being is structured
as part of a community, with life as a gift that cannot develop other
than in communion with the peer. From the very beginning people
communicated with each other and shared thoughts, ideas or words,
but today communication acquires in mans daily life a dimension and
significance that it never had before in the entire history of mankind,
becoming an essential feature of civilization and even more, an
institution.
Beyond the advantages and disadvantages the internet displays,
it undoubtedly remains the single most efficient and rapid media
channel. Truly, it revolutionized the means of communication and set
the bases for virtual communication between people and institutions,
facilitating possibilities never encountered before, for relatively low
costs compared to the classical channels used before.
t. Truan-Matu, Persoana n comuniti i n comuniune, in Ziarul Lumina, January 15,
2012, http://ziarullumina.ro/lumina-cunostintei/persoana-comunitati-si-comuniune.
34
Diana Saco, Cybering Democracy. Public Space and the Internet, coll. Electronic
Mediation 7, University of Minnesota Pres, Minneapolis/London, 2002, pp. 199-200.
35
See, Cardinal Christoph von Schonborn, Oamenii, Biserica, ara cretinismul ca
provocare social, Ed. Anastasia, Bucuresti, 2000, pp. 154-155.
33

93

The conclusion that can be drawn from the facts analyzed and
presented above is that the internet proves today, the era of fast
globalization, a particularly current means of disseminating the right
faith. The missionaries of today, whether they are clergy or religion
teachers must not regard it with hostility, on the contrary, they must
learn to use it in order to face the challenges of the century in which
we live.
We end this paper by proposing for further reflection the advice
of Pope John Paul II in 2001: the Christian must not fear to open wide
the gates of social communications to Jesus, so that the good news be
heard from the roofs of the world 36.

Papa Ioan Paul al II-lea, Mesajul pentru a 35-a Zi Mondial a Comunicaiilor, no.
3, May 27, 2001, no. 3-4, http://www.catholica.ro/documente/index3.asp?id=22.

36

94

ASPETS CONCERNANT LDUCATION


RELIGIEUSE SELON GE ET INSTRUCTION
Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Dnu POPOVICI
Vice Dean of The Faculty of Theologie from Constana
Abstract:
In this study, the author shows that both the clergy involved in the
catechization activity and the lay people who teach religion, in the education
of the young, need to take into account their age and intellectual training,
essential criteria in order to attain the desired objectives.
An important role is also played by the instruments offered by the
modern psychology and pedagogy. Ignoring these instruments often leads to
conflict situations between generations, on the one hand, and between the
factors involved in the education system (educated and educators), on the
other hand.
The happy conclusion reached by the author of this study is that the
knowledge of both the age criteria and the psychological process leading to
the formation of a moral behavior but also of the religious feeling are
fundamental.
Keywords: religious education, criteria, didactic, catechetic, child,
adolescent, adult, elderly.

Importants thologiens qui ont beaucoup contribu au


dveloppement de la thologie ont montr que ceux qui enseignent la
religion ne peuvent pas rester indiffrents aux autres sciences (la
psychologie, la pdagogie, la philosophie, la sociologie, la littrature,
lhistoire etc.) qui non seulement se croisent lactivit de
lenseignement, mais contribuent rellement son succs. Toutefois,
la vie de lglise marque nombreux vnements qui deviennent des
instruments dans la main de celui qui dveloppe des activits
didactiques et de catchse. Une place toute particulire dans la
formation du catchte chrtien porte la pdagogie, qui aide la
connaissance des mthodes que celui-ci doit utiliser dans son activit
95

de divulgation de la juste fe, aux diffrentes catgories de chrtiens.


La psychologie et le catchisme actuel ont beaucoup gagns en
horizontalit et profondeur, justement travers cette accessibilit et
humanisation des procdures ducatives parmi la promotion de la
personne humaine comme centre de rfrence.
En ce qui concerne lactivit didactique, la psychopdagogie
moderne peut mettre disposition du catchte ou du professeur de
religion ses instruments de travail, qui rendront plus efficace louvrage
denseignement de la religion selon ge 1ou selon le degr
dinstruction ou de formation intellectuelle.
De point de vue de la psychologie, ...la psychologie des ges
est cette branche qui tudie les conditions et les lois qui ont fait
apparaitre, voluer, murer et changer la vie psychique de lhomme le
long de son existence Donc, la psychologie des ges se propose
non seulement de dcrire des faits et des comportements, prsenter des
tableaux squentiels du dveloppement psychique, mais aussi
dcouvrir des lois et des conditions, des coordinations et des
structures 2, qui puissent aider la connaissance du caractre et des
mthodes pour rendre plus efficientelactivit denseignement de la
religion. De faon que pour ceux responsables de lducation
religieuse, la connaissance de ces donnes permettra de rapprocher les
gens et de transmettre le message de lvangile de manire adquate
et ncessaire, selon ltape de la vie dont les couteurs se trouvent et
la formation intellectuelle dont ils disposent. Cette attitude va
compltement daccord avec les tendances de la psychologie
contemporaine, qui recommandent de surmonter ltape de la
A voir, Conseil mthodologiques et didactiques ndrumri metodologice i
didactice, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucarest, 1990; V. Timi, Mission de lEglise et
lducation. Attitudes, convergences et perspectives Misiunea Bisericii i educaia.
Atitudini, convergene, perspective, Ed. Presse Universitaire de Cluj, Cluj-Napoca,
2004; C. Cuco, Pdagogie - Pedagogia, Ed. Polirom, Iai, 1996; Idem, Education
religieuse. Contenu et formes de ralisation Educaia religioas. Coninut i forme
de realizare, Ed. Didactique et Pedagogique, Bucarest, 1996; A. Cosmovici,
Psychologie Gnrale-Psihologia general, Ed. Polirom, Iasi, 1996; E. Timiadis,
Preot. Parohie. nnoire, Ed. Sofia, Bucarest, 2001; Nicolae Stoleru, Spiritualitatea
ortodox i slujirea cretin, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucarest, 1991; Irineu, vque de
Ecaterinburg, Educaia religioas. nvturi pentru copii i tineri, Ed. Sofia,
Bucarest, 2002; S. ebu, M. Opri, D. Opri, Metodica predrii religiei, Ed.
Rentregirea, Alba-Iulia, 2000; I.P.S. Antonie Plmdeal, Biserica n mers, vol. I-II,
Ed. Tipografie Eparhial, Sibiu, 1999, etc.
2
Tinca Creu, La psychologie des ges Psihologia vrstelor, Ed. Credis, Bucarest,
2006, p. 18.
1

96

constatation et damplifier lapport port par chaque personne la


socit. travers cela, des situations, comportements, attitudes 3
peuvent tre comprises et expliqus fond.
Un psychologue proccup par ces aspects prcise que les
impressions de lenfance ont beaucoup dimportance dans la manire
dont nous concevons ntre perspective de vie, et les mmoires
denfant reprsentent des ponts de liaison vitale entre le passe et le
prsent 4. Cette ralit montre comme cest important le fait que
lenseignement de Dieu doit toucher lme de lenfant et le former
pour le reste de sa vie. La tendance dintgration sociale signifie aussi
la formation ...dune vision unitaire sur les transformations de la vie
psychique le long de toute lexistence 5.
Le dveloppement et la formation de toute personne nest pas
li seulement lge de celle-ci, chose qui suppose une exprience de
connaissance, qui est dtermine par un autre facteur qui linfluence,
respectivement lenvironnement, facteur unanimement reconnu par
tous les spcialistes.
Lenvironnement est dfinit comme la somme des influences
naturelles et sociales, physiques et spirituelles, mais aussi indirectes,
organiss et non organiss, qui constituent pour chaque cadre o lon
nat et on grandit, en nous dveloppant continuellement et o lon vit 6.
Lenvironnement mme o nous nous dveloppons est son tour
extrmement complexe et envisage les conditions qui nous offre,
partir des conditions conomiques jusqu ceux dordre spirituel et
culturel. Dans ces circonstances, linfluence de lenvironnement sur la
personne est trs forte, en marquant visiblement la formation de sa
personnalit, que celle-ci ait des valeurs ngatives ou positives.
En analysant le rle de lenvironnement dans la formation et
dveloppement de la personnalit, on est arriv au constat que celui-ci
peut agir de manire hrditaire. Ainsi cela met en vue une gamme
vaste de disponibilits et de modles de communication travers
lesquels nous nous intgrons dans diffrents communauts, en base
desquelles nous nous identifions culturellement et religieusement,
parce que nous avons accepts un mode de vie spcifique la
communaut ou la socit dont nous voulons appartenir. Cette
Ion Bradu, Introducere n psihologia contemporan, Ed. Sincron, Bucureti, 1991, p. 22.
A.T. Jersild, Child Psychology, Stampless Press, London, 1963, p. 4.
5
Tinca Creu, op. cit., p. 17.
6
Petre Golu, nvare i dezvoltare, Ed. Scientifique et Encyclopdique, Bucarest,
1985, p. 72.
3
4

97

gamme culturelle va gnrer des valeurs et des principes selon


lesquels nous allons nous conduire toute la vie, valeurs qui nous
forment la personnalit et nous aident nous dfinir comme hommes 7.
Ici, dans ce compartiment de la vie, intervient le facteur dcisif
lducation, qui donne sens la vie et la remplit de contenu morale et
religieux, travers lequel on met les bases de notre existence comme
chrtiens.
Le contenu de lapprentissage est accessible par le biais de
diverses mthodes, qui doivent tre rigoureusement labors et mises
en relation avec lapprentissage de la fe. Ces expectations de la
socit actuelle restent non satisfaites, non complies, parce quelles ne
rpondent plus aux propres ncessits de la personne.
Une des causes qui dterminent de telles situations est le
manque dune connaissance fondamentale laquelle on accde
travers un procs ducatif soutenu, partir de lenfance mme. En
ngligeant cet aspect, le sens profond et rel de lenseignement vers
Dieu diminue, fait qui dtermine lissue de diffrences de pense, des
conflits entre les gnrations, de dcalages, qui mnent la formation
dune socit non chrtienne, mme antichrtienne, comme on a vue
selon lexprience du sicle XX. Comparativement lenvironnement,
le procs ducatif agit de manire progressive et ...assure des
stratgies de surpassement confortables de ces dcalages
Lducation dtient un rle dcisif dans le procs extrmement
complexe du devenir de ltre humain. 8
La plus simple classification des catgories dge nous
prsente trois tapes principales: le jeune, ladulte et lancien. La
premire catgorie dge est partage entre: avant pr-colier ou la
premire enfance qui comprends lge entre un et trois ans ; ensuite le
pr-colier entre sept et dix ans et ladolescent entre quatorze et vingt
ans. Pour chaque tape des trois catgories dge nous allons faire des
indications qui envisagent le dveloppement et grandissement
psychique de la personne.
Lge de lavant pr-colier est aussi le priode lorsque
lenfant dveloppe les premires particularits de perception et de
mmoire. Cest ce moment quil distingue des objets et des images.
Pour ce qui est de cette tape nous allons nous confiner seulement
rappeler que, par le biais de la reue du Saint Baptme et de la Sainte
Onction, suivies de manire obligatoire par la souvent eucharistie,
7
8

Tinca Creu, op. cit., p. 28.


Ibidem, p. 31.

98

lenfant est initi aux mystres de la fe. travers le Mystre du


Baptme le nom de lenfant a t mis en communion damour avec le
nom des personnes de la Sainte Trinit, et travers la Sainte Onction
et lEucharistie il va commencer grandir et se dvelopper
spirituellement. Les enfants ne comprennent pas, mais ils
exprimentent au milieu des services de lglise la joie, la paix et la
justice dans le Saint Spirit avec tout leur tre, travers une
exprience vive et relle vcue dans lglise. Non casuellement Jsus
Christ le Rdempteur fait de lenfant non seulement lobjet de
lducation, mais surtout, lidal de celle-ci. (Matthieu XVIII, 12;
Matthieu XIX, 14; Luke XVIII, 16-17).
Dans ltape suivante, celle du pr-colier, le dveloppement
est li plutt aux procs sensoriels. La mmoire et limagination lui
servent pour dvelopper le langage. Le pr-colier est ouvert vers
diffrentes activits et formes de jeu qui suppose de la crativit, ...
lenfant en devenant capable de se guider et de connatre le monde
non seulement dans la mesure dont celle-ci satisfait ces ncessits
(selon le comportement du avant pr-colier), mais parce quil sagit
dune ralitextrieure lui, qui lui soppose, dont il doit tenir
compte 9. La caractristique principale de sa pense est, cet ge,
lintuitivit; lenfant peut penser ce quil peroit, son procs cognitif
ne surpasse pas la reprsentation de llment peru 10. Maintenant il
manifeste un plaisir rel pour apprendre des mots nouveaux, et la
prsence de ces formes nouvelles augmente le dsir de communiquer.
Le contenu de laction de mmoriser est fait des observations
directes; du dialogue ou des racontes avec les adultes. Cest pour cela
que le parent, autant que lducateur peuvent lui lire des textes faciles,
contenu narratif, qui soient racontes. Non seulement les textes,
mais aussi les images exercent une influence positive dans la
connaissance du contenu religieux.
Suite son participation aux services religieux nous pouvons
intervenir avec certaines explications sur certains actes ou geste
liturgiques, mais nous devons continuer leur faire apprendre des
prires brves. Cest un ge lorsque leur attention est en permanence
attire par tout ce qui est inconnu pour eux, chose trs similaire avec
lge de lcolier. De faon que la formation et lapprentissage doit
cultiver en eux le grain de la fe dans les enfants, partir dun ge
9

Ibidem, p. 152.
Petru Osterricht, Introduction la psychologie de lenfant - Introducere n
psihologia copilului, Ed. Didactique et Pdagogique, Bucarest, 1976, p. 106.
10

99

prcoce, dans la mesure de leur possibilit de perception. Lintuitif des


expriences religieuses de lenfant de ce priode va marquer ses
structures psychiques et sans cette entre dans lunivers de la fe
chrtienne, travers lenfance, lhomme sera, certainement, un produit
de lcole, orthodoxe fait lge adulte et non n dans lenfance.
Munis dune fe simple et vive, les enfants vivent, non seulement par
curiosit, mais surtout par soif, les vrits de la juste fois.
cette ge on met les bases de lducation, au moment o
lenfant arrive lcole ayant dj tress les lignes directeurs de sa
personnalit et de son comportement, parce que ...ce nest pas de
lcole que les enfants apportes pour la premire fois les mauvaises
habitudes, mais ils arrivent avec cela lcole. Ils doivent sans doute
les emprunter de leurs parents, qui leur donnent le mauvais exemple...
Tout cela devient habitude, ensuite cela se transforme dans une
seconde faon dtre et les petits malheureux deviennent des vicieux
avant de savoir ce que cest le vice 11. Dans ce sens le mtropolite
Vladimir de Kiev prcisait que si les parents ne glorifient Dieu et
Son glise, ils ne vont pas nourrir la peur et le respect vers eux, de
faon que lattitude des parents vers lducation religieuse et lglise
se reflte dans lattitude des enfants vers eux et pour les valeurs
chrtiennes 12.
tant donn lge des enfants les parents doivent leur exposer
le contenu de lapprentissage de la fe dans une forme la plus simple
et accessible. On peut utiliser divers images contenu religieux pour
expliquer certains vnements rdemptrices, comme les icnes par
exemple, pour attirer leur attention. De mme les parents peuvent leur
apprendre des prires brves comme texte, que ceux-ci puissent
facilement mmoriser, afin que les enfants se sentent toujours
encourags par la prsence protectrice des saints et des anges, en
provoquant quils arrivent les considrer des amis rels, avec
lesquels ils peuvent tablir toujours un dialogue de confiance 13. On
russit en consquence de former une perspective sur la connaissance
du monde invisible, mais aussi le culte des saints.

Saint Vladimir, mtropolite du Kiev, Sur lducation - Despre educaie, Ed. Sofia,
Bucarest, 2006, p. 57.
12
Ibidem, p. 62
13
La Moine Magdalena, Conseils pour une ducation orthodoxe des enfants
daujourdhui Sfaturi pentru o educaie ortodox a copiilor de azi, Ed. Deisis,
Sibiu, 2006, p. 71.
11

100

Dans la vie de famille, les parents ont la tche de former des


bons chrtiens, mais ils doivent tre attentifs la manire dont ils
exposent aux enfants les connaissances religieuses. Lapprentissage
sur linfre et les dmons doit tre vit avec de la matrise 14
jusquau moment o ils seront lge qui permette telle explication
sans nouer la pense avec des images terrifiantes. Le but de
linstruction des enfants est celui de cultiver en eux lamour vers Dieu,
non de sembler la peur de linfre. Mais, il y a aussi dautres
apprentissages, qui ont t dpourvus de leur contenu thologique,
avec le passage du temps, tels leucharistie ou la mort.
Lapprentissage chrtien sur la fin de la vie terrestre doit tre
prsent aux enfants avec beaucoup dattention et de matrise afin que
ceux-ci peroivent la mort comme passage vers la vraie vie du
Christ 15, sans leur inculquer le peur de ce passage. De mme,
lapprentissage sur la communion, est souvent prsent de manire
errone, sous forme de miel, les enfants en devenant irascibles et
dus lheure de dcouvrir le vrai got. Pour cela les grands parents
et les parents sont responsables autant de la manire dont ils se font
compris par les enfants, mais aussi de la signification du contenu de
lapprentissage de la fe quils russissent transmettre. Ils doivent
persvrer toujours par laction et le mot. Par leucharistie rgulire
avec Jsus, lenfant naura plus peur de la cuillre qui rapproche ses
lvres, mais il va devenir encore plus sage de connaissance, parce que,
ainsi Jsus-Seigneur habite plus intensment en lui.
Des tudes labores rcemment sur limpact de lducation
religieuse reue dans lenfance sur la formation du caractre ont
montr que la source du dsordre spirituelle est le divorce entre la
religion et la vie 16, car les sentiments et les expriences religieuses
donnent des pousses de vie en produisant ... de la volont ou du
pouvoir de vie en ceux qui sont fatigus en corps, le pouvoir de
prendre un dcision de grande valeur morale ou daccepter un
nouveau but dans la vie en ceux qui ont la conscience endormie; il
remplit de pouvoir et daudace ceux faibles et timides; ceux
tourments par des penss et des douleurs de lme, il les remplis de
bonheur et de joie 17.

14

Ibidem, p. 73.
Ibidem, p. 75.
16
Vasile Timi, op. cit., p. 28.
17
Dumitru Clugr, Catehetica, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucarest 1976, p. 68.
15

101

Contrairement aux catgories dge prcdentes, ladolescence


est un priode complexe autant de point de vue de la connaissance,
mais aussi de la manire dont ladolescent se rapporte cette
ncessit. Souvent il peroit son propre dveloppement moral comme
un procs dapprentissage.
Divers tudes raliss par les chercheurs dans ce domaine ont
montr que le rationnement moral, tout comme celui intellectuel,
passe par divers stages de dveloppement ; en plus, ce procs est
unitaire 18. On ne peut pas parler dun dveloppement moral
sparment du dveloppement intellectuel. Leur pense morale volue
de lanomie vers lhtronomie, cela veut dire quau dbutle respect
de la rgle est d au peur de ntre pas punis ou pour ne pas tre
rcompens de quelque chose. Cette volution conduit vivre et
accepter certaines normes, la socionomie, spcifique au groupe social
auquel ils appartiennent.
Le rationnement moral des adolescents est li leur
comportement, qui diffre dun individu lautre. Ce comportement
moral se manifeste en trois manires, chacune supposant la conscience
morale, uniquement dans le stage suprieur, ladolescent avec une
ducation morale saine russit voir les choses aussi dune autre
perspective. Maintenant il apprcie la rectitude dune action en
fonction des principes thiques quil a accumul. Tous ces principes
parlent rellement de la personnalit qui se forme. Si les actions
ducatives serons orients vers la conscientisation de la dcision
personnelle pour adopter la conduite morale,- disent les psychologues
-, ces adolescentes russirons intrioriser leurs normes 19.
La personnalit ne peut pas se soustraire la morale, parce
quelle ...modle et met en ordre les manifestations biologiques, en
les calmant, en le mettant de forme accentue sous le signe de
linterdiction 20. En troite liaison avec lintellectualisation et
intriorisation des normes, qui avec le temps se refltent dans le
comportement, ladolescencereste pourtant une tape trs
controverse. Dune part cela signifie des accumulations et de
caractristiques volutives, comparativement avec ltape antrieure,
Jean Piaget, Le jugement moral chez lenfant Judecata moral la copil, trad. de
Tinca Creu, Ed. Didactique et Pdagogique, Bucarest, 1980.
19
Mihaela Pii Lzrescu, Repres psychologiques du comportement morale des
adolescents Repere psihologice ale comportamentului moral al adolescenilor, en
Buletin scientifique.Serie: tiinele Educaiei, Ed. de lUniversit de Piteti, an I
(2004), p. 69.
20
Ibidem, p. 60.
18

102

dautre part cela reprsente une prparation pour le devenir de ladulte


de demain. Cest pour cela qu cet ge ladolescent, trouv dans une
tape de transition, de lge de lenfant vers celui de ladulte, est
soumis aux preuves, souvent influenc par le groupe damis et peut
arriver ne pas se reconnatre.
Ces jeunes vivent dans un monde marqu par le manque dun
repre moral, en ngligeant srieusement leur devoir face ces
principes. Dans ce cas ils se guident vers un false repre, o la
diffrence entre bien et mal, vrit et mensonge, se fait selon dautres
critres.
Le dsir de libert est compris par le manque de toute
responsabilit. cet ge, les jeunes dpourvus dducation chrtienne
se manifestent par un comportement hdoniste, sans leur importer les
consquences. Dans ces situations, non seulement lme est afflig,
mais aussi le corps, dont le Livre Saint nous enseigne que cest le
temple du Spirit Saint (I Corinthians VI, 19). Arrivs dans ce stage,
pour eux les valeurs chrtiennes ne restent que des absurdits. Cest
pour cela que les clercs, dans leur activit de catchisation, tant que
les laques impliqus dans le processus dducation des jeunes doivent
tenir compte de leurs tourments dune part, et dautre part des
instruments offerts par la psychologie et la pdagogie moderne.
Ignorer ou ngliger cela peut conduire aux situations conflictuelles
entre gnrations, mais aussi entre tous les facteurs impliqus dans le
systme ducationnel (les duqus et les ducateurs).
Lge de ladulte se caractrise par stabilit et quilibre.
Ladulte est la personne compltement forme de point de vue
psychique et comportemental.
Lancien, dhabitude se manifeste par linflexibilit de
lopinion et de la forme de penser 21, avec le degr de subjectivit pour
juger certains aspects extrmement lev 22. Les seules modifications
sont ceux dordre affectif, qui le motivent dune certaine manire; ces
modifications se produisent dans la premire tape de lge. Les
grands parents sont, gnralement des bons ducateurs de leurs
neveux. Les enfants sentendent quelquefois mieux avec eux quavec
les parents. En plus, beaucoup deux se rappellent que les grands
parents leur ont enseigne les vrits de la juste fois, et quils ont eus
un rle dcisif dans leur formation future comme chrtiens et pas leurs
parents. Pourtant cet ge est plus tard accompagn par le peur de
21
22

Tinca Creu, op. cit., p. 372.


Ibidem, p. 373.

103

maladie et de mort.La vie est un don de Dieu, mais la mort reprsente


un passage invitable de chacun, parce quil est ncessaire que celui
qui enseigne en divers contextes et situations donne au contenu de
lapprentissage de fe le rle de les renforcer dans leur naturelle
impotence et de maintenir allume la flamme de la fois dans la vie
ternellement heureuse.
Cette connaissance de la psychologie des ges nous permet
danalyser aussi le principe ducationnel, qui met la base de la
formation de la fe. Les tendances de la psychologie actuelle
envisagent directement lducation des jeunes, les tudes
sociologiques dans le domaine en dmontrant des situations prcaires
dans ce chapitre. Les enfants ns dans les deux dernires dcennies
ont vcus dans un milieu familial et social diffrent que celui des
gnrations antrieures. Les donnes statistiques montrent quun de
cinq enfants est en dehors du mariage, comparativement lanne
1970, lorsque seulement un de dix enfants se trouvait dans la mme
situation, et plus de 20% des enfants vivent avec un seul parent 23.
Un autre problme qui soppose au bon march de lducation
est linfluence de la violence mdiatise, aux effets immdiats,
accompagne par lutilisation de lordinateur non-contrle et non
surveille par les parents 24. Pour ces raisons, beaucoup des enfants
souffrent de maladies asthnie-nvrotiques 25, et cause du
sdentarisme, risque de ne plus se dvelopper de manire propre. Les
statistiques rcentes montrent que 80% des enfants des tats Unis ont
des dis-habilets dapprentissage, dues au dveloppement anormale,
aprs avoir longuement suivis les missions de la Tv et des jeux sur
lordinateur, qui dveloppent lgosme, lindividualisme et forment
des personnalits introverties, schizophrniques 26.

23

Elena Andrei, Tendances actuelles dans lducation des enfants et des jeunes
Tendine actuale n educarea copiilor i a tinerilor, en Interferrances didactiques
Interferene didactice, II (2005), nr. 1, p. 7.
24
Sur les effets nocives de labus de lordinateur, voir, Virgiliu Gheorghe, Le
Chrtien orthodoxe dans le monde de la tlvision et de linternet Cretinul
ortodox nlumea televizorului i a internetului, Ed. Panaghia, colecia Rugul aprins.
25
Dimitri AleksandroviciAvdeev, La nervosit causes, manifestations, solutions
spirituelles - Nervozitatea cauze, manifestri, remedii duhovniceti, trad. de
Adrian et Xenia Tnsescu-Vlas, Ed. Sofia, Bucarest, 2006, pp. 23-107.
26
Virgiliu Gheorghe, Efectele televiziunii asupra minii umane i despre creterea
copiilor n lumea de azi, Ed. Prodromos, Fondation Tradition Roumaine, Bucarest,
2006, pp. 24-24, 44, 45 .u.

104

Le jeu et la communication, manifestations spcifiques de


lge, ont perdus valeur pour les enfants daujourdhui 27. Cest pour
cela que les stratgies didactiques implments lheure actuelle
envisagent de solutionner ltat de crise cre. Caractrise par
dynamisme et adaptabilit, le contenu dapprentissage vanglique
doit tre organis et prsente cet ge travers des mthodes et
procs daugmentation dans la connaissance des apprentissages
religieux.
Les particularits de lge pr-colire nous obligent utiliser
des stratgies inductives, qui partent du gnral vers le particulier.De
faon que les mthodes qui nous aident oprer avec la parole de
Dieu doivent tenir compte de la transmission et assimilation des
connaissances religieuses et de la dcouverte et exploration du
contenu, activits qui peuvent tre tendues en dehors du milieu de
lcole. La gite est une mthode de connaissance directe des lieux qui
sidentifie avec lenseignement expose, tel lglise place du culte.
Leur connaissance est illimite, encore de plus, ils sont provoqus par
les curiosits de lge de chercher et denregistrer, de reproduire et
dinvestiguer des choses ncessaires la connaissance.
Lducation religieuse en spirit et en vrit est, en fait, un
effort de deux milles ans, avec une multitude daspects, qui marque
lactivit denseignement de lglise. Les deux repres disciplinaires,
la psychologie et lducation, sont essentiels dans la formation du
chrtien, portant leur importance pour lenseignement religieux reste
seulement de point de vue didactique, car la parole de Dieu est la
Vrit et la Vie 28.
La connaissance des critres dge autant que celle du procs
psychologique pour la formation du comportement moral, mais aussi
du sentiment religieux, sont essentiels. Les reprsentations du je
propre en corrlation avec le je divin, les sentiments qui enveloppent
ces reprsentations et laffirmation active des convictions religieuse,
mme sils sont dordre psychique, trouvent leur explication dans le
sentiment religieux 29. Chaque personne, en fonction de son tat de
lme, se retrouve dans les formes religieuses. Les intellectuels sont
inclins plutt vers la connaissance de la fe de manire doctrinale, et
les mdiocres, manqus de moralit et totalement impassibles aux
27

Maica Magdalena, op. cit., p. 100.


Costache Grigora, Mergnd nvai toate neamurile!...Bazele hristologice,
apostolice i patristice ale Cateheticii i Omileticii, Ed. Trinitas, Iasi, 2000, p. 331.
29
Ibidem, p. 332.
28

105

valeurs chrtiennes ... reoivent la religion travers lenseignement


et la pratique, lhabitude, souvent soumis un procs de
transformation travers la grce, lducation et la libre volont 30.
Les moyens de lducation religieuse restent ceux classiques:
la prire, la pratique morale, cela veut dire la formation des vertus, et
la lecture. Ces moyens de connaissance deviennent efficients
seulement si elles se ralisent en milieu du culte divin, surtout
travers la participation aux Saints Mystres et la Sainte Liturgie.
Cest ainsi que lont fait une diffrence entre ducation religieuse et
enseignement religieux. Lducation religieuse se manifeste en amour
et libert 31, avec lapport de la grce, ayant comme objet la formation
de la personnalit chrtienne. Lenseignement religieux est beaucoup
plus complexe et vise linformation et ensuite la formation, linstruction
qui se fait toujours afin dduquer, mais on na pas cette certitude 32.
Divulguer lvangile est associ lapprentissage de la religion, comme
procs instructif-formatif, car le message est le mme.
La formation et le dveloppement de la dimension religieuse
suppose lglise travers ses personnes autoriss, mme si dautres
disciplines suivent aussi dans leur procs ducationnel la formation du
ct moral de lindividu, pourtant cest uniquement le catchte qui
touche cet objectif, car les autres disciplines manifestent de lintrt
pour la formation du caractre, lorsque la parole de lvangile intgre
cet aspect et le mne jusqu laccomplissement, en sauvant lme. La
premire se propose de former lindividu comme sujet moral
avec une conscience et une conduite morale en rapport avec les requis
et les valeurs dordre thique de la socit 33, tandis que lglise
prpare le chrtien en rapport Dieu, vue que le Livre Saint nous dis
que celui qui aime son pre et sa mre plus qu Moi, nest pas digne
de Moi (Matthieu X, 37). Cet amour ne peut pas sexpliquer que par
les virtus de la fe, qui nest pas une chose explicable dans le cadre
individualiste, mais cest le produit dun rapport de louvrage du
Spirit 34.
La formation de la conscience morale dans lglise se
manifeste travers la vie spirituelle; elle nest que de point de vue
30

Ibidem, p. 333.
Dumitru Dnu Popovici, Cultul divin public ortodox, coal a libertii, n
Analele Universitii Ovidius, Seria: Teologie, nr. 1/2007, p. 291.
32
tefan Brsnescu, Pedagogia i Didactica, Craiova, 1944, p. 257.
33
Cristian Stan, Principii i metode de realizare a educaiei morale, n Didactica,
2006, nr. 1, Ed. Casa Crii de tiin, Cluj-Napoca, p. 17.
34
Costache Grigora, op. cit., p. 335.
31

106

pdagogique la somme des principes structures intellectuelles et


cognitives, que certains sentiments peuvent supplier. Laspect
cognitive est comparable celui de lenseignement religieux qui se
manifeste dabord travers linformation, puisquil ...facilite
lapparition des reprsentations morales . Cest ainsi quon arrive
la perception des motions morales 35.
Tout comme lducation morale, lducation religieuse se base
sur la ralisation et respect de certains principes. Ceux-ci sont de
fondements rels de formation et de connaissance pour lenseignement
religieux. Les principes sont la parole de lvangile, ainsi que lacte
mme de divulgation est nourri par une et la seule sve la parole de
Dieu. Lobjet de lenseignement religieux a le mme chemin, mais
lorsque lenseignement se bloque due la structure, la divulgation
continue litinraire de la connaissance jusqu laccomplissement de
lme.
La divulgation de lvangile a besoin de ce caractre de la
ralisation de lducation, en tenant compte des exigences de chaque
critre dge. Dans ce contexte il est trs important que lactivit de
catchisation assure travers le catchte une continuit efficiente dans
la vie des hommes. Or afin de toucher ce but, la condition de base reste
connatre ton interlocuteur aussi de point de vue de sa formation.
La composante cognitive se construit avec le temps et suppose
non seulement la connaissance exceptionnelle du contenu religieux,
tant donn que ladhsion intellectuelle nous ne conduit pas la
profondeur de la connaissance de la fe, en nous laissant dpourvus de
la fe cratrice.Toutefois, par nos manifestations nous nous refltons
ce contenu de fe dans notre vie. Cest ainsi que nous nous attendons
souvent que les personnes adultes et les anciens aient le ct cognitif
beaucoup plus complexe, d au fait que cela se forme avec le temps.
En parlant sur linfluence de lenvironnement sur la formation
de la personnalit comme facteur essentiel et risquant toutefois, on
doit prciser, pour ce qui est de la cration continue dun milieu
spirituel dans notre vie, fera que, ds un ge prcoce nous influenons
positivement la formation religieuse.
travers la divulgation de la parole de Dieu avec le temps et
sans le temps nous faisons que les ges de la vie physique
augmentent et se dveloppent continuellement ensemble aux ges de
la vie spirituelle, la dimension de connaissance de la parole soit
ralise travers la fe, et que celle-ci se reflte dans les actions de
35

Cristian Stan, op. cit., p. 17.

107

tout chrtien. Une faon sure pour toucher cet objectif est la lecture du
Saint Livre sous le guide et surveillance dune personne autorise.
Les Saints Pres nous invitent de lire le Livre non seulement
pour dcouvrir la parole de la Vrit, mais aussi pour nous conformer
la vie selon cette parole: Je ne suis pas moine moi, dirons certains de
vous Mais cest l votre erreur, cest de penser que lire le Livre est
seulement chose des moines, tandis que cela est plutt ncessaire
vous, ceux trouvs au milieu du monde. Il ny a une chose pire que
celle de ne pas lire le Livre, de retenir sa lecture inutile 36.
La lecture du Livre est une pratique absolument ncessaire la
connaissance des enseignements de fe Le mthode essentiel pour
lire le Livre disait le thologien Paul Evdokimov est daller de la
parole crite la parole essentielle 37. Cette pratique chrtienne sest
associ aussi une expression: le lever du soleil te trouve avec la Bible
dans les mains. Empreignes par la lecture du Livre Saint, les
catchtes et les ducateurs chrtiens doivent sidentifier avec leurs
apprentis la substance des renseignements saints. Avec cela ... tu
comprendras facilement que, lu et cout, la Parole mne toujours la
Personnevive du Verbe 38, ajoutait le mme thologien de la diaspore
russe.
En effet la parole de la Bible nous met face face avec Dieu et
nous facilite le chemin de la connaissance, qui sapprofondie par la
prire et leucharistie aux Saint Mystres. Tout comme le Mystre de
la Sainte Eucharistie, la lecture et lcoute du Livre Saint nourrissent
le corps assoiff et affam de la connaissance des choses saintes 39. Ce
moyen dassimiler la parole travers le Spirit forme un corps
spirituel dans lequel les paroles du Livre vivent car lenseignement sur
Jsus signifie aussi Sa prsence relle tout comme dans le Mystre de
lEucharistie 40.
La prparation intellectuelle se ralise de mme dans cette
dimension de connaissance et augmente travers le reflet et la
mditation continue sur ce qui est connu. On passe du contrle et de la
surveillance, lautocontrle par la formation des pratiques morales,
Sfntul Ioan Gur de Aur, Omilie la Facere II,5, apud Paul Evdokimov, Vrstele
vieii spirituale, trad. de Ioan Buga, 2-me dition, Ed. Christiana, Bucarest, 2003, p.
189.
37
Paul Evdokimov, op. cit., p. 191.
38
Ibidem.
39
A voir, Daniel, Patriarhul Bisericii Ortodoxe Romne, Foame i sete dup
Dumnezeu, Ed. Basilica, Bucuresti, 2008.
40
Ibidem, p. 192.
36

108

et intellectuelles, intgrs dans le religieux. Ce type de formation


commence en famille, par des exemples et explication ; et se continue,
avec sa conclusion lglise. La famille du corps, mme si
chrtienne, ne peut pas te conduire, elle seule, vers la rdemption,
seulement si elle se perde sous le feu du sacrifice dans la grande
famille de lglise du Christ.
La lecture de certaines pricopes vanglistes peut tre
accompagne dexemples du Pater pour une meilleure comprhension
des vrits de la juste fois. La forme narrative de certains exemples
prise dune telle lecture spirituelle va offrir aux pr-coliers et aux
coliers un mode trs attirant de rapprochement par la parole expose.
La catchisation sur critres dge suppose linstruction de
manire organise travers divers techniques et mthodes. Pour les
enfants extrmement stimulatrice est la connaissance par le jeu
accompagne par largumentation avec des exemples. En outre, les
images ont un rle trs important pour stimuler la pense des enfants.
Ces mthodes nous rendrons la possibilit de les exercer, grce
lge, travers des activits de coordination; pour assurer ainsi la
connaissance et la formation des pratiques ncessaires la vie de
chrtien.
Les adultes et les anciens doivent dcouvrir eux aussi, par la
catchse, un rythme de leur propre murissement dans la vie
spirituelle, pour arriver de lunit fragile et instable de celle-ci, une
intgration finale.Par lducation religieuse, indiffremment de lge
et de linstruction, doit se produire la conversion. Avec cela les
chrtiens passent par les stages de la spiritualit, comme certitude de
lefficacit de la catchse. Mme ceux qui hritent la fe de
lenfance passent tt ou tard par cette dcouverte , nous disent les
thologiens avec de lexprience 41.
La vie religieuse des jeunes a vue des nouveaux valeurs en
Roumanie aprs 1990 42 suite la rintroduction de la classe de
religion dans lenseignement pr-universitaire dans lanne 1992 et de
lenseignement thologique lycen et universitaire dans
lenseignement de ltat 43, ce qui a conduit au dveloppement de la
41

Ibidem, p. 64.
Vasile Gordon, S.O.S. - Religia n coli. Proiectul legii nvmntului - sumar i
ambiguu, en VO, 15 nov. 1994; Idem, Religia n coal. Cteva repere bibliografice,
n ST, XLIX (1997), nr. 1-2, pp. 153-164.
43
A voir, Drile de seam, pe anii 1996-2006, ale Sectorrului nvnnt al
Patriarhiei Romne, prezentate la ANB i CNB publicate n BOR; nvmntul
religios i teologic n Romnia, ediie ngrijit de Adrian Lemeni i Bogdan Dedu,
42

109

programme analytique, llaboration de manuels de religion, la


rdaction de mthodologies et la remise en juste place de la vie de
tous de lenseignement de la fe 44, qui surpasse notre existence et
supplie ce manque de notre formation, qui a t produit par la
propagande athe du sicle passe.
En consquence lducation initie en famille et elle est
continu lglise et de manire systmatique pendant les classes de
religion. Afin dobtenir des rsultatsparticuliers, ces facteurs
ducationnels doivent se synchroniser, se complter et se soutenir
mutuellement. Le manque de cette liaison entrane lchec tant dans la
mission dinstruction moral-religieuse, que dans laccomplissement de
lactivit de renseignement de lglise qui nous appelle tous.

Ed. Techno Media, Sibiu, 2006, pp. 17-22; 49-58; Vezi i Viaa religioas din
Romnia, volum coordonat de Adrian Lemeni, Ed. Bizantin, 2005.
44
Vasile Gordon, nvmntul religios romnesc la cumpna dintre milenii. Repere
ale unui scurt excurs istorico-pedagogic, en Ort., LII(2000), 3-4, pp. 50-73.

110

THE EDUCATION OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE


THE GREAT AND ITS REFLECTION ON HIS
RELATION WITH THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Dnu POPOVICI
Vice Dean of The Faculty of Theologie from Constana
Abstract:
The role of education to train men for their duties, both into their
public and private life, it was always a major one into the humanitys history.
In the present research we will try to identify those fundamental elements of
Emperor Constantine the Greats education and which were their role to form
the personality of this great emperor.
Keywords: Constantine the Great, education, castle, society,
Christian, relation, Church.

Since the time of Socrates and Platoon, at least a part of


politicians were aware of the importance of education to train men for
their duties, both into their public and private life. The problems of
modern education, which affect the welfare of state, are extremely
present, knowing that these were existing since antiquity. A
characteristic explication of what involves education has been found in
a mini-treaty of children education, written during the second part of
4th century, it was written by Saint John Chrysostom. Near the end of
his research, the Antiochian priest describes in very actual painful
terms how children have become disobedient as a result of some
incidents such as losing or damaging the writing tools, than he gives up
and exclaims: I am not talking about follies; we are talking about
worlds leadership. 1
Emperor Constantine the Great has confronted himself with
numerous problems which occurred as a consequence of the difficult
position of Christianity and paganism. It seems that it has been offered
1

M. L. W. Laistner, Christianity and Pagan Culture in the Later Roman Empire,


Ithaca, 1951, p. 117; Idem, The Greater Roman Historians, University of California
Press, Berkley, 1947, pp. 195-198.

111

all the possible interpretations, by some scientists, regarding the


authenticity of Constantines conversion to Christianity, as long with
the fact that after his conversion, he used for a considerable period of
time to keep the official cults of paganism, which were part of Roman
state religion 2.
It is also known that pagan symbolism has been continued by
minting of coins, which represented an important expression of
imperial politics, as well as for the vehicles for the imperial
propaganda. When we add the ambiguity which surrounds the
premises of Constantines religious visions and his conversion, it is not
surprising to find out that through modern scientists who have diverse
concerns and religious contexts there are numerous differences of
opinion.
Some of them are considering that Emperor Constantine has
experienced a real Christianization and his policy concerning
Christianity has been led by real religious feelings, while others argue
that he was a calculated politician, who concluded at a certain point,
that the conversion to Christianity would offer the possibility of union
of empire and his salvation from political, military and economic
dangers faced by his predecessor Diocletian. 3
Nevertheless, we should remember that Emperor Constantine
has analysed these issues through the prism 4 of a very well defined
educational knowledge and not only his appearance of complex
personality which has been underlined by many but his personal set
of ideas and his personal experience, or his achieved stock of
intellectual knowledge, have contributed in order to sketch the model
of his politics.
In any research where can be found some inaccuracies,
oscillations regarding his behaviour (for instance in those where he
clings to some official pagan cults after the moment he adopted
Christianity, fact proved by maintaining the position of pontifex
maximus), we should take into consideration as well the fact that
Emperor Constantine was the son of an important officer of army and
official of government, a member of the hierarchy which was
2

E. Digeser, Lactantius and Constantine Letters to Arles, Dating the Divine


Institutes, in Journal of Early Christian Studies, 2, 1994, p. 78.
3
Meike Willing, Eusebius Von Csarea Als Hreseograph, Walter De Gruyter
Gmbh & Co., Berlin, 2008, pp. 356-373.
4
Jon M. Robertson, Christ as Mediator. A Study of the Theologies of Eusebius of
Caesarea, Marcellus of Ancyra and Athanasius of Alexandria, Oxford University
Press, 2007, pp. 129-154.

112

governing the empire. During his childhood, from seven to nineteen


years old, Constantine has received his education at the court
Diocletian Emperor in Nicomedia.
Also, during the last part of his training, he has served in the
army under the leadership of one of his fathers colleagues, being all
this time, separated by his father and his stepmother and by the other
members of his family. These were the conditions which have
preceded his proclamation as emperor in 306, after his fathers death,
at only twenty, twenty-something years. As claimed A. H. M. Jones,
Constantines academic education was fragmented as a result of his
life circumstances until that moment. 5
Constantine has received as much as he could receive from
Roman rhetorical education, which has not registered essential
modification since Quintilian times. This education was including, as a
part of rhetorical ideological education, exercises regarding the
composing and offering eulogies to emperor, we are extremely familiar
with them in the existent collection of Latin speeches from that period,
including some which were spoken even before Constantine or his
familys members. In these eulogies, Roman young men were taught
to praise the emperors powers and virtues in praising phrases which
have become traditional later on. 6 Constantine has not been only
indoctrinated during his education process, to believe in his majesty,
emperor, on the contrary, to a young man being such privileged by his
position and by his personal association with Diocletian, it had to be
remembered him constantly about emperors responsibilities in Roman
state.
According to Valesian Anonimous, as well as to the
information kept by Cedrenus historian, Constantines literary
education was limited. More than that, according to the Eusebius
indications 7, Constantines Greek knowledge was limited, even if this
language was spoken in a large empires area. However, Eusebius
himself states as well that Constantine emperor was eager to learn, and

A. H. M. Jones, Notes on the Genuineness of the Constantinian Documents in


Eusebius Life of Constantine, in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 5, 1954, p. 58; Peter
Brown, The Making of Late Antiquity, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1978, pp. 34-39.
6
Sabrina Inowlocki, Eusebius And The Jewish Authors: His Citation Technique in
An Apologetic Context, Brill NV, Leiden, 2006, pp. 32-38.
7
C. Kannengiesser, Eusebius of Caesarea Origenist, Eusebius, Christianity and
Judaism, in H. W. Attridge and G. Hata (Eds.), Eusebius, Christianity and Judaism.
Studia post-biblica 42, Leiden, Brill, 1992, p. 446.

113

sometimes he was not sleeping during nights and having the desire to
dress his mind with divine knowledge. 8
So, here is Constantine who has reached the same step as the
other partakers at the helm of the kingdom, and as say a word of a
former prophet of God: living in their midst. Besides, has been
considered by them, as being worthy to receive the high honour since
only stepped from infancy to virginity age: Ourselves we could see
him walking across the lands of Palestine being accompanied by one of
the oldest emperors; everyone who wanted could see him clearly
sitting on the right side of the old man, since than he was giving an
example of royal balance. Nobody could liken him regarding the
beauty, the charm and body height; and the young people who were his
age, they were afraid of him; he was so hefty, so strong. His dowry of
soul was greater than the physical qualities: before everything else he
vestured his soul with the temperances ornament, to which he was
skilful to give an unparalleled radiance by his vast culture, by his
innate power of judgement and by his wisdom that God gave him 9.
It is important to mention as well that Constantine emperor
would inevitably be concerned about Christianity, from the point of
view of a sovereign, who has been raised to believe that Roman state
had success thanks to the Roman traditional virtues and of state official
cult. It has been referred to this belief within the ancient experience,
found near the beginning of the first letter of Constantine kept by
Eusebius, which has certainly been written from the point of view of
official training that Constantine 10, when began to develop the
doctrinal problems through Christians, has considered the prosperity of
state as being dependent of Churchs unity and has remained faithful to
his vision on Roman Empire governed by a Christian God and based
on the orthodox creed.
The fear of the wrath of heaven, which seems so prominent in
his writings, would have been inspired by pagan religious education
performed, and which later on, has transferred by a natural process
within his Christian believes, in particular regarding the state and his
8

M. Hollerich, Religion and Politics in the Writings of Eusebius: Reassessing the


First Court Theologian, Church History 59, 1990, pp. 318-321; M. Hollerich, The
Comparison of Moses and Constantine in Eusebius of Caesareas Life of
Constantine, St Pat 19, 1989, pp. 80-95.
9
Eusebiu de Cezarea, Despre viaa fericitului mprat Constantin, I. 19.1, n Prini
i Scriitori Bisriceti, Vol. 14, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1991, p. 73.
10
M. J. Hollerich, Eusebius of Caesareas Commentary on Isaiah: Christian
Exegesis in the Age of Constantine, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 176.

114

relation with God. 11 The supposed failure to understand everything


that involves adoption of Christian religion by Constantine has been
quoted as one of the factors which has affected his decisions regarding
religions adoption, and, later on, of the policy related to it. It may
occur a question with reference to how much from this has
represented, indeed, a failure in order to understand the doctrine, and
how much was the simple result of Christianitys regarding from the
point of view of his own education and of his intellectual stock of
knowledge. 12
Constantines policy regarding the Christianity has produced
one of the greatest modifications of society that we know and that we
can conceive, and all the aspects of public and private life have been
performed by the changes which occurred. Through the essential
elements of the state and civilization which were provided, education
itself was prominent; for the imperial patronage of Christian doctrine,
has occurred the training problem which was to be offered, taking into
consideration not only the individual duties and rights of society, but
as well the state and the states responsibilities and those of nonRoman world. Then when many people remained pagan, has appeared,
as well, the problem old Roman education and its doctrine regarding
the man and the world. 13
The answers to these questions have been found on short term,
and it would not be easy to describe shortly the process in the present
research. In time, the Christians educators, in particular under the
influence of St. Basil the Great, have created a Hellenic educational
program which, broadly, continues to function even today, although
11

He himself would enrich his mind with the Holy words of Scriptures, spending his
nights awake and his free time writing lectures, for he liked to present himself
ceaselessly, confident that it is good to reign over his subjects through the power of
conviction, turning his reign into a reign of prudence. 2. Thus, he kept on calling
people to see him, and the people kept coming and gather around to listen to the
emperors wise words. When he was given the chance to talk about a subject of
theological nature, Constantin would correct his posture, take on a stern appearance
and lower his voice, thinking that through his great power of belief- he will be able to
initiate his listeners in the Holy Teachings. The audience would respond with
approving shouts. Then the emperor would make a sign, asking them to look towards
the sky and center their awe and thanks only to the Emperor of all Things. (See,
Eusebiu de Cezarea, op.cit., IV.29, pp. 170-171).
12
A. Momigliano, Pagan and Christian Historiography in the Fourth Century A.D.,
in The Conflicts between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century, Oxford,
1963, p.78.
13
H. Dorries, Constantine and Religious Liberty, New Haven, 1960, p. 54.

115

his classic fundaments are not always recognized. What needs to be


found in this case, are the total consequences in the time of
Constantine, the way how they affected the education and the next
generation, because the children born between 320 and 330 have raised
with a total different vision on the world, very different comparing
with the vision of their parents and their grandparents, being
contemporary with Eusebius and Constantine have faced very different
problems. Our concern in this situation results from the following
questions: whether the following educational programs were adequate
or no, whether the programs were adapted to the new situations and
whether, in fact, has been concluded that the education would need
some changes in order to match the new circumstances of empire and
entire world. 14
For Christians the state and the society started to have a
religious base 15, considering the emperor as being the representative of
God on Earth, the chief of government, of Church and human society,
therefore that life on earth (in theory) seemed to be the equivalent of
life in kingdom of heaven. Eusebius from Caesarea, the scholar from
the new regime of religious counsellor, has presented this theory,
combining the Christian doctrine with pagan political theory. As a
consequence, Eusebius has learned that human science comes from
Logos, The almighty Word of God, who is the author of ration and
intelligence existent in man. Eusebius continues and argue that this is
the way how the natural powers are coming, powers which exists in
every human, regardless the fact that they are Greek or barbarians; but
only the Word is the one who gives life to these powers.
Consequently, the Christian doctrine transcends the former
traditional education: Full of compassion for this ignorance, the
gracious Word of our beloved Father invites us freely all those who
are on the path of sin, to be lead towards the divine science; and has
ordered the methods of a such instructions worldwide, in every country
and village, on cultivated fields deserts as well and every city; and, as a
merciful Saviour or a doctor of soul, has called the Greeks and
barbarians, the wise ones and those with lack of knowledge, those rich
and the poor ones, the servant and his master, the man and his Lord,
14

N.H. Baynes, Constantine the Great and the Christian Church, ed. H. Chadwick,
London, 1972, p. 126.
15
R. Weiss, Die Vision Constantins, n ed. Jochen Bleicken, Colloquium aus Anlass
des 80. Geburtstages von Alfted Heuss, Frankfurter Althistorische Studien 13, 1993,
pp. 135-137.

116

the atheist and profane, the ignorant, that who harms and blasphemer
he called them next to him, and urged to hurry to receive his heavenly
cure. 16
The Christian education represents more than it was written in
the traditional pagan curriculum. 17 More than this, according to
Eusebius`s theory about empire, the emperor possesses certain
traditional virtues, such as clemency, the justice, the piety, the love for
humanity, virtues that he learned from his own divine leader, and in
this way he would follow only the best education, which would
produce or would have to produce the same result for men of mould. 18
Thus, this education should be based on religion and of divine
inspiration. In this context, the education has been seen as having the
same divine confirmation as the theory of imperial power. Lactantius,
being celebrated as a man of letters (himself being a pagan and teacher
of Latin oratory in the new capital of Diocletian, Nicomedia), being
convoked by Constantine to become the tutor of his son Cryspus, has
written at the beginning of his Divine Institutions that the human
wisdom represents nothing for itself, and by Christianity, the truth
became a problem of divine revelation, as well as that religion can not
be cultivated without wisdom, and neither the wisdom can not be
approved without the help of religion. 19
Nevertheless, Lactantius goes further than Eusebius when he
states that the examples of antiquity and our ancestors experience
have no one value when it gets into trouble with the reason
(Christian reason), and that the true wisdom is found only in religion,
not in education. Thus, to education has been offered an authority

16

B. Macmullen, Constantine and the Miraculous, in Greek Roman and Byzantine


Studies, No. 9, 1968, pp. 55-57.
17
Who wants to think about the times that have passed from the oldest of times until
present day and the deeds that have occurred since, will see how all those who have
strained to do their deeds on the grounds of justice and good, have come to have a
good faith, bearing good fruit like a noble vine while those who have dared to do
injustice and set themselves against the Holy One, banishing, dishonoring, killing
and others as such, and have not repented, nor considered one of the beautiful
purposes all these have received their due, according to their deeds; This, of course
in a rightful and grounded manner (Eusebiu de Cezarea, op.cit., pp. 170-171).
18
J. W. Thompson (Eds.), The Early Church in Its Context, Essays in Honour of
Everett Ferguson. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 90. Leiden: Brill, 1998, pp.
192220.
19
T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1981, pp.
240-248.

117

which can not be denied. The Christian truth could be learned only for
political and social purposes by the imperial authority. 20
There were practical points in educational issues in which, the
Christianity, by the virtue of its new position, has regained itself facing
issues which could not be solved simultaneous. The equal chance for
freed from sins offered by Christianity, was reached, and to some
extent, born from equalitys opportunity for Christian education, which
was available to everyone those who wanted it. For instance,
Lactantius, claims one of the most fundamental truth about faith, the
fact that all Christians are equal and that all have equal chances to
acquire the wisdom (although it exists inevitable differences regarding
the personal virtue, by which some individuals could distinguish more
than others). He also claims that Christian education is superior to the
pagan one, because the Christian teachings lead all the people, in any
stage of life, towards God, while pagan education was specific only to
boys and young men.
Finally, Lactantius, former pagan teacher, highlights the idea
according to which Christians do not need a secular education
elaborated to understand the Christian truth, because God has
determined that the appearance of scriptures to be simple and not
decorated, to be for all the people, regardless the education, to be
capable to understand them. 21As we will see further, this point of view
is quite different of pagan attitude, which was aristocratic and no
democratic; and, in fact the simplicity itself and the lack of art afferent
to Christian doctrine and Christians writings have been an obstacle for
propagation of Christianity in cultivated circles, both in the past and
during the Constantines leadership. 22 Lactanius observes that
educated pagans who have received teachings specific to the Hellenic
philosophy could not understand or believe in Christianity because
these did not represent a formal philosophic system.
A pagan judge brought by Saint Peter and Paul, and of other
disciples, was that these were not scholars and some of them were,
indeed, just simple fishermen. It could not be expect that such people
to be smart enough in order to carry forward an argument or a valid
20

W. Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, Philadelphia, 1971, p. 45.


T. D. Barnes, The Conversion of Constantine, in Echos du monde classique/
Classical Views 4, 1985, pp. 380-387.
22
J. Rufus Fears, Princeps a Diis Electus: the Divine Election of the Emperor as a
Political Concept at Rome n Papers and Monographs of the American Academy at
Rome, No. 26, 1977, pp. 23-25.
21

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hypothesis. Meanwhile, The Scriptures could not be addressed to those


people well educated because of their prosaic style, which would
offence the fine tastes of those used with classic literature. In the time
of Lactantius, a serious consequence of this aspect has represented the
desire of some educated teachers who were trained properly, who
could expose the Christianity in a language that would have been
understood and which was lend to those ordinary pagans with classic
education. This lack of teachers, claims Lactantius, has represented an
important impediment to the spread of Christianity. 23
We need to ask ourselves if this model of education from that
period of time has been indeed adapted to the issues faced by state and
individual. As a consequence of barbarian invasions, as well as other
factors, the life conditions during the fourth century have changed
radically, both on private and public level, and Roman Empire has
been constrained to adapt to these new realities both on intern and
extern level. 24
The question is whether modifications have been considered as
making necessary some adequate changes in educational system. Also,
it is important to see as well how aware were the inhabitants, of those
times, about their educational needs.
There existed, for instance, the problem regarding relations with
men, who was creating more and more problems along Empires
borders, disrupting the boarders and advancing gradually to the middle
of the territory. In this context, the question was whether someone
should have introduced them into the Roman-Greek culture and if the
answer is yes, how could be this possible. Also, it was frequently asked
if the romans would have to study more the Persians culture,
civilization and language, which has become a real threat to the Roman
Empire.
Some authors of 4th century did not consider anymore the
Persians as being barbarians and in this context; there was the question
23

Who wants to think about the times that have passed from the oldest of times until
present day and the deeds that have occurred since, will see how all those who have
strained to do their deeds on the grounds of justice and good, have come to have a
good faith, bearing good fruit like a noble vine while those who have dared to do
injustice and set themselves against the Holy One, banishing, dishonoring, killing
and others as such, and have not repented, nor considered one of the beautiful
purposes all these have received their due, according to their deeds. This, of course
in a rightful and grounded manner(Eusebiu de Cezarea, op. cit., pp. 170-171).
24
Alan Wardman, Religion and Statecraft among the Romans, London, 1982, p. 146.

119

whether a democratic educational system was either necessary or


desirable. For sure, whether there was realized a real and radical
change, the old Hellenist education would stop to be anymore Hellenist
and also, in these conditions, the state and societys character itself
would have been modified, and this was not desired by anyone.
The schools were regarded as keepers of traditions with deep
roots and the texts possessed by this tradition were seen as being the
best possible curriculum. This conservatism was neither reactionary,
nor hieratic, as it was considered sometimes, but simply represented
the belief that classical texts were the best possible proof of human
civilization and, as didactic material it could not make any
improvements to these texts. Also, it is important to observe the
elements which have assured the survival of Roman-Greek Byzantine
state until 1453, being obviously, one of the main factors responsible
for this survival was the continuation of Byzantine tradition, in a
metamorphosed form, to the bosom of Church of Christ.

120

KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY AND HIGHER


EDUCATION IN ROMANIA.
PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES OFFER ADAPTATION TO
THE NEEDS OF THE LABOUR MARKET IN THE
ERA OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Assoc. Prof. PhD Mihaela DIMITRESCU


Hyperion University of Bucharest
Assoc. Prof. PhD Corina Maria ENE
Hyperion University of Bucharest
Lect. PhD Yvonne Dumitru LACROIS
The Academy of Economic Sciences of Bucharest
Abstract:
One of the main pillars of the knowledge society is Education. Private
Universities are influenced and, in the same time, influence the new society.
These universities define new duties, visions and aims according to the
European common space organizing. They must adapt to new structures,
integrate within educations global market, ensuring a high level of the
research and training services. But they have a long way to do. We combine
statistical data and qualitative information to provide a wide-ranging
overview of the organisation and functioning of Romania private tertiar
education systems, as well as an insight into the ways in which the private
universities concerned are responding to common challenges in education.
Keywords:
universities.

knowledge

society,

higher

education,

private

1. Knowledge economy - the new science of the modern age


Classical political economy treaties pinpoints the scarcity of
natural resources. Modern economies raises a new issue: the limits of
knowledge and partial compensation of them by computers. In this
context, economic growth is subject to the investment reorientation
transition from the accumulation of physical capital investments in
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human capital, in research, development and innovation. Not to


mention about economies in transition, but also about the transition
economies. Used throughout the world, the concept of a 'society of
knowledge' (Knowledge Society), namely 'knowledge-based society'
(Knowledge-based Society) represents more than just information
society (which in fact it embodies), being a continuation of the era of
innovation and new technology. The term 'knowledge-based' society is
used in parallel with the 'knowledge-based' economy (Knowledgebased Economy), but the two concepts are not synonymous, but
somewhat related.
The knowledge society is a new stage of human civilization, a
way of life superior quality, based on the intensive use of information
in all spheres of activity and of human existence, with a major
economic and social impact. In essence, knowledge is information.
Knowledge-based society is an important step towards ensuring
sustainable development in the context of the 'new economy', based
mainly on products and intensive activities-intellectual, as well as on
the development of a socio-human civilization advanced. In this
context, the knowledge economy aiming to generate and use
knowledge as the endogenous variable of some processes that provide
output of an economic nature. It can be said that the central elements
of a knowledge-based economy is aimed at: encouraging
entrepreneurship; education and the level of development of the human
factor; an innovative system consisting of companies, research centres,
universities, with a view to assimilation, adaptation and creation of
new technologies; the development of computer networks,
telecommunications and Internet access (World Bank, 2005).
2. The European Union's objectives on education and the
level of development of the human factor in the context of
knowledge economy
Pointing to the fact that the development of human capital is a
prerequisite for promoting growth and sustainable human development
in the EU, in particular by boosting investment in education and
through better correlation with social and employment policies, the
European Council in Lisbon (March 2000) the Eu set itself to become
'the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the
worldable to generate sustained economic growth, a high rate of
employment and high social cohesion'. In order to achieve this
122

objective, education becomes an essential pillar for generating and


transmitting knowledge, and to develop the potential of innovation in
society, helping to amplify the impact of all other Community action
programmes according with the demands of modern techilogies..
Investing in education, element necessary to achieve the
objectives of economic, social and environment established at Lisbon,
acquires an importance increasingly larger, as the challenges induced
by society and knowledge-based economy is intensifying. The
European labour market, in the context of promoting labour mobility,
places new requirements on education in a priority plan. At the same
time, the knowledge society generates new needs for social cohesion
and personal development plans, education and investment in
education is playing an active role 1. In this context, the European
Council is determined to work both at Member State and at EU level,
in order to make the educational systems in Europe a qualitative
reference framework at the global level. Raising the rank of principle
respect for national identity, educational policy promoted at european
level places the entire development of educational systems and training
in anticipation of the needs of society in the IT era and the knowledgebased economy.
At the meeting of the Council of Europe in Stockholm (March
2001) adopted a series of strategic objectives for education systems,
which emphasize, among many others, on the following items:
- the need to reconsider the basic skills that young people
should have them upon completion of their studies, in the context of
the knowledge society;
- the need to open the school social environment national (to
adapt the curricula to the requirements of the labour market), but also
to the european and international level (through the promotion of youth
mobility programs);
- the need for increasing the quality of education and training
systems in all Member States, both in terms of the education of young
people, and continuous education;

Increasing demand for higher education is a global phenomenon faced by all


countries of the world. Demand for new jobs training uninterrupted increases, more
and more students of different ages and types enrolling in higher education to be
trained under various forms in a number of areas and increasing in the modern
pedagogical programs. The phenomenon is due to the increasing democratization of
societies.

123

- access to education to all individuals, regardless of age and


the adoption of a specific strategy on education and lifelong learning;
the focus is on the role that education systems must play in the
development of social cohesion, in attracting tuition for people with
disabilities and minorities;
- the need for education systems to have the ability of
educational quality assurance and to be more effective in terms of
output.
- the need for increasing the quality of education and training
systems in all Member States, both in terms of the education of young
people, and continuous education;
- access to education to all individuals, regardless of age and
the adoption of a specific strategy on education and lifelong learning;
the focus is on the role that education systems must play in the
development of social cohesion, in attracting tuition for people with
disabilities and minorities;
- the need to reconsider the basic skills that young people
should have them upon completion of their studies, in the context of
the knowledge society;
- the need to open the school social environment national (to
adapt the curricula to the requirements of the labour market), but also
to the european and international level (through the promotion of youth
mobility programs).
In the United States since the '40s of the 20th century higher
education gets a mass character, transforming the education of political
and social elite in education accessible to all. The wave of 'masificarii'
of higher education in Europe comes only in the 70s of the 20th
century. According to studies by UNESCO in 2005 were nrolati 138
million students in all over the world, with 50% more in comparison
with 1999. In the context of a strategic international interests in
education, we can talk about a common strategy of education. To
support the achievement of these goals, Member States should bear in
mind the following three priority areas: focus reforms and investment
in key areas for the knowledge society; continuing education; the
formation of a 'Europe of education and learning'.
Higher education, located in the area of interference between
research, education and innovation, occupies a central place in the
economy and society based on knowledge, being a key factor for the
competitiveness of the European Union. European higher education
124

sector will need to promote excellence and to become competitive in


relation to other international competitors. In relation to the Bologna
process, there were already a number of breakthroughs and looming
their amplification. At the meeting of the Leuven/Louvain-La-Neuve
(April 2009), Ministers responsible for higher education outlines a
number of priority actions in the short term, which would achieve the
objective of creating a 'european higher education Area' at the horizon
of 2020. The Ministers of the participating countries have committed
to support:
- the promotion of equitable access to education; He stressed
the social dimension of higher education and the need for equality of
access to quality education. This involves improving the learning
environment, the removal of all barriers to study and create adequate
economic conditions so that individuals can benefit from opportunities
to study at all levels.
- concern for excellence in higher education, constant focus on
the quality of educational processes, promoting public policies to
support and encourage the values.
- adjustment of supply to market requirements for educational
work, requiring skill levels ever higher. It aims at the development of
initial qualification, as well as the maintenance and renewal of the
workforce through a close cooperation between Governments,
institutions of higher education, the social partners and students. This
will allow higher education institutions to be more responsive to the
needs of employers and employees, to better understand public
education perspective.
- the development of research in higher education, to stimulate
innovation and creativity in society.
- internationalization of higher education and research, as well
as European and international collaboration for sustainable
development.
- the encouragement of continuous learning (lifelong), as an
integral part of national educational systems, by promoting flexible
learning paths, including part time studies or at work. Implementation
of lifelong learning policies, however, requires strong partnerships
between public authorities, higher education institutions, students,
employers and employees. Development of national qualifications
frameworks is an important step towards the implementation of
lifelong learning.

125

- student-centred learning through new approaches to teaching


and learning, the effective support and guidance structures, as well as a
clear curriculum, focused on the learner to develop learning outcomes.
- the mobility of students, researchers and teachers. Mobility is
important for personal development and employability, promoting
linguistic pluralism, cooperation and competition between institutions
of higher education.
Thus, Romanian higher education flies in the face of some very
strong challenges. Adaptation to the requirements of the Lisbon
strategy, namely the Bologna process, involves the removal of
weaknesses of the education system in Romania in the context in
which the investments are modest in both human capital and advanced
technology, know-how, research and development etc. In fact the
higher education reform and the foundations of this reform in the field
of education at european level, have been made in Lisbon, with the
adoption of the Bologna Declaration (19 June 1999), signed by the
Ministers and others concerned with higher education in 29 countries,
including Romania. The main objective of the Bologna Process is to
create a european space of higher education, based on international
cooperation and academic exchanges, a european space attractive both
for students and teachers in Europe, as well as for students and
teachers from anywhere in the world using the most performant
techologies, IT products and softs. In the case of private universities in
Romania, which runs study programmes in the economic, internal
differentiation trend can be clearly seen, but internationally
differentiation becomes a necessity 2.
3. Private universities in Romania and the european model
of knowledge economy
According to the european model of society of knowledge,
universities and academia (called tertiary education generic) are the
basic elements in the dissemination of research and innovation. The
2

Considering that the Bologna process aims only to higher education, after the
adoption of the Lisbon agenda, it became clear that they had taken action in the field
of professional training and learning throughout life. As a result, in 2002 the
Copenhagen Process was launched, with the aim of strengthening the quality and
attractiveness of vocational training and to promote mobility among students and
graduates in the area of continuing vocational training

126

EU-27 has approximately 4,000 units of higher education


(undergraduate and postgraduate), institutions with over 19 million
students (in 2008). However, European universities, as recent studies
show, are not capable yet to assume and carry out the role bestowed
upon it by the Lisbon strategy. In the US, for example, tertiary
education (Universities and colleges) occupies a share of 80 young
people of between 18 and 24 years of age in England 60, in France,
Germany and Japan between 54 and 58, compared with only a 40 share
in Romania (source: The World Bank-World Development Indicators,
2007).
In terms of doctoral studies, the highest number of PhD
graduates in the period 1990-2006 shall be recorded in the United
States (340 800), followed by Germany (273 150). In Europe, the
percentage of PhD graduates (by reference to the total of tertiary-level
graduates) for 14 European countries ranges between 1% and 3% for
most Western European countries except Switzerland (about 4.5%),
while in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe it is under 1%.
Doctoral graduates undertake, particularly in higher education.
Austria is among the few countries that make exception to this rule, a
greater proportion of PhD graduates being employed in the sector of
business enterprises. The private sector also holds a majority of holders
of diplomas of doctor in Belgium and the United States of America.
While higher education and public sectors undertake the doctoral
graduates in all areas, the private sector employs scientists and
engineers who are working using the most performant techology.
Furthermore, it should be noted that U.S. universities are
attracting 54 of the global market of higher education. According to
the Academic Ranking of the top of World Universities in 2010,
American University Harvard is the best University in the world. In
addition, eight American universities are present in the Top 10 and 54
in the Top 100. Highest ranked University in Cambridge is Europe
(United Kingdom), on the fifth position. In Eastern Europe, the only
country that matters in Hungary, with the top two universities, Eotvos
Lorand University of Szeged, and placed in the range 301-400. The
Top 500 universities by the year 2010 does not include any University
in Romania. One of the causes of this situation is subfinanarea
education system, higher education, public sector, poverty, and
difficulties in retaining the elites in the academic environment.
Romania occupies one of the last places among EU-27 countries in
terms of fulfilment of the corresponding structural indicators of the
127

Lisbon strategy. Pending the adoption of the european model of society


of knowledge we have come a very long way. An acceleration of this
process could come however from private universities, on the
American universities to the top spots of occupying top 100.
Private universities in Romania do their best to meet the need
for a greater number of students, along with teachers' need for State
universities to round off the proceeds. The positioning of the simplest
was that of accessibility both by low price and laxitatea standards.
Romanian society without standards, it was hooked up perfectly to this
proposal and, behold, the universities more than mediocre in terms of
teaching have become successful businesses. It is true that in all
developed countries, private education was established as an
alternative to the State but has made great efforts to become its
superior, both in terms of quality and efficiency of spending money.
It is emphasised that the 60,000 children, how many were enrolled in
private education institutions in 2010 reached in 2013, to almost 100,000.
In these circumstances, private universities in Romania, in their great
majority, and have developed the ability to transfer the latest technology,
with high potential for innovation. It is the first step towards competitive
exports not only by price but also by intake of innovation. Although
important, profits record purchases of technology in private universities
in Romania are considered to be under the quality demands.- 2013
Rapport, Ministry of National Education

In Romania, the number of students enrolled in private


education system stands at approximately 400,000. If we take into
account an average tuition fee of 500 euros (average tuition fees for
undergraduate, masters and doctoral), it follows that private higher
education market amounts to more than 150 million euros per year, an
amount large enough to cause a fierce competition between
universities (meaning attract a large number of students) and to allow
investment in the technology of the first rank. 3
Private universities are able to achieve significant profits, so
that in the year 2009 recorded profits, the biggest eight private
3

Even if the annual fees in excess of several thousand euros, parents say it's a
investiie,. There are even parents who maintain both or all the children at private
schools, even during the primary. Thus, parents pay from 5,000 to almost 19,000
euros, money that motivates and teachers.

128

institutions of higher education totaled about 55 million euros, the


profit rate rising to 37 (Figure 1). Compared to the amount of 1200
euros a State spends annually on each student's education in the public
system, it can be said that the tuition charged by private universities
are relatively small.
Profit (Euro)

ar
et
H
u

ir
Sp

0
00
00
00
10

00
00
00
90

00
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00
80

00
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om
an

aA

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ic
an
a

Ec
ol
og
ic
a

Bi
ot
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ra

Venituri totale (Euro)

Figura 1 Total revenues and profits registered by the largest eight private
institutions of higher education in Romania Source: Ministry of public
finance(www.mfinante.ro)

However, private universities in Romania depend almost


entirely on fees paid by each student, which causes teachers to take a
lenient attitude toward them in terms of the promotion exams. In this
context, can it talk about the creation of centres of excellence, basic
elements of the knowledge society? In any case. 'Culture of excellence'
is still an alien concept for almost all private universities in Romania
becouse withough a high level applied technology we cannot speak
about excellence.
Unlike the situation in Romania, the top universities abroad are
not dependent on fees paid by the students, because the funds they
manage are obtained mainly from donations and sponsorships, as well
as in budgetary allocations. Harvard, for example, given the sums of
over 27 billion dollars annually. A simple mathematical calculation
made at the level of 2009 shows that if all the University students
would pay the maximum fee, the amount collected should not exceed
300 million dollars. As a result, Harvard is not dependent on fees paid
by students.
So, in private universities in Romania cannot yet speak of
quality education in the context of low tuition fees, some considerable
129

profits and a total dependencies fees paid by students. The assertion is


confirmed by the study 'University Ranking', made by the German
company Kienbaum Management Consultants in collaboration with the
magazine Capital, designed and realized study in Romania, after all the
rigors of scientific, to measure the degree of confidence and
satisfaction of the educational offer of the Romanian universities.
According to him, the top ratings, in terms of all the criteria
envisaged, is Romania's public universities, place them on the last
places in the ranking. It is worth mentioning that in 2009 the
University 'Babes-Bolyai' University of Cluj was situated on top of the
assessments. Increasingly accepting more students, private universities
in Romania have become some very lucrative business (Figure 2). This
would not be any problem if the profits would be reinvested properly.
It requires a shift from the accumulation of capital to investments in
modern technology, with high potential for innovation, to research and
develop human resource.
450000
400000

Nr.studenti

350000
300000
250000
200000
150000
100000
50000
0

00

/2

08

20
8

00

/2

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20
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20
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/2

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20
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00

/2

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00

/2

02

20
1

00

/2

00

20
8

99

/1

97

19
6

99

/1

95

19

Figura 2 Evolution of the number of students enrolled in higher education in 19952009


Source: National Institute of statistics

A private component is extremely developed in preschool


education and the environment, compared to higher education.
Romanian students of 38.6% are enrolled in private universities (in
2008), a percentage higher than that of the EU (31.2%). In Italy, just
7% of the students attends the private, in Germany 9.8% and in the
USA 26.1%. We exceed, however, Latvia (95,1%), Estonia (84,2%)
and Netherlands (71%). At the opposite pole is Greece, where there are
130

no private universities (Figure 3). Moreover, Eurostat data show that in


the United Kingdom all students learn in private universities, but with
one exception (University of Buckingham), all private universities
receive money from the Government, being dependent on it.

Figura 3 The share of students who teach in private universities (2009) Source:
Eurostat

Without a doubt though, the issues listed are only a part of the
major problems of the Romanian private education. As expected, the
economic recession has worsened the crisis, structural and financial
quality of Romanian education as a whole. Students are equally
affected by the fall in living standards caused by the recession and
unemployment is endemic in recent years. But the most serious
problem affecting them is almost total lack of opportunities of
graduates from private higher education who fail to find jobs. As is
well known, in the period July 2008 to July 2011, the number of
employed persons decreased in Romania from 4,835 million to 4,248
million. Obviously, this regression has led to acute shortages of jobs
and reduced almost to zero probability of occupation of a place of
employment, especially for young graduates of Romanian private
higher education. Graduates of institutions of higher education still do
not display the private spirit and entrepreneurial skills developed,
designed to create advantages in the labor market and to influence
positively the convergence with the knowledge society. This is due
primarily to poor laboratory facilities and that is very much
theoretical approaches without increasing emphasis on professional
practice issues.For this reason, in the last two years most of the
graduates have become unemployed or have migrated in search of jobs
131

compatible with the skills and knowledge gained in the education


process. Private university education must invest in modern technology
in order to provide a good level laboratories standard, and students
must perform internships in institutions that can provide the
information needed luggage for a constantly changing labor market
It should be noted however that, lately, private educational
establishments, through on-the-job practice, works indirectly as centres
of employment placement, allowing the interrelationship between
learners and employers, making them all the more attractive to
beneficiaries. One of the keys to success training providers consists
precisely in this beneficial practice, namely to conclude protocols for
training practice with the economic agents.
Curricular flexibility and interdisciplinarity should be
promoted by the private universities to stimulate processes of
lifelong learning and mobility among young people. Private
universities must define the powers provided by the completion of
each of the levels of preparation. They must relate to international
requirements, decisions and plans and educational programs that are
compatible with the most prestigious universities in the world. This
requirement shall be discharged from the need to ensure, on the one
hand, the mobility of students who have the freedom of choice of the
training that suits them best and, on the other hand, the compatibility
of the diplomas and certificates of study, in order to exercise the
profession anywhere in the world. There are multiple malfunctions and
we want to enumerate just some of them:
- lack of curriculum centered on student preparation, by shifting
the emphasis on progressive teaching the learning, the orientation
towards the formation of competences, skills and attitudes;
- the decline of teacher's authority;
- impossibility of conducting of differentiated and personalized
curriculum paths, similar to those from abroad-absence of active
learning strategies, autonomous etc.
- inadequate endowment with modern educational technologies;
- domination still formative appearance in the training process;
- lack of motivation, attachment and professional ethics in the
case of many teachers;
- lack of finality of many programs for in-service teacher
training.
The need for continuous learning and upgrading of
professional knowledge in the context of the knowledge-based society
132

requires today a quite long period of education and training of


individuals. The general trend is for young people to extend the period
of training, opting more and more for the most effective learning or
following various other forms of education, such as training, training
in computer use and foreign languages, attending various courses,
including training at the workplace, etc. With only 2 people out of 100
participants in the activities of lifelong learning programmes
(compared to Spain-Italy, 12-6, Hungary-4) Romania has very limited
potential on the participation of human resource in knowledge-based
economy.
Education system, the current situation in which the evolution
of information technology tends to make an increasingly important
place in all areas of activity, in need of high performance computer
systems and adapted technological growth permanently.
Computerization of educational process and education requires the
development of new organizational structures, new management and
new ways to use information technologies. Recent developments in
the field of information technologies and communications have
produced an important change in the needs of both the acquisition of
knowledge and the capacity to respond to them, and how they are
offered programs of study in educational institutions. Concerns for
simbiozei of specialized training and preparation of the General staff is
sympathetic to the rasfrng carrying out the activity. These concerns
will contribute largely to the rapid uptake of new achievements of
science and technology, as well as to obtain an effective rivalry.
However, we cannot overlook that in University Administration, are
frequent cases where institutions endowed with modern technique
achieves a low efficiency. 4 To implement in private universities of the
knowledge society, it is particularly important to facilitate access to the
Internet, mobile and technology. Analysis of the degree of penetration
of the Internet in Romania (42%) reveals, however, a gap against of
the countries surveyed, almost two times less than the EU-27 average
(70%).
4

Source: European Commission Thanks to the new technologies more and more
institutions of higher education integrated digital media use in both campuses, and
online. Unfortunately, though, not the entire staff uses these technologies and
therefore a lack of strategic coordination at the level of institutions. Thus, the high
level group, the report presents new ways of changing the traditional education using
new technologies. The main responsibility lies with the public authorities, and the
secondary, higher education institutions, in order to create the environment
conducive to change.

133

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Figura 4 The degree of access to the Internet (the share of households with Internet
access in households/total in %) 2010-source: Eurostat

At the end of this research underline the fact that the effects of
the economic crisis and demographic decrease means two items that
have visibly affected private tertiary education. In the year 2013 'over
180 degrees of higher education no longer fulfil the conditions of
accreditation or are no longer necessary, the four universities will
enter into special monitoring and six universities that are provisionally
authorised no longer have the right to hold entrance exam', according
to the Minister Delegate for Higher Education and Research of the
Ministry of National Education. In early 2014, the Ministry of
education has presented a draft resolution which States that 33 of State
and private universities have at least a specialization or program of
studies that shall enter into liquidation in the academic year 2014-2015
and to which I can no longer hold entrance exam.
On the basis of the Nomenclature of Specialities and
Areas/Undergraduate Programmes, the structure of the institutions of
higher learning, areas and programs of undergraduate degree
accredited or approved to operate on a provisional basis, of the
geographical locations of deployment, the number of transferable
course credits for each program of undergraduate studies, educational
and language form of teaching, as well as the maximum number of
students that can be schooled in the academic year 2014-2015the
Government was established, as a result of the project submitted by the
Ministry of education, accredited universities that 4 will be liquidated,
the other 3 private universities will be monitored, and 135
134

degrees/programs of study at 33 State and private universities will be


dismantled.
In conclusion, the main difficulties in the development of
private higher education in Romania are related to poor
representation of higher education among the working population, the
low performance of the research, study and lack of uniformity of
standards of excellence, dependence on fees paid by students, the lack
of programmes on lifelong training combined with inferior equipment
and new technology equipment. The effectiveness of learning activities
contribute undoubtedly and information and communication
technologies. We all expect each course to have a website that students
could find at least bibliography, description of learning outcomes,
planning learning activities, describe the methods of examination and
course materials in electronic format. Although we already know that
there are difficulties they encounter Educational-system due to
constant changes in society, due to the continued need for adaptation
to new technologies and new requirements of the labor market - is
necessary to understand that investment in education is one of the most
profitable investments.
It should be added that the development of private university
education was based for a long time on a quantitative accumulation,
the majority being allocated to the database extension investment real
estate and related facilities, in order to be able to absorb a growing
number of students. At the present time the Romanian private
universities must apply a qualitative expansion policy, to remain in the
competition an increasingly more competitive, adopting models of
performant management oriented to education, becoming a viable
alternative and a real competitor of State education.

135

CONSIDERATIONS ON HIGHER EDUCATION


FUNDING IN EUROPEAN UNION
INCREASING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Assoc. Prof. PhD Mihaela DIMITRESCU
Hyperion University of Bucharest
Lect. PhD Luiza SRBU
University of Piteti
Lect. PhD Yvonne LACROIS
The Academy of Economic Sciences from Bucharest
Abstract:
On long term, undoubtedly, education contributes to economic
growth of a country, stimulates progress and raise the living standards of the
population. Even if a large proportion of worldwide studies indicated public
outputs of higher education (e.g. productivity growth), there hasnt been yet
demonstrated a strong link between the benefits for Higher Education and
public spending.
With the establishment of a knowledge-based economy, all countries
try to find suitable strategies and special ways to keep up with the growing
competition in the rapidly evolving global economy increasing academic
performance. The demand of higher education thus keeps growing worldwide
and especially in developing countries. Many governments face the problem
of maintaining public funding levels for higher education. Therefore the issue
of the efficiency of funding higher education must be addressed.
Keywords: higher education, efficiency, funding higher education.

1. INTRODUCTION
Starting from the idea that "education is the way to economic
prosperity, the key of scientific and technological development, the
way to combat unemployment, the base of social equity and the spread
of political socialisation and cultural vitality" (Psacharopoulos, G.,
1985), governments were interested in financing higher education
136

especially for the fact that the state was the main beneficiary of the
system of higher education, and it does not imply an economic burden
to the public.
Both in the developed and in the developing countries, the
governments were and are still influenced by higher education
regarded as a social and private investment and the rate of return
released this. The World Bank has shown, since the 1980s, concern on
the publication of estimates rates of return to higher education together
with their implications for higher education financing from public
funds. From the analysis of the messages sent by the World Bank
through the reports published on the distribution of public funds
allocated to education funding for primary, secondary and tertiary
education, shows how states have interpreted and applied different
levels of education funding. Thus, by the 2000s, in most countries it
was found that a dollar invested in education evolved twice efficiency
than a dollar invested in tertiary education, which is why it introduced
the concept of recovering the costs of higher education (fees tuition
and education credits), simultaneously with the application of a policy
of reallocating public spending on primary education.
2. FINANCING HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM
Many people consider that university education is a right which
should be financed entirely from public funds. Effectiveness and
equity represent undoubtedly the main arguments for continuing the
funding of higher education from public funds, but the real problem
lies in finding a private source for financing higher education because
without the necessary investment in education, the long term
development cannot be sustained, and public allocations for university
education are not sufficient.
So, it is expected that all beneficiaries of higher education,
particularly the state, the enterprises and the individuals to contribute
to financing, according to the principle "who benefits must pay."
Higher education institutions operate in an environment
characterized by constraints on growth in demand for higher education,
decentralization of the system, in terms of free movement of both
teachers and students.
The market orientation of university education has led to the
appearance of tuition fees hat have transferred a large part of the costs
of tertiary education from tax payers to students and their parents, i.e.
137

to the final beneficiaries. In these circumstances was appealed to


finance studies on loans or vouchers.
Also, it appears that state intervention in the financing of higher
education is not primarily aimed at achieving positive externalities, but
rather correcting the failure of the credit market for education.
Higher education can be seen as a public good, given that
the amount of knowledge a student acquires during university studies
does not diminish the amount of knowledge available to other students.
Also, higher education can be regarded as a "good value" justifying
state involvement in education in that society benefits from it. In this
case, the social benefit of consumption is higher education private
benefit felt by the consumer.
Private benefits of individuals are accompanied by long-term
effects of research, technology development, political stability,
improvements in democracy and the creation and transmission of new
knowledge. All these benefits arising in response to induce investment
in higher education increased by a few percent social rate of return.
However, funding for higher education must take into account two
important concepts: higher education viewed from the perspective of
public investment and cost recovery.
The issue of determining the
mechanisms of economic growth through education cannot prevent the
authorities and individuals choose to continue education because
education is the way to ensure the welfare of the nation in the future.
The allocation of funds for education must be consistent and
continuous for a long time to record an economic plus due to
education. Any interruption in the allocation of funds for education
will lead to permanent loss as educational level increases are closely
related to certain ages that the human factor runs.
Here comes another problem. Who should pay for higher
education?
If weve consider that the individual is the primary
beneficiary of higher education, it is normal for him to pay because he
was interested decision achieving higher revenue in the future. At the
same time, the company benefits from higher education by increasing
the pace of development, the overall level of living.
Thus, both individuals and society are interested in higher
education, which leads to the idea of funding studies by the level of
development achieved by each system. Thus, if the personal budget
allows, then the individual must pay studies. If individuals, households

138

cannot pay the costs of higher education, then they should be borne by
the state budget.
Education has an important impact on economic development,
generating effects at both the private and the socio-economic system.
Private effects relate to changes in income, employment opportunities
employment and nonmonetary effects. The link between the labor
market and the education market is salary. Besides the advantage of a
high salary, educated individuals enjoy greater security of employment
and
also
the
greater
mobility
of
income
growth.
Raising tuition is determined by the risk of being unemployed
(Rees - Mocan, 1997). So it comes as close to full employment in the
labor market leading to economic growth.
3. EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING

Across Europe, traditional funding patterns for higher


education are changing, as a response to societal and economic
developments. In a context of enhanced competition for public
resources, funding efficiency in large sectors such as higher education
is becoming a more pressing objective.
Public authorities are willing to get more for the money
invested in universities. Since 2008, authorities are often expecting
more outputs with less money, because the economic situation of many
European countries has significantly deteriorated. Apart from steering
universities through funding modalities, many systems of higher
education engage in some degree of restructuring in order to rationalise
costs, increase visibility and altogether boost international competition.
In most of the European countries, public funding of higher
education system represents between 50% and 90% of the universities
income structures. There have often been significant changes in the
modalities through which public funding is delivered.
Over the period 2008-2012 and on-going in 2013, the important
cuts made in the budgets for higher education and research in a number
of countries.
On long term, changes in both the nature and overall amount
potentially have the greatest effect on universities financial
sustainability due to the importance of this funding source for the
higher education system.

139

Source: Designing strategies for efficient funding of higher education on


Europe, DEFINE Interim Report, December 2013 strategies

In this context and considering also the increased pressure on


public funding, generating additional income from other sources is
perceived by universities as more and more necessary for their longterm financial sustainability. Overall, in most systems, these types of
additional income sources exceed 10% of the average universities
income.
A worrying issue represents the understanding of some
European authorities concerning the structural funds as a mechanism to
compensate decreases in national public funding for the sector. But this
is problematic because of two reasons: the significant amount of cofunding required and the fact that European funds are allocated on a
competitive basis success in the competition requires institutional
capacities and resources that in turn depend on financial means.
On the European higher education system is exerted a great
pressure to adapt to evolving economic and societal demands as well
as to the culture of excellence necessary to operate in an increasingly
internationally competitive field. To ensure positive outcomes at the
level of university studies, higher education funding should be directed
primarily towards e-Learning products and educational software
products that support the specialists, teachers, students and students
with interests in educational technology supported models,
methodologies and software solutions. In this context should be
140

considered implementation of information society technologies (IST /


FP6 / FP7) the European Union requirements. Also be provided and
funding for promoting and implementing modern ideas in initial
education and continuing education, promoting the spirit of work /
research team, attracting and inclusion of young people in the research
and development, promotion and implementation of technologies like
ICT in education and in-service training.
Policy responses to these challenges take many forms; among
the most visible are concentration processes such as mergers. Another
is institutional profiling, as it is increasingly acknowledged that some
degree of differentiation among institutions is beneficial to the system.
Some countries have made extra financial resources available for these
entities to compete internationally. These processes are also driven by
the objective of cost efficiency and contribute to re-shaping higher
education landscapes. On the new higher education landscape large
public universities often absorb other higher education institutions
especially public, non-university institutions.

Source: Designing strategies for efficient funding of higher education on


Europe, DEFINE Interim Report, December 2013

4. FUNDING ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION


In Romania the education system started be reformed and
efforts began years ago. Since 2008, the National Pact for Education,
leaders of parliamentary parties, Romanian Academy and civil society
representatives expressed directly commitment to allocate 6% of GDP
for education. Importance of National Education Law transposition in
financial allocations plan was recognized by the Romanian
Government. Thus, NRP (2011 - 2013), provided that: "To modernize
the Romanian educational system, in order to adapt to the current
demands of the knowledge society and the smart and inclusive growth,
the Government passed the National Education Law (...). These
141

measures were taken because European report on the education system in


the Member States of the European Union has very clear targets for
2020. For our county, "education is a national priority," according to
the National Education Act and the Higher Education Funding strategy
is, in terms of university autonomy, one of the main instruments for the
implementation of government policies on national education. On the
other hand we must point to the Low of Education from 2011. The
Education Act specified in Article 8, that "for national education
funding is allocated annually from the state budget and the budgets of
local authorities at least 6% of GDP in the year. Additional units and
educational institutions can obtain and use autonomous incomes. For
scientific research is allocated annually from the state budget, less than
1% of gross domestic product that year, and in Article 9 specifies the
principles that make financing:

"a) transparent substantiation and allocation of funds;


b) the distribution of equity funds for a quality education;
c) the adequacy of the amount of resources depending on their
objectives;
d) predictability through the use of financial mechanisms
consistent and stable;
e) efficient resource utilization."
For this purpose an important role belongs to the National
Council for Higher Education (CNFIS). This institution is a consultative
body at the national level, the Ministry of National Education which
develops principles and methods of distribution of public funds to state
universities in Romania, assuming continued growth promoting quality
in higher education system in Romania and providing for all citizens
equal opportunities in higher education training. CNFIS operates under
its own rules of organization and operation, and publish an annual report
on the state of higher education financing and optimization measures to
be taken. The main responsibilities of CNFIS on financing higher
education in Romania are:
- Making proposals for methodology for allocating funds to
finance basic budget and additional funding of higher education,
according to LEN 1/2011;
Developing proposals for methodology for allocating
funds to finance complementary budget and fund for institutional
development;
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Formulating proposals on the allocation of tuition


figures by allocating grants financed by the budget of state
universities;
Realization of the collection and analysis of statistical
data on students.
Funding State University of Romania from public funds is
supported by the Ministry of Education budget and it is divided into
three main components:
1.
Core funding (FB) which refers to: personnel costs
(CP: salaries, benefits, CAS, other legal contributions, domestic and
international travel) and administrative expenses (CM: household
maintenance and for material and supplies of services of functional,
inventory, current repairs, books and publications, training personnel,
protocol, safety etc.). This funding covers the main component of the
teaching staff and related expenses are allocated according to the
number of students to school and follows the priority fields of study
that provide sustainable development and competitive society.
2.
Additional funding (FS) which covers several aspects
related Teacher: grants for mass funds for endowments, investments
and capital repairs and funds for scientific research. This is to
encourage excellence in institutions of higher education and is a fund
that is nationwide, at least 30% of the amount allocated to universities
as core funding. This additional funding is based on quality criteria and
standards for each university and each field of study in accordance
with the results of the classification hierarchy and university programs.
3.
Institutional Development Fund includes amounts
for: newly merged universities institutional development and financing
of specific projects to promote institutional development programs for
new studies, increasing institutional capacity, improving the quality of
teaching, research infrastructure development, internationalization of
business education higher etc. This component addresses the best
financing institutions in each category, but all are eligible, and are
allocated by competitive criteria based on international standards under
development projects / contracts with the Ministry of Education
Institutional (project complies with national policies development of
higher education, with the strategic plan of the institution of higher
education apply anticipated impact.)

143

The paradox is that with the economic crisis, at which


investment in education has become even more important because it
recognized the role it can play in overcoming periods of economic
collapse, trend GDP allocation for education has become one
descendant, in the context there is an upward trend from 2004 to 2008.
Speaking in terms of numbers, even if including the overall value of
GDP decreased, decreased and the percentage allocated to the
education budget, the state choosing to invest in other areas.
Evolution process of
GDP spent public
funds for education

Source: National Institute of Statistics - 2013

Assumptions made
regarding the
percentage of GDP
allocated to
education

Basically, when the representatives of political parties have


assumed allocation of 6% of GDP on education (the National Pact for
Education) coincided with the beginning of a period of steady decline
in the percentage of GDP allocated. Analyzing the funding of public
universities in the period 2003-2012 in terms of core funding - the
most important component of total funding (68% in 2012 - according
CNFIS), we find that core funding increased in value during the period
2003-2011 at a total amount of 617 million lei to a total of 1.709
billion lei, but taking into account the inflation rate for each year of the
reference period shows that in real terms the core funding has
stagnated, even recording a negative trend, with the exception of 2008
has meant a significant increase in core funding.
It should be noted that Romania has made remarkable efforts to adopt
European standards and recommendations on quality assurance
(European Standards and Guidelines of quality assurance) and to engage
in building a European Framework for Quality Assurance (English.
European Quality Assurance Framework - EQAF) structure quality
assurance of qualifications awarded.
Directorate of Romanian Higher Education funding must be
focused on the idea that quality must prevail over quantity. From the
2014 budget funded places in higher education were open to
144

competition, as they will apply in the future. It will be organized under


a special regulation, as determined by the Ministry of Education
criteria by which students will be appointed who will benefit from
education budget will be academic success.
The ministry decision also established the procedure and
conditions for organizing the contest in state universities. "All
universities are required to hold an annual competition for places with
budget financing, since the summer of 2014" and budgetary student
status will be retained for the entire period of study for students
orphans, those without parental care and people with severe disability
and sharp.
In this sense, must be enhanced assessment requirement for
those universities that meet a high influx of interest candidates found
in apparent inverse proportion to the quality of teaching and actual
skills acquired. Merely obtaining a diploma is not enough; real
qualities have proven to represent the natural result of a worksupported teaching performance. Process centered approach no longer
meets the specific objectives training skills. It required a rethinking of
the educational process in a project-based approach. From the
educational experience of recent years, one can see the need to
increase quality in higher education and careful correlation of all
educational programs for teachers who teach in a university, to avoid
teaching the same educational modules and transmitting the same
information repeatedly. The basic idea is to create a common
framework that is relevant both in Romania and abroad, due to the
rules imposed by the European Union.
Funding state universities must be done in terms of supporting
the institutional development of vectors that target, at least, the
following aspects:
a.
Pay particular attention to transferable skills.
b.
Developing a network of centers based on practice firm
agreements and increased hours of practice.
c.
Quitting number of students centered education.
d.
Waiver forms of inadequate education requirements.
e.
Periodic assessment of Romanian higher education.
f.
Reconsidering evaluation criteria underlying academics
to maintain the post and promotion.
g.
Ensuring secure funding for professional development
of teachers in higher education (internships documentation, training
courses, conferences, symposia)
145

h.
Defining a matrix specific to each area.
i.
Establishing thresholds requirement in the evaluation
system of students
In light of these measures must analyze data related to the
percentage of GDP allocated to education in the last five years, we see
that assumptions about 6% for education was not observed even once:

Year

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Percentage
of GDP for
education

4,2%

3,53%

4,13%

3,5%

3,6%

Source: National Institute of Statistics - 2013

As a conclusion we must underline that in many higher


education systems, public authorities and/or universities are
considering or taking steps towards merger processes. The extent and
nature of these merger processes varies across Europe. In most
systems, universities enter into collaboration and partnerships, in a
more or less systematic way. Specific types of collaboration are
considered here; university consortia, joint degrees, joint research and
broader strategic partnerships.
While the main purpose of these collaborations is, rightly,
related to the core missions of the universities, also the financial
aspects appear to be an important issue in all types of collaboration.
Internationalisation comes ahead of financial reasons in the sphere of
joint research. The universities themselves have a major impact on
their environment, not only by adapting institutional behaviour to
respond to the external pressures and incentive mechanisms set at
system level, but also by actively seeking to improve efficiency at
institutional level. States must allocate financial resources and support
higher education where there is opportunity for performance. Whether
in an undergraduate program, whose graduates can be absorbed very
well on the local labor market or a university that makes a good
research on internationally agreed criteria. The objective is to enable
students to know where best to go to achieve their goals in life and
opportunity for the State to fund performance.
Achieving efficiencies is indeed a topic high on the agenda in
most higher education systems in Europe; by being proactive and
146

embedding these aspects in their institutional strategies, universities


can contribute to shaping action in this area. Cooperation among
universities may help to drive costs down, especially on internal basis
by process improvement, teaching practices, workforce changes, in
order to improve efficiency and deliver better value for money.
The European Commission warns the national states and
universities in its Communication that even though the position of
Europe as a popular study destination is good, competition is
increasingly fierce and that now is not the time to relax. The race for
talent is very real and very global and if Europe is going to fulfill the
goals set up in EU2020, we need to be very active in that race. This
cannot be the concern of a select few countries and world-renowned
universities anymore, all higher education institutions have a role to
play and a responsibility to take. Referring to previous EU documents
relevant for higher education such as the Modernizing Europes
Higher Education Systems, 2011, the Rethinking Education document,
2012 and the Enhancing and Focusing EU international Cooperation
in Research and Innovation, 2012, there is an emphasis on the need to
deliver education in various formats to meet the individual needs of the
students and to enhance the competitiveness of the institutions. (The
International Communication from the European Commission (EC)
European higher education in the world.)

147

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CONTRIBUTION TO


PREVENTION OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE
Fr. Assoc. Prof. PhD Doru DAMEAN
Ovidius University of Constana
Prof. Nicoleta DAMEAN
Secondary School no. 116, Bucharest
Abstract:
Religious education in public schools is a major concern of the
Romanian Orthodox Church, as demonstrated by involvement in positioning
discipline religion in a more favorable legislative context, and through
initiatives designed to streamline the educational activity. Numerous projects
and synthesis papers for students, parents and teachers show a paradigm
shift in what concerns the theological content, more pronounced near the
concrete aspects of children's lives, generating leverage support or obstacles
in Christian formation.
This article highlights the role of religion discipline in terms of
reducing violence in schools. We believe that the religion teacher working on
a plan somewhat different from other teachers who teach secular disciplines
only. In his work does not act in the spirit of secular ethical values, but in the
name of religious values of Orthodox worship.
Keywords: religious education, violence, school, student, Christian
values.

The school life is affected by violence, a viral phenomenon that


requires to be treated with tact and efficiency. The violence is one of
the characteristics of human being that manifests in school as verbal
and physical violence. Nowadays, it is becoming harder to combat it
with traditional means used in school over time until today. It seems
that the methods used (such as additional topics about violence in the
form classes, pedagogical counseling individual meetings with
discussions with parents and guests from the police, enforcement
148

actions such as reprimand, warning, fine, deletions, expulsions,


disciplinary transfer, putting in front of the class) does not have the
expected effects and the teacher and school are powerless phenomenon
and are often in difficult situations. 1
Many teachers, parents, students throw up the sponge against
violence and often they create a false image of success in remedying of
this phenomenon. The best solution for preventing school violence is
to seek cooperation partners and integrative activities in a real network
that ensures a safe school and identify the main causes and sources for
this climate.
Institutions responsible for regulating violent behavior in
society and community, such as kindergartens, schools, church, police,
NGOs, associations, specialized centers in the area have developed in
recent years a multitude of activities to combat school violence.
Formal character, lack of motivation of those involved, too short
periods of progress, the absence of legislation to meet its actions, or
lack of measurable results unfinished projects carrying approaches are
inefficient institutions reasons mentioned above. 2
The causes that lead to a violent behavior are: educational
deficiencies, personal inclinations in existing climate at school and
generally anthem evolving environment in all key actors: children /
pupils, parents, teachers. 3
The failure of reasons consist just lack of innovative
approaches and using the same means obsolete, while fundamentally
transformed society, the school population no longer reacts to the same
methods and is not motivated as it was in the past. Changes in attitude
and behavior and appreciation of social values occur quickly and
significant. So it is important that all factors liable to learn to cope with
these challenges. School should be regarded as one of the essential
components of the society in which we can observe an entire society
and community, whether urban or rural. School is where the manifest
deficiencies in education, the benefits of a quality education as well as
social problems and success or failure in solving them. School is the
place where deficiencies in education can be discovered, the benefits
of a quality education as well as social problems and success or failure
in solving them. 4
1

Wendy Grant, Rezolvarea conflictelor, Ed. Teora, Bucureti, 1998, pp. 67-74.
A. Neculau, Violena Aspecte psihosociale, Ed. Polirom, Iai, 2003, pp. 89-91.
3
Ibidem, p. 92.
4
F. Anghel, Violena n coal, Ed. Alpha MDN, Bucureti, 2006, pp. 125-127.
2

149

From a pragmatic perspective, school is the first institution in


which students and parents meet with other actors in the education
system: teachers, other children / pupils and parents, local and central
authorities. Obviously, this institution can not be isolated from the
wider, society evolves and external influences exerted on them are
both positive and negative, so as to provide one of the prerequisitesschool safety and adjacent area-network cooperation is necessary to
ensure safe school climate.
The purpose of fulfilling these goals, the school should be
supported because the current challenges can not be tackled only in
formal environment, kindergarten/school and the education of the
young generation in the spirit of fairness, preventing delinquent
tendencies can not be left solely to the kindergarten/school and
assumed only kindergarten/school. 5
Social violence is an issue of the present in many countries and
its solution consists in the development of educational programs to
promote awareness of this phenomenon and to advocate for nonviolent
means of interaction and control social life. The general situation
worries because violence has become a topic facing all societies,
requiring a position in the entire social body and development
investigative strategies, prevention and control.
Sociological studies have shown that the family level there
fundamental changes in the structure and its values, as well as
degradation of refuge and security climate that is traditionally
associated with family. The modernity and urban condition generated
new forms of violence and caused changes in the values and
aspirations of individuals 6.
The conflicts due to poverty and lack of education and
information privacy generate contexts in which violent behavior is
tolerated, even accepted, being taught children and reproduced as
essential way, the frequency of interpersonal behavior. Violence is one
of the major problems of the contemporary world.
The best way to train and prepare children for social life is
represented by example of parents. But adults are increasingly stressed
and busy and not allow sufficient time for education of children.

L. oitu, C. Hvrneanu, Agresivitatea n coal, Ed. Institutul European, Iai,


2001, pp. 132-134.
6
E. Gherga, G. Gherga, Medierea conflictelor, Ed. Didactic i Pedagogic,
Bucureti, 2001, pp. 101-102.
5

150

The bullying phenomenon must be analyzed in the context of


its appearance. In this respect, the school may have an important role
in preventing of school violence. Education with a view to
strengthening civil society aims at preparing children for school life,
young people for society 7.
In the process of education, religious education proves to be a
factor can trigger emotions in student that lead finally to a normal
behavior. In this respect, religious education teacher brings a new
element to be discovered each student, namely, the model of Christian
behavior.
From the beginning mention that Christian mission consists in
sending church in the world for the purpose of preaching the Word of
God and the redemptive work in of Jesus Christ. Researchers who
analyzed the role of religious education in school emphasized that
Gospel should be seen more than a treatise on education which refers
not so much to a particular case of a general education, but to the entire
activity of the Church 8. Regarding the mission of Christian the same
researchers believe that it aims at the integration of people into the
kingdom of God founded by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, they
opened in anticipation of Pentecost in the Church, the kingdom will be
manifested in its fullness at the second coming of Christ in glory 9.
The mission is part of God's plan of salvation and it is based on
the universality of salvation and perfection in Christ and participation
in sending Christ in the world 10. Fathers were defined as an essential
mission of the Church, the Church's missionary vocation of being
given of its apostolic character. This is reason for Church carries out a
continuous activity of preaching.
The task requires the existence of a collaboration uniting the
work of God with man. In this respect, the Christian mission is part of
God's plan of salvation and perfection of the world and it is that part
which made the history of the Church or its members. To preach the
divine word in a globalized world and the secular is to take the word of
Christ's gospel in a new way to those who lost their Christian roots.
Transmitting the faith is made through explicitly communication,
7

F. Anghel, op. cit., p. 131.


Sebastian ebu, Monica Opri, Dorin Opri, Metodica predrii religiei, Ed.
Rentregirea, Alba Iulia, 2000, p. 23.
9
Valer Bel, Misiunea Bisericii n lumea contemporan. Premise teologice, ClujNapoca, Ed. Presa Universitar Clujean, 2004, p. 19.
10
Ghe. Drgulin, Propovduirea cuvntului i cultul n Biserica Ortodox Romn,
n ST, XXVII (1975), nr. 3-4, p. 85.
8

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structural and systematic, including religious education which is taught


in school.
The faith at school is transmitted to open students' desire for
knowledge of God and to a life in which they observe and follow
Christian values. The priest and the teacher of religious education have
the mission to conduct a systematic program of training and mentoring
of students in order to transmit and preserve the true faith. Thus, any
religious education lesson must be conceived as a missionary measure
of transmission, deepening and strengthening the true faith. The
students are taught to acquire a sense of mission and responsibility by
confessing the true faith by word and deed within religious education.
Evangelizing dimension of religious education aimed at leading
them both in terms of the elements of doctrine or history of
Christianity as well as leading them to communion in the sacraments.
The Divine Liturgy is an advancing to the Kingdom of God and at the
same time a place where Christians are preparing for the mission. It
calls to personal living and dynamic evangelical testimony, to
conversion and love of neighbor.
The mission to educate young generations through the gospel
of Christ requires specific skills both in plan and taking disciplinary
contents missionary dimension of any religion teacher.
Educational context reconsidering the importance of discipline
imposed religious education as a discipline which involves the
development of religious education as a dimension of education with a
crucial role in the formation of student personality.
After more than two decades after the introduction of religion
as education discipline are significant issues that generally outlines the
development of the activity in this period, namely:
- fixing religion as education discipline, part of the core
curriculum at all grade levels and in all types of schools;
- founding of wards within the theology faculty who prepare
specialist teachers;
- restructuring the curricula of religion and development of
textbooks and aids;
- Involvement of Church in national educational projects for
prevention through religion classes with negative phenomena in the
developmental personality pupils like school violence, domestic
violence, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS.
In the current context, characterized by changes and
transformations both in society in general and especially in the field of
152

education, religious education must adjust and develop theory and


teaching practice that contributes to the promotion and respect
Christian values among students.

153

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION DEIFYING


LOGOTHERAPY 1
Fr. PhD Nicolae Marius PAICU
Archbishopric of Suceava and Rdui
Abstract:
In the present context of an education unable of offering to students
formative information, unable of presenting the whole world as an existence
in which each man and all the living things together have their original
immutable sense that should be perceived by means of a mental endeavor, we
consider that only a Christian education configured on the basis of the
patristic principles can produce a real transformation in the modern mans
mind, able to protect him of the danger of an existential crisis that can
appear under various appearances, from simple anxiety to suicide. While the
utilitarianism of the humanist education aims to integrate a person in the
impersonal mass of the society undertaking its chaotic movement through
history, Christian education is the only means of helping man ascend to his
real status of ring of the creation, of radiant center of meanings for the
whole existence.
Keyword: education, logotherapy, man, utilitarianism, humanism,
anthropocentrism.

I. Preliminaries:
In the 19th century, when the modern evolutionist principles 2
were born, reorganizing, in the name of science (or of a supposed
science), the whole socio-cultural and even political sphere
worldwide, Herbert Spencer complained about the lack of utility of
1

The significance of the word logotherapy is the one given to it by Victor Frankl,
who, through the prism of modern existentialism, considered that the most efficient
psychotherapy is to guide the subjects toward finding or gaining a sense in life that
would allow them to overcome various psychic traumas. Therefore, the word logos
comes from the old Greek, being translated as sense (meaning), hence logotherapy
means the therapy by sense (meaning).
2
We called these evolutionist principles modern as they appear only in an incipient
form in some ancient religions.

154

the education of his time, highlighting, not just once, that: knowledge
should not be like adornments 3. Viewed in a larger cultural context,
we would tend to consider Spencer right, since this insufficiency of
education can still be easily noticed even today in all the domains of
modern education, both in the lay and theological sphere. It is well
known that the gap between educational theory and social practice
was often a hot subject for those involved in teaching, yet the
utilitarianism Spencer was militating for, and, along with him, all
those desiring the implementation of the evolutionist principles in
psychology and pedagogy, has no connection at all with the
preoccupations connected to the practical outcomes of the educational
act. This happens because education is not viewed as a starting point
for mans continuous development in life, under its various aspects:
social, professional and cultural, but only as some training preparing
one to exert a certain profession that finally turns into an involuntary
predestination to isolation in a well-defined social group. The effects
of this vision have been noticeable for more than a century especially
in the modern Western society, which no longer produces in the
educational environment anything but professionals, namely people
well prepared to do a job, yet deprived of a general or interdisciplinary
culture, necessary not as much to the society as to the individual, for
the spiritual aspect of his life. This compartmentalization of the
disciplines and, implicitly, of education, as a cultural phenomenon,
meant strictly for social utilitarianism, has not remained without
negative effects both concerning the exhaustive presentation of the
subject matters and regarding the empirical implementation of this
knowledge, which has called, increasingly more, during the last
decennia, for the implementation of an interdisciplinary approach.
Yet, the educational utilitarianism proposed by the
evolutionist-humanist psychopedagogy can only be understood in an
anthropological context, and the evolutionist anthropology denies any
type of spiritual existence, and consequently the existence of the soul:
a special spiritual substance does not exist, and even if it were to
exist, we could not define it, because we would have nothing to relate
it to. Spiritual life is ultimately identified with the functions of the
nervous system. 4 Fully dependent on these allegations, defining for
the discourse of all the modern psychologists and psychopedagogues,
Herbert Spencer, Eseuri despre educaie (Essays on Education), translation by
Mihai Rdulescu, Ed. Didactic i Pedagogic, Bucureti, 1973, p. 37.
4
Idem, Principes de Psychologie (Principles of Psychology), translation into French
by Th. Ribot and Espinas, Paris, 1875, p. 47.
3

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the educational principles will strictly focus on the social level with its
various organizational structures and will only guide man as a dual
being (body and soul), toward an earthly existence.
In other words, through the prism of the secular humanist
principles, education should have as outcome only the shaping of
practical skills needed by society and not knowledge, namely the
profound understanding of the environmental realities, meant to give
each person an existential sense on the level of his/her conscience.
Although the culture of the Enlightenment, which fostered the modern
education principles, endeavors to appear as anthropocentric,
establishing man as the center of all the social-cultural preoccupations,
it is very interesting how this humanism wants to turn man into a
being secluded into himself, with no connection with the whole
creation or even with his fellows. The only so-called relations
proposed by the humanist culture are those of domination and
exploitation, namely domination of ones fellow and exploitation of
the creation in order to fulfill ones will for power and sinful pleasure.
II. The anthropocentric foundation of modern psychopedagogy
An attentive look at the European culture as a whole, and
especially at the principles lying at the basis of modern pedagogy, will
easily highlight the secular humanist character of the whole Western
educational process, whose foundation is found neither in the antireligious vision of the French Revolution, nor in the evolutionist
statements of the 19th century Enlightenment, but and maybe this is
the greatest paradox in the Western Christian conception about man,
and especially in the Roman-Catholic anthropology. Even though few
people are aware of the fact that the present religious education, the
way we find it in the lay or theological schools in Europe, and
therefore also in Romania, is structured starting from a
psychopedagogical basis in which the anthropological element is
totally alien to the Orthodox vision on the constitution, function and
sense of man, and even fewer people know that the modern secular
humanist anthropology has its starting point in the Western theology,
which has tried to found its vision on philosophical principles of the
Antiquity and not on the testimony of the divine Revelation, as it
appears in the biblical and patristic writings.
Beginning with the appropriation of different Manichean,
stoic, platonic and other principles by Augustine in his writings, and
up to the Aristotelianism of Thomas Aquinas scholasticism, the
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Western theology took a massive infusion of Greek philosophy, often


from indirect sources 5. These influences did not concern only the
language as a way of expressing some teachings, which may have
been needed in a certain cultural context, but vitiated the essence of
the teaching of the Western Church, reshaping it (or disfiguring it)
according to the image of the pagan theology, cosmology and
anthropology of the pre-Christian or post-Christian philosophies.
Therefore, surprisingly, the bases of the secular humanism and
of the deism as a theological vision which, by isolating the
transcendent from the immanent, lay the foundations of the atheist
evolutionism, or, of the so-called European Renaissance of the 14th16th centuries, have their starting point in the Romano-Catholic
Church, which, by its most significant theologians, gradually gave up,
until 1054, and totally after the Great Schism, not only the Evangelical
principles of the primary Church, but also the Christian culture as
crystallized in the whole Roman-Byzantine Empire after the moment
313, wishing to create a cultural-religious vision opposed to the
Eastern one, without being aware of the danger of a repaganization or
de-Christianization, first at the theological level, then in all the aspects
of the Western cultural and social life.
Regarding the denaturation of the Western Christian
anthropology, it is part of the eminently deist perspective of the
Catholic cosmology, which considers the world and man as two
closed realities, which could and would function independently of
Gods work. The cold and impersonal Demiurge of the Greek
philosophy takes the place of the creative and providential love of the
Holy Trinity, the Creation appearing actually as a product that can
subsist not through the ceaseless providential intervention of the
Divine persons by means of their uncreated energies, but through the
laws embedded in it when it was brought to life. Similarly to a
mechanism whose well adapted parts assure an adequate and
uninterrupted movement as soon as it has come out of the artisans
hands, the world and man, through the set of laws that governed their
creation, would subsist in life without the divine presence and work.
The direct consequence of this conception is the fact that man is no
longer viewed as a being whose accomplishment comes through the
5

We take into account, especially Aristotles philosophy, which penetrated


indirectly in the Western cultural and theological area, through the writings of some
Arabians such as Avicenna (also called the third Aristotle) and Averroes.

157

synergic collaboration with his fellows and the teandric relationship


with God, but as a being accomplished only through himself and in
himself.
Even though the modern humanist culture took from the pagan
antiquity the idea of man as a social being 6 ( ), this
concept was not considered in the sense that man is a being fulfilling
the potentialities of his nature only in the relationship with his fellows
and with God, but only in the sense that man belongs to a social layer,
that he is a a being of the city, in which he has rights and to which
he also has some responsibilities, the city being able to offer him his
fulfillment and happiness. To the autonomy of a creation subsisting in
itself and by itself, without any external intervention of the eternal
divine uncreated world in the contingent created world, would
necessarily correspond the autonomy of a human being whose
entelechy or existential fulfillment is eminently immanent. The very
statement that man is a microcosm, who, by his psycho-physical
constitution and by his power of reasoning, carries in him the whole
creation as image of the macrocosm, is unable to show him either as a
being for whom the creation exists and in whom the creation is
fulfilled, or as a rational image of God meant to transcend the limited
and contingent immanent of the creation through his deifying relation
with the Trinitarian uncreated divine hypostases. A real humanism
evaluating the position and the sense of man in the contingent of
creation would require, as a sine-qua-non condition, a recognition of
mans teandric character, indicating that mans fulfillment resides
neither in the finite immanence with all its harmonious diversity, nor
in his dissolution in an impersonal transcendent reality, but in his
communion, by grace, with the eternal Trinity of the divine
hypostases. Thus, the prototype that should lay at the basis of the
modern humanism is not man, but the Man-God, Jesus Christ, who is
calling us and offering us the possibility of a teandric and eternal life.
In agreement to this autonomous vision about man, which does
not offer the transcendence of the contingent immanence as an
existential fulfillment or mission, and also does not connect mans
existence to the creative and providential power of God, psychology
will configure a being in whom spiritual activities are defined as
simple neuronal processes, while any malfunction will be considered
as a sign of incapacity of fulfillment of some unconscious inner
wishes, such as the will for power or for (sexual) pleasure.
6

Aristotel, Politica (Aristotle, Politics), I, 9.

158

Psychopedagogy, in its turn, will formulate its principles on the basis


of this autonomous anthropology, creating a type of education like
that proposed by Spencer, in which man needs to be communicated all
he needs to become a social being, a man of the city with a certain
usefulness and nothing more. Life is identified in this vision with
usefulness, and the sense that the existence or life should have for man
is replaced, in mans mind, by the meaning, which, by utilitarianism,
man has for the existence.
II. Education between utilitarianism and the sense of the
existence
One of the many influences of the existential philosophy,
exerted as it gradually spread its principles in the cultural environment
of 20th century, was the influence on psychology, as it can be noticed
in the logotherapy 7 of Victor Frankl. Although Victor Frankl affirms
that he developed his psycho-therapeutic principles using his own
experience of detainee in the Auschwitz camp, it is not less true that
the efforts made by the supporters of Freuds or Adlers
psychoanalysis proved, more than once, inefficient in the treatment of
various psychic illnesses, which made it necessary to use new
psychoanalysis and psychotherapy methods.
Unlike Freuds and Adlers schools of psychoanalysis, which
considered that many psychic disorders come from the repressions of
certain unfulfilled unconscious desires, namely the sexual pleasure or
the will for power, Frankl does not endeavor to analyze the dark
depths of the human subconscious; he only tries to give a solution to
the alienation produced by the internal disturbances, to heal the
patients mind and spirit, more often than not determined by the lack
of meaning of life, suffering or death. The psychologists goal and
role is to help the patient find the sense of the individual existence,
understand that every aspect of his life has a logos (meaning) that
needs to be discovered and assumed. Repeatedly, in his texts, he
speaks about the existential void, signaling the fact that people deny
Hierotheos Vlahos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Psihologia existenialist i
psihoterapia ortodox (Existential psychology and Orthodox psychotherapy), Ed.
Doxologia, Iasi, 2011, p. 83: Logotherapy offers the reason of existence for every
man, the sense of life, because, as it has been noticed, there lies mans fundamental
problem. From this perspective, the logotherapist helps the patient acquire this
meaning, in order to set himself free from the existential void, from the so-called
existential pointlessness.
7

159

the fact that life would have any meaning. By the term existential
void, he (V. Frankl, our note) understands deprivation or total loss of
an ultimate sense in mans existence, a sense making life valuable /
worth living. According to logotherapy, this existential void, together
with other causes, can cause neuroses, generating, as we shall see,
noogenic neuroses (neuroses of mental origin). 8 For this reason, he
cannot be considered as one more psychoanalyst, but, as he calls
himself, a psychotherapist. In this sense, V. Frankl says that
logotherapy helps the patient find the latent logos (meaning) of his
existence and to acquire a conscious knowledge of it 9.
Although the existentialism of Frankls psychology is still of a
humanist nature 10, lacking the perspective of a meaning that goes
beyond the boundaries of creation, and, of course, lacking the
postulation - as a psychotherapy principle - of the existence of life
after death, we considered it important to remind of this perspective,
because it comes near the Fathers spiritual therapy, and also near the
goal that the educational process should aim at. Therefore, although it
would seem that there is no connection between Frankls
psychotherapy and the educational process, we consider that there are
two reasons why the existential vision about meaning in logotherapy
should be approached: first of all because existentialism did not
generate in education - unlike in psychology, arts or literature psychopedagogical principles worth assuming and applying on a large
scale, and, second, because an educational process trying to go beyond
the utilitarian meaning, and proposing as a goal for education also the
acquisition of an existential meaning for every man in turn, would
have a major contribution to the diminution of the mental and spiritual
problems of a life full of illnesses, suffering, troubles and challenges.
Education should and ought to train people not only for society and

Ibidem, p. 31.
Ibidem, p. 28.
10
The humanistic meaning (or reason) of existence is not a given whose origin
transcends the immanence and which man should appropriate or assume, but a
product of each individual in turn, according to his unique life and experience. This
understanding of the idea of sense, although producing some soothing of the
existential crises, at the same time contributes to a deeper selfish individualism in
the modern man, because it excludes not just the transcendent character of the
meaning, but also the existence of a common meaning specific of all the rational
men, which could contribute to the growth in communion, which so many people
are thirsting for, and also to the growth in love.
9

160

for work, but also for life, with all that this worlds life - which many
consider meaningless - represents.
Regarding the existential vision on education, it is reflected in
the belief that education should prepare students both to choose
according to their personal profile, and to be responsible for the
consequences their choices might trigger, according to the humanist
conception that meaning and reality are determined by each individual
in turn. In this sense, the ultimate goal of the educational process
would not be none other than to develop in man the power of selfcontrol. When the student understands the importance of his
experiences, then he can intelligently control himself within his
surrounding environment 11.
Therefore, it can be noticed that, while, in psychology,
existentialism - despite all its insufficiencies - has a positive
contribution through Frankls logotherapy, nevertheless, in education,
it does nothing else except to strongly unveil the egoistic
individualism, specific of the anthropocentric humanism, which closes
man in himself and isolates him from his fellows, by the fact that the
valorization of the created environment depends on the individual, and
not on the sense that it has had since its creation. Unfortunately, even
this quite positive aspect has not been used as profitably as it could
have been, because it remained confined in the psychology area, while
education continued to adhere to principles following strictly the
utilitarian meaning, and not trying to configure in the students mind a
perspective able to keep him away from the existential void of the
modern civilization. This existential crisis, getting stronger from one
generation to the next, and noticeable in our society, accompanied by
all its consequences, both at the individual level, and at the
community level, makes us wonder: could it be that an education
founded on utilitarian principles is wanted, instead of one that could
be built on Frankls existentialism, which could endanger the capitalist
or communist social stratification, by the individuals emergence out
of the amorphous and impersonal mass of the society, as his
existential unrest and his questions should get pertinent answers? In
conclusion, the big difference between utilitarianism and
existentialism concerning education is that utilitarianism prepares man
for the society, whereas existentialism trains him to be aware of the
sense of the world and of life for man.
11

See, http://www.baptist-tm.ro/influenta-diferitelor-curente-filosofice-asupraeducatiei-crestine/.

161

III. Christian education between humanist psychopedagogy


and logotherapy
Another explanation of the reason why psychopedagogy does
not seem interested in taking over at least a part of the existential
psychotherapy principles can also be the fact that education has never
been viewed or it has never been desired for education to be viewed as
a possible logotherapy, a logo-pedagogical process 12 having a crucial
contribution to the accomplishment of the students personality by the
avoidance of that existential void, unavoidable for the modern man,
which Victor Frankl mentioned.
The modern school offers education through information, yet
information does not aim to develop the students person, but the
masses of students, whereas logo-pedagogy, which would suppose an
intensification of the concern for gaining an existential sense, requires
a much more personalized, much more relational education, one that
would take into account the unique and unrepeatable features of each
student in turn, aiming to develop him as a person. This would also
suppose that the curricular area should aim not just at shaping skills or
storing new information, but these should be only the support based
on which the student should become aware both of his role and place
in the society, and also of the sense of the world and of man, who
makes up the society.
For the modern psychopedagogy, structured based on the
evolutionist principles of the humanism of the Enlightenment,
education cannot project in the students mind a sense of the world
and of man, since, for it, the existence is but a fruit of chance, while
the meaning, on the contrary, requires an intelligence able to
recognize it. Although Frankls logotherapy acknowledges the
importance of the presence of an existential meaning in mans life,
which can help man find it easier to face the suffering, the troubles
and the perspective of death, what Frankl, and along with him all the
humanists - even the existentialist ones -, does not admit is that this
sense is not created by man, is not an illusion helping the mentally ill
and spiritually sick to gain some relief, but is an ontological given
whose origin is of a transcendent nature, namely the creating and
saving Logos, the second Person of the Holy Trinity.

12

A pedagogy of meaning, in which a teacher should be a real guide for a student,


helping the latter find his existential meaning.

162

The logos or the meaning supposes not just a reason to


perceive it, but also a Reason that has created it, otherwise man as a
rational being creates meanings where they do not exist, namely
illusions; in order to have a role in mans real transformation, the
meaning must be an objective reality and not only a subjective one.
Thus, we find out that, while Frankls logotherapy encouraged his
subjects to develop meanings to help them go over their inner
problems, education cannot do this in the context of eminently
evolutionist disciplines, which consider the world and man as the
product of chance and evolution. Hazard excludes the possibility of
postulation of a real existential meaning, both at the cosmic and at the
individual level, since - according to this perspective - the existence
has appeared out of chance, is developing by chance, and is advancing
towards a randomly end.
Therefore, modern education can not assume this logopedagogical role, and, which is even more serious, it is not aware of
its products, whom time proves unable to function at the
parameters requested by the society, because of the existential void
they start to feel as soon as some challenges of their life begin to show
up. An interesting fact is that the humanist psychopedagogical
principles of modern education, which have successfully contributed
to the existential void of the contemporary man, also help undermine
the Christian education included in the modern educational process, as
one can note a gross distanciation from the goal it once used to have in
students training. This aspect has been noticed in some countries and
efforts have been made to improve it by means of a return to the
patristic principles of education, but, in our country, the humanist
psychology is in fashion when it comes to the subject of the Religion
teachers training, when the curricula are established, when the
Religion textbooks are written, and so on, which proves, first of all, an
insufficient knowledge of the Christian psychology, founded on
principles opposed to those of the humanist one. This is what the
Greek Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos said about this influence: All
of us are witnesses of the fact that the Christian education that existed
several years ago in our area, was related to and had connections with
the Western psychologies, because, certainly, those in charge with
education knew these ideas, while they totally ignored those of the
Neptic Fathers, and even more, defamed the Neptic Fathers of the
Church. 13
13

Hierotheos Vlahos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, cited work, p. 98.

163

In the Romanian contemporary educational context, one can


unquestionably notice that we are dealing with a real dismissal of
Religion from its status of the only discipline able to give a meaning
to existence and to the individual based on the biblical and patristic
Christian principles. Configured as a discipline of study for primary,
secondary and high school, according to humanist-evolutionist
psychopedagogical elements, Religion has been robbed of its logopedagogical mission, being turned into a simple discipline supposed to
simply complete the curricular area called Man and Society. This
aspect has to do, of course, not only with the secular humanism lying
at the basis of modern psychopedagogy, but also with the vision of
some so-called Christian teachers, who consider Christianity, and
implicitly, Christian education, not through the prism of the Orthodox
thinking, but through the prism of the Western - Catholic and
Protestant - thinking, for which man and the world are ontologically
separated from God as their Creator. The anthropocentrism of the
secular humanism is based on the anthropocentrism of the Western
Christian theology, an aspect that determines many people to consider
that there is some affinity between the psychopedagogical principles
of modern education and the Christian pedagogy, which is absolutely
false from the perspective of the Orthodox Christianity.
IV. Orthodoxy Deifying Logotherapy
Without trying to be exhaustive in the presentation of this
subject, which would need - we are aware of it - a much more detailed
and extended presentation, we shall highlight the fact that, from the
perspective of the Orthodox Patristic theology, education has a more
profound, more ontological importance, because it aims to assume by
the word, by information, a new way of living, and not the simple
learning of some mental and practical skills in order to be useful to
society. This transformation proposed by the Orthodox Christianity is
strongly connected to the meaning or the reason of man as a rational
being in the creation as a whole, and it refers both to the perennial
earthly living, and also to the eternity of Gods Kingdom.
Education has always been the most important activity of the
Church, even the Messiah showing Himself to the world primarily as
the true Teacher (Rabi), and advising the Holy Apostles, when He sent
them in the world, first to make disciples (), and then
to baptize: Therefore go and make disciples of all the
164

nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of
the age. Amen (Matthew 28:19-20).
The artificial conflict introduced between science and religion
along with the occurrence of the atheist evolutionism has postulated as
a norm the fact that religion is against knowledge by the exhortation:
believe and do not question, but the real foundation of the Christian
living is the true knowledge of the world, of man, and, by them, of
God. The conflict has never been and is not between science and
religion, but between lie and truth, the real knowledge being the one
that leads man to the Truth, a Truth that not only informs, but forms
man as a new being in Gods image and likeness.
All the teachers know very well that the educational process is
meant to be not just informative, but also formative, yet what is
omitted is the fact that the transition from information to sustainable
behavioral shaping is dictated only by the presence of an existential
sense that the information should convey. Motivation is related to
meaning, and meaning, for a real and true training, should transcend
the perenniality of our earthly existence. Man can artificially create
perennial meanings and offer them to his fellows, for appropriation, in
a certain educational process, as the existential psychotherapy does, in
order to mitigate the mental and spiritual suffering of certain people,
yet these logoi (reasons) are not able to answer questions such as those
referring to the eternal life, to God, to the immortality of the soul and
so on, since the existence itself, as an ontological given not created
by a rational being (but appeared because of evolution) is devoid of
reason or meaning. How can one postulate as truth the fact that the
existence, the creation itself, is devoid of a meaning, of a reason,
while at the same time trying to find, within it, various meanings to
be used by man as the aim of his existence? Just as the creation in its
all-harmonious 14 unity has an existential meaning, similarly, all that is
included in it has various individual or general meanings that ought to
be known by the rational beings and appropriated for the sake of the
accomplishment of both the individual and, at the same time, of the
community.

14

An expression used by Saint Athanasius the Great in the 3rd century, in his work
Against the Greek (see collection PSB, vol. 15, Contra elinilor, translation,
introduction and notes by D. Stniloae, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1987).

165

The biblical and patristic principles of Christianity are the only


ones able to assure, by education, a real shaping of man, because they
present the world and man as two created realities, having
unchangeable ontological meanings that should be assumed by a
knowledge in which reason has its mission up to a determined point,
since it is unable to perceive the intelligible realities existing beyond
the quantifiable reality. Therefore, education in the Church appears to
have several aspects, each of them contributing to the transformation
of the human being:
a) The ontological aspect of Christian education
As shown above, the essence of Christianity was and is
preaching or teaching by the word, because faith comes by hearing
the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ
(Romans 10:17), namely through education. Therefore, faith appears
as the product of information that has gone beyond the level of reason
and has been assimilated at the volitional level, involving an inward
ontological transformation of the human being, due to the fact that it
comprises an existential meaning for the one who receives it. In other
words, the ontological character or aspect of education is given by the
fact that information becomes faith, namely an inner state (of reason
and will), which is not defined just as rational acceptance of some
revealed truths, but also as assuming a new way of living based on
these received truths. This fact is noticed both in the Holy Scripture,
and in the life of the Church, and the example of Saint Paul the
Apostle, who, from the fiercest persecutor, becomes the greatest
preacher of Christianity, is eloquent.
On the other hand, this ontological character of education is
also directly dependent on the fact that this word through which
education is fulfilled, and thus inner faith is reached, is the word of a
divine Person, not of a simple man. Receiving the word of
education, man does not just receive a dogma that could, through his
own will, change his behavior, but the speaking Word Himself, which
shows us that the inner transformation is not psychological, but
ontological, man being changed by the divine power of the One
received by faith in his heart. This inner teandric presence does not
produce, however, an annulment of the hypostatic features of man as
in the Oriental religions; man is not diluted in an impersonal entity,
because the presence of the Resurrected Christ, through the grace of
166

the Holy Spirit, does nothing else except to configure the human being
according to Christs image.
b) The therapeutic aspect of Christian education
Strongly connected to the ontological aspect is the therapeutic
aspect of education and this happens because the inner transformation
by faith concerns mans healing, and not a mystical alteration meant to
take man beyond the human condition. Man, by means of education
for inner faith, is in-formed by the embodied, dead and resurrected
Word of God, and this in-formation produces a therapeutic
transformation in the sense that man receives once again the power of
a free and rational living (full of meaning), as he once had before the
fall into sin 15.
While humanism, as offspring of the Western Christian
anthropology which admits that man is an autonomous being
functioning normally without a connection with his Creator, concludes
that the soul is only a manifestation of the brains neuronal structure,
for the Orthodox theology, which relies on the Holy Scripture and the
Holy Fathers, the existence of the psychological inner tensions or the
existence of those breakthroughs triggered by unsatisfied abyssal
desires, is an additional proof of the fact that human nature, by sin, is
in a movement of irrational living, is ill, and needs healing. By means
of education, man understands the sense of his own existence and of
the existence of the whole creation, and this understanding or
knowledge of the reason (meaning) of the existence does not just
inform him, but also unites him to the divine hypostatic Logos or
Reason, Who healthfully re-configures him in the image in which he
was created in the heavenly state.
Jesus Christ is named in the Gospels Teacher, while, in the
liturgical songs and the Holy Fathers writings, He is called Doctor
of the souls and the bodies, this aspect showing the fact that in the
divine-human Person of the Messiah, learning or education and
healing represent one synergic work; they cannot be separated: by
means of the word, man reaches faith, and, by means of faith, man
reaches Jesus Christ, the Healer of the soul and the body: The
Orthodox theology is dealing with mans therapy. The man who is far
15

Sin does not destroy mans being, yet it alters his way of living, in the sense that
man, deprived of Gods grace, is unable or incapable of actualizing the potentials of
his being, or actualizes them in an irrational, sinful way.

167

from God is ill. The illness he is suffering from is not a somatic or


psychic one, but mainly an existential one. Since man is an iconic
existence and his prototype is Christ, this means that without Gods
presence, he is irrational; this is why he should enter into a
relationship with Him. In this sense, we can also talk about
logotherapy. The spiritually dead man, estranged from the LogosChrist, should return to Him. And this therapy is not possible
independently of the Logos-Christ, who became Man in order to heal
man. 16
c) The perfecting aspect of Christian education
However, the healing that man receives from Christ by faith is
not the final goal of the educational process of Gods word, because
this healing only settles man in a rational living, similar to the one of
our forefathers in the heavenly state, while mans constancy through
faith in this way of living culminates in the likeness to which man
was called by the very act of his creation. By means of the therapeutic
work of his rational living, man is reconfigured in the image of the
One Who created him, and his constancy in this existence makes him
become, through the work of the Holy Spirit, in the likeness of the
One Who created him, namely God by grace. Therefore, by education,
man gets to faith, and by means of faith in Jesus Christ and in the
Holy Mysteries, he is purified from the sinful and irrational living,
illuminated in order to know the meaning of his own existence and of
the whole creation, and is deified by means of his participation in the
divine and deifying works of the All-Holy Trinity.
Mans perfection or deification (or mans shaping in the image
and likeness of Christ) represents the final goal of the rational living
through the teandric communion with the Logos, the meaning or
reason itself of mans creation, and not an ontological mutation from
the state of man to that of superman. Therefore, from an individual
perspective, the reason of mans existence, the meaning according to
which he was created and towards which he turns himself is the
acquisition of perfection in the loving communion with the Holy
Trinity, a perfection that dynamically and epectactically continues in
the eternity of Gods Kingdom.
In this context, we can notice that the concept of logotherapy
used by Victor Frankl receives a special connotation when we speak
16

Hierotheos Vlahos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, cited work, p. 119.

168

about the Teacher and the Doctor Christ, so that mans therapy
through meaning (logos) is seen to be rather a therapy through Christ
(Logos), a logotherapy in which the sense of the individual, but also
the sense of the whole creation is the Man-God, Jesus Christ.
In its turn, education should be Logo-(Christo)-therapy,
namely it should be a work in which man is healed of the existential
void of the egocentric humanism by Christs word. The sense or the
reason offering man the final goal of his living is neither an idea, nor
an impersonal concept, nor a principle, but a Person, or, better said, a
communion of Persons in Whom man partakes of the only thing that
can heal and perfect him inside, spiritually and mentally, namely love.
Conclusions
In the present context of an education unable of offering to
students formative information, unable of presenting the whole world
as an existence in which each man and all the living things together
have their original immutable sense that should be perceived by means
of a mental endeavor, we consider that only a Christian education
configured on the basis of the patristic principles can produce a real
transformation in the modern mans mind, able to protect him of the
danger of an existential crisis that can appear under various
appearances, from simple anxiety to suicide. While the utilitarianism
of the humanist education aims to integrate a person in the impersonal
mass of the society undertaking its chaotic movement through history,
Christian education is the only means of helping man ascend to his
real status of ring of the creation, of radiant center of meanings for
the whole existence. While the creations meaning or reason to be is
accomplished in man, similarly the existential meaning of man is the
fulfilling communion with God. In this sense, we can talk about a
positive and real anthropocentrism, in which man is the center of the
entire existence, yet not the man fallen in the irrationality of a sinful
living, but the one healed by the mysterious communion with God, we
can talk about an anthropocentrism which affirms that everything
moves round the fulfilled or deified man, namely the man placing
Christ the Man-God, by grace, at the heart of his existence, whose
prototype is the Man-God, the embodied Son of God.

169

In the conception of the Eastern Holy Fathers, ignorance is


considered the mother of all evils 17, but also an illness of the soul,
which, along with oblivion and laziness, hijacks the human being from
the final goal of his fulfillment in sacrificial love for his fellows and
for God. Hence, the meaning of knowledge or science, is not an
accumulation of dry information, of data enhancing mans control of
the environment, but refers, above all, to mans inner state, to the dark
abyss of his heart, which the contemporary man has stopped
analyzing, and from which involuntarily erupt all the worlds evils.
We can notice today, as a result of the abandonment of the Christian
education, which requires self-knowledge and self-purification, that
man is increasingly anchored in data and information making him the
master of all that surrounds him, from the microcosm to the
macrocosm, yet he lacks the most elementary inner knowledge.
Moreover, he dominates this environment using modern means,
proving to God that he is an anthropocentric being, yet he is unable
of mastering his sinful passions and lusts ceaselessly springing from a
heart devoid of love and peace, devoid of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Marcu Ascetul, Epistol ctre Nicolae Monahul (Mark the Hermit, Letter to
Nicholas the Solitary), in Filocalia (Philokalia), vol. I, translation, introduction and
notes by Fr. Dr. D. Stniloae, Sibiu, 1947, p. 326.
17

170

DER REFLEXIVE LEHRER NDERUNG DES


BILDUNGSPARADIGMAS ZUR AUSBILDUNG VON
AUERORDENTLICHEN LEHRERN
Lect. PhD Mihaela OROS
Babe-Bolya University of Cluj
Zusammenfassung:
Das aktuelle Schulsystem steht vor einer Vielzahl von
Herausforderungen, die sich aus den nderungen die unsere Gesellschaft
durchmacht, ergeben. Die berwindung dieser Herausforderungen hngt
grtenteils von der Qualitt der Professionalisierung im Rahmen der
Lehrerkarriere ab. Die professionelle Identitt ist ein Hauptziel der
ursprnglichen Ausbildung (denn es ist eine der Voraussetzungen fr die
Verbindung zum beruflichen Umfeld der Schule), wobei die Bildung der
reflexiven (berlegenden) Identitt, als verhandelte und nicht auferlegte
Identitt von gleicher Wichtigkeit ist. Ohne die Anteile der normativen
Identitt zu ignorieren oder aufzuheben, wird die reflexive Identitt im
Einklang mit den persnlichen Gegebenheiten des zuknftigen Lehrers
aufgebaut. Es gilt, Einstellungen zu identifizieren, die zur Strkung der
professionellen Identitt von Nutzen sind oder andere, welche abgebaut oder
entfernt werden mssen, um die professionelle Ausbildung zu erleichtern.
Stichwrter: reflexiver Lehrer, professionelle Identitt, reflexive
professionelle Identitt.
Motto: Ein ausgezeichneter Lehrer ist nicht ein perfektes
menschliches Wesen, sondern eine Person, die genug innere Ruhe besitzt,
um sich von der Empfindsamkeit zu lsen, um zu lernen.

(Augusto Cury)
Die Postmoderne-die dominierende kulturell-wissenschaftliche
Strmung unseres Zeitalters, sieht sich als Lsung fr alle Probleme der
heutigen Gesellschaft. Einige Theoretiker der Postmoderne frdern
diese Bewegung als einen Aufstand gegen die Moderne, oder als
Fortsetzung der Moderne, nur ber andere Koordinaten hinweg.
171

David Lyon weist darauf hin, dass dieses Konzept unsere


Aufmerksamkeit auf wichtige Angelegenheiten des zeitgenssischen
gesellschaftlichen Wandels lenkt, ein Konzept der zur Teilnahme an
ein Gesprch ber die Art und die Angemessenheit der aktuellen
Gesellschaft einldt, im heutigen Kontext der Globalisierung 1 und
unsere Aufmerksamkeit auch auf die Tatsache lenkt, dass die soziale
und kulturelle Dimension zusammen betrachtet werden mssen 2.
Wir erleben alle die Wirkungen der postmodernen
Gesellschaft: Individualismus in einer Gesellschaft, die auf
Globalisierung zielt; universelle Kommunikation, Mangel oder
Schwierigkeit
der
zwischenmenschlichen
Kommunikation;
Entfremdung in den menschlichen Beziehungen, Scheinkrankheiten,
Langeweile, dies alles fhrt bei der jngeren Generation zu einem
Desaster.
Die Schule als Spiegel der Gesellschaft, widerspiegelt auf
Mikroebene, was sich in der Gesellschaft auf groer Ebene abspielt:
Krisen aller Art, Erfolgserfahrungen, Stereotypen, Hoffnungen, die
mehr oder weniger erfllt werden. In diesem Kontext wurde die
Bildung zu einer Ware die die Bedrfnisse ihrer Kunden erfllen
muss. Da sie nun als Konsumware nach der Marktwirtschafts-Logik
funktioniert, steht die heutige rumnische Schule vor einer echten
Herausforderung dabei, den Anforderungen der Gesellschaft gerecht
zu werden, und zwar: die Postmodernisierung der Schule.
Das ist die Lsung, die von der Mehrheit der Fachleute im
Bereich Bildung vorgeschlagen wird, auch dadurch durchgesetzt dass, wie auch die Mitglieder der Internationalen Kommission fr
Bildung im XXI Jahrhundert, durch J. Doloros bemerkten - die
Schulen und die Lehrer grtenteils die fhrende Stelle in der
Ausbildung der Kinder verloren haben und nun gezwungen sind, sich
neuen Herausforderungen zu stellen: die Schule fr die Kinder
attraktiver zu machen. 3
Einige Aspekte des postmodernen Paradigmas, die existentiellhumanistischen, die das Individuum zum Zentrum aller Bemhung
machen, werden von E.Pun, in einem besonderen Kapitel behandelt,
mit dem Titel:

David Lyon, Postmodernitatea, Bukarest, Du Style Verlag, 1999, S.131.


Ibidem, S.132.
3
Jacques Delors (Koord.), Comoara launtric, Iai, Polirom Verlag, 2000, S.120.
2

172

Eine Auslegung der Bildung aus Perspektive der Postmoderne4:


Wir erwhnen davon einige:
- Bildung zentriert auf den Schler 5 als Person mit
spezifischen, unterscheidenden Merkmalen,
- ein neuere Ansatz zum Lehrplan, Ansatz in kulturellen
Begriffen, der aus der Analyse des Kulturkontext ausgeht, in dem der
Lehrplan strukturiert und institutionalisiert wird,
- das Verhltnis Lehrer - Schler grndet auf eine kognitive
und emotionale Investition, eine Beziehung in die beide Seiten Sinn
und Bedeutung aufbauen .
Somit ist das Ziel der Lehrplanreform der Ersatz einer Schule
der Lehrer, durch eine Schule der Schler 6, d.h. eine auf den Schler
zentrierte Bildung.
Die Schule der Schler bedeutet, dass die Lehrer ihre Rolle im
Rahmen des Bildungsverfahrens ndern und anpassen mssen. Der
Lehrer wird zum Urheber und Veranstalter des Prozesses, aber es
sind die Ergebnisse der Schler, die fr den Erfolg der ganzen
Ttigkeit ausschlaggebend sind 7. Um hierbei erfolgreich zu sein,
mssen die Lehrer sehr gut fachlich geschult sein, sowie auch serise
psychologisch-pdagogische Kenntnisse besitzen. Neue Kompetenzen,
im Bereich Beziehungen aber auch im Bereich der Methodik sind
unabdingbare Bedingungen fr einen hochqualitativen Bildungsvorgang.
Diese Meinung vertritt auch Micheline Rey, mit der
Behauptung, dass das theoretische Wissen ber Toleranz, Empathie
usw. fr den Ausbau der heutzutage so gefragten sozialen
Kompetenzen, bei Weitem nicht ausreicht: Lehrer und Erzieher
werden sich bemhen, Konzepte in Verbindung mit diesen Themen
(Unabhngigkeit, Wrde, Recht, Gewaltlosigkeit, Selbstachtung und
Respekt fr Andere, Empathie, Verhandlung, Zusammenarbeit,
Entdeckung, berwindung der Vorurteile), in ihrem praktischen und
tglichen Handeln Gestalt annehmen zu lassen. Eine solche
Atmosphre kann sich nicht von selbst durchsetzen. Lehrer mssen
Emil Pun, Dan Potolea, Pedagogie. Fundamentri teoretice i demersuri
aplicative, Iai, Polirom Verlag, 2002, S.19-20.
5
Muata Boco, Daniel Andronache, Proiectarea curriculara: Allgemeine
axiologische Richtungen, in Educaia din perspectiva valorilor, Chiinu, Pontos
Verlag 2012, S. 58-65.
6
Lazr Vlsceanu, (Koord.), coala la rscruce. Schimbarea i continuitatea n
curriculumul nvmntului obligatoriu. Studiul de impact, Iai, Polirom Verlag,
2002, S.50.
7
Ibidem.
4

173

diese Art von Kommunikation selbst leben und diese muss in der
Schule echt und positiv sein, denn die Schler sind genauso fr die
Einstellungen ihrer Lehrer offen, wie sie es fr deren Aussagen sind,
oder fr die Kenntnisse welche sie bermitteln... 8.
Eine weitere oft unterstrichene Idee ist es, dass die Schule das
Umfeld ist, in dem die Schler zustzlich zum theoretischen Wissen,
wirksame Anpassungsmechanismen erlernen und anwenden. Die
Ausbildung der emotionalen Intelligenz, so wie sie von Daniel
Goleman untersttzt wird, aber auch der mehrfachen Intelligenzen, ein
Konzept von H.Gardner, nehmen dank ihres hohen Stellenwerts auch
in der rumnischen Schule immer mehr Gestalt an. Die Schule wird
so zu einem Ort in dem die Kinder grundstzliche Lektionen fr das
Leben lernen, die sie sonst nicht bekommen htten 9. Wir behaupten
also, dass die Schule auch die emotionale Dimension der
menschlichen Persnlichkeit entwickeln muss, eine seit lngerer Zeit
vernachlssigte Bemhung. Diese Aspekte beweisen alle die
Vielseitigkeit der Aufgaben und Verantwortungen der Lehrer, um den
Bedrfnissen der Schler im Zeitalter der postmodernen Schule
gerecht zu werden.
Wie schon erwhnt, steht das aktuelle Schulsystem vor einer
Vielzahl von Herausforderungen 10, die sich aus den nderungen die
unsere Gesellschaft durchmacht, ergeben. Die berwindung dieser
Herausforderungen hngt grtenteils von der Qualitt der
Professionalisierung im Rahmen der Lehrerkarriere ab. Die
professionelle Identitt ist ein Hauptziel der ursprnglichen
Ausbildung (denn es ist eine der Voraussetzungen fr die Verbindung
zum beruflichen Umfeld der Schule), wobei die Bildung der reflexiven
(berlegenden) Identitt, als verhandelte und nicht auferlegte
Identitt 11 von gleicher Wichtigkeit ist.
Ohne die Anteile der normativen Identitt zu ignorieren oder
aufzuheben, wird die reflexive Identitt im Einklang mit den
persnlichen Gegebenheiten des zuknftigen Lehrers aufgebaut. Es
gilt, Einstellungen zu identifizieren, die zur Strkung der
professionellen Identitt von Nutzen sind oder andere, welche
Pierre Dasen, Christiane Perregaux, Micheline Rey, Educaia intercultural.
Experiene, politici, strategii, Iai, Polirom Verlag 1999, S.185.
9
Daniel Goleman, Inteligena emoional, Bukarest, Curtea Veche Verlag, 2001, S.335.
10
Ibidem, S.7, siehe auch Pun, E., Profesionalizarea activitatii didactice, o perspectiva
sociologica, in der Zeitschrift REPERE, Zeitschrift zu Bildungswissenschafen, nr. 1,
Verlag der Bukarester Universitt, 2008.
11
Ibidem
8

174

abgebaut oder entfernt werden mssen, um die professionelle


Ausbildung zu erleichtern.
Man spricht mehr und mehr ber die Reflexivitt in der
Karriere eines Lehrers, ber eine reflexive Bildung die es dem Lehrer
erlaubt, sich selbst kennenzulernen, sich bestimmte Fragen ber
den Ausbildungsprozess und Professionalisierungsprozess zu stellen.
Reflexivitt ist die Mglichkeit, sich auf die eigenen professionellen
Praktiken zurckzubeziehen, zum Zweck deren nderung. Die
reflexive Praktik muss zu einem Hauptbestandteil der
Lehrerausbildung werden.
Es ist in allen Europischen Universitten so, dass die
praktische Ausbildung in der Form von Schulpraktikum stattfindet.
Schulpraktikum hat den Vorteil, dass der zuknftige Lehrer Zeit hat,
um ber sein didaktisches Vorgehen nachzudenken, zu reflektieren.
Der reflexive Lehrer konzentriert sich auf den Aufbau von Wissen
und nicht auf die bermittlung fertig verarbeiteter Information. Das
reflexive Handeln ist grundlegend kreativ und entwickelt die
Eigenstndigkeit des Lehrers.
Das Verhalten des Lehrers im Bildungsansatz ist ein Spiegel
fr die Art und Weise in der dieser es schafft, seine Schler und seine
Mitmenschen zu verstehen. 12 Mehr sogar, ein guter Lehrer schafft es,
Autoritt und Toleranz in seiner didaktischen Ttigkeit zu verbinden.
Das Lernen wird unter diesen Umstnden zu einem kognitiven
Prozess, mit dem Zweck der "intelligenten und bewussten
Verwaltung der 13 Lernsituationen. Im Ausbildungsprozess muss der
Leiter dieses Prozesses, der Lehrer 14 nicht vergessen, dass die
Leistungen und Ergebnisse der Schler grtenteils von seiner
persnlichen Leistung abhngig sind.
Diese Tatsache verpflichtet uns als Lehrer zu einer
kontinuierlichen Ausbildung, denn diese Ausbildung kann eine
ausschlaggebende Wirkung auf das Bildungssystem und sogar auf die
Gesellschaft haben. 15

Gabriel Albu, n cutarea educaiei autentice, Iai, Polirom Verlag, 2002, S.45.
Marcea Crahay, Psihologia educaiei, Bukarest, Trei Verlag, 2009, S.452.
14
George Videanu, Educaia la frontiera dintre milenii, Bukarest, Politic Verlag,
1988, S.210.
15
Miron Ionescu, Vasile Chi, (Koord), Fundamentri teoretice i abordri
praxiologice n tiinele educaiei, Cluj-Napoca, Eikon Verlag, 2009, S.327.
12
13

175

Der reflexive Lehrer. Grundstze und Fertigkeiten der


reflektierenden Lehrer.
Erzieher sind Handwerker der Persnlichkeit, Dichter der Intelligenz,
Pflanzer von Ideen.

(Augusto Cury)
Des Folgenden werden wir Ihnen einige Techniken oder
Fertigkeiten vorstellen, die fr die Religionslehrer vor allem
notwendig sind, um moralische Verhaltensweisen und Einstellungen
ausbilden zu knnen, die fr die junge Generation so dringend
notwendig sind.
Zustzlich zu einer umfangreichen akademischen Kultur und
neben der bermittlung vielzhliger Informationen an die Schler,
sind reflexive Lehrer um die Funktionsweise der Geister ihrer Schler
bemht. Fr diese ist jeder Schler nicht nur eine Person, sondern
auch ein komplexes menschliches Wesen, mit einzigartigen
Bedrfnissen. Reflexive Lehrer wandeln Information in Wissen und
Wissen in Erfahrung um! Die Bildung durchluft heutzutage eine
vorher nie angetroffene Krise, Schler fhlen sich ignoriert,
konzentrieren sich nicht, zeigen keinerlei Interesse fr Wissen. Das
kommt daher, dass die empfangenen Informationen nicht im Kontext
der Lebenserfahrung bermittelt werden. Es reicht nicht, wortgewandt
zu sein. Um ein guter Lehrer zu sein, muss man die Seele der Kinder
kennen, um die psychologisch-pdagogischen Mitteln mit grter
Wirksamkeit anwenden zu knnen, die es vermgen, den Klassenraum
in eine Oase des Wissens und nicht in eine Stressquelle
umzuwandeln 16.
Gute Lehrer sind Meister der Unterrichtsmethodik, aber um
reflexive Lehrer zu sein, mssen sie auch ihren Schlern gegenber
auch Sensibilitt und Verstndnis beweisen. Es ist das Anliegen des
Lehrers, nicht nur dem Schler das theoretische Wissen verstndlich
zu machen, sondern diese auch dazu zu erziehen, das Lernen als
aufregend zu empfinden. 17 Die richtige Stimmlage, der sanfte Blick
werden die Emotionen der Schler fesseln, werden die Konzentration
frdern, die Unruhe in der Klasse beruhigen und die Schler auf eine
Augusto Cury, Printi strlucii profesori fascinani, Bukarest, For You Verlag,
2005, S.61.
17
Crengua L. Oprea, Profesorul-Deschiztor de drumuri.Educaia ca terapie
pentru minte, corp i suflet, in Educatia din perspectiva valorilor, zit. vol. S.79-82.
16

176

Gedankenreise in die Welt des Wissens fhren. All das wird die
impulsive Haltung der Schler, deren Aggressivitt zurckweisen, so
dass sie ihre innere Ruhe wieder erlangen. Ein faszinierender Lehrer
bermittelt seinen Schlern das Verstndnis fr folgendes: die
Schwachen weisen ab, die Starken akzeptieren, die Schwachen
verurteilen, die Starken verstehen 18. Es ist diese Angewohnheit der
reflexiven Lehrer, die zur Entwicklung der Selbstachtung, der
Stabilitt, der Fhigkeit das Schne zu betrachten, zu ergeben und
seinen nchsten zu lieben, beitrgt.
Eine weitere Fhigkeit der reflexiven Lehrer ist es, die
emotionale Intelligenz der Schler zu erziehen. Die Arbeit mit
Emotionen ist ein sehr komplexer Prozess, der eine spezialisierte
Ausbildung voraussetzt, die alle Lehrer, unabhngig ihres Lehrfaches,
erwerben mssen. Die Erkundung unserer inneren Welt ist sehr viel
schwieriger als die Erkundung unserer Umgebung. Was heit nun
emotionale Erziehung? Es gilt, das Denken der Schler anzuregen,
bevor sie reagieren, es heit Schler dazu zu erziehen, sich nicht vor
Angstgefhlen zu frchten und ihre Befrchtungen und
Stresssituationen zu meistern. Emotionale Erziehung heit auch,
schenken ohne dafr eine Gegenleistung zu erwarten, dem eigenen
Gewissen treu zu bleiben, die Freude der kleinen Dinge im Leben
genieen, den Mut zu trumen zu finden und die Trume in Realitt
umzusetzen. Wir stellen uns die Frage: Wie viele von uns Lehrern
hatten die Mglichkeit die Emotionen junger Leute zu erziehen? Wie
viele von uns erziehen die Kinder dazu, schn zu leben? Wir leben
leider in einer Welt, in die der hchste Wert auf "haben" und nicht auf
"sein" liegt! Ohne eine richtige emotionale Erziehung werden die
jungen Leute ihrer Umgebung gegenber gleichgltig, sie verletzten
und betrben die Menschen um sich, ohne deren Schmerz zu
empfinden, sie denken nicht an die Folgen ihres Handelns, sie haben
keine Trume, sie denken nicht an ihre Zukunft und berlassen sich
dem Zufall. Deshalb mssen wir unseren jugendlichen neue
Perspektiven erffnen und ihnen zeigen, dass wir uns um sie sorgen
und dass wir dessen bewusst sind, das unsere Zukunft von ihnen
abhngt. Diese Hingabe der reflexiven Lehrer trgt zur Entwicklung
eines christlichen Wertsystems bei: die Liebe fr den Nchsten, die
Akzeptanz der Anderen, Solidaritt, usw.
Ein weiteres Ziel, welches die postmoderne Erziehung
verfolgen sollte, ist die Frderung der Kreativitt an Stelle des
18

Ibidem, S.64.

177

Auswendiglernens der angebotenen Informationen. Das Ziel der


reflexiven Lehrer ist es, zur Entwicklung des Denkvermgens
beizutragen. Das bedeutet, dass die Schler dazu motiviert sein
werden, ihre Ideen auszudrcken, zu verteidigen, sich wichtige Fragen
zu stellen und in einem Team zu arbeiten. Die Humanisierung des
Wissens ist extrem wichtig. In der Klasse werden viele Kenntnisse
fast mechanisch bermittelt, ohne jegliche Kommentare ber das
Leben der Person, die dieses Wissen produziert hat. Die
Lebensgeschichte der Wissenschaftler, die bestimmte Ideen entwickelt
haben zu besprechen, bedeutet den Wiederaufbau der emotionalen
Atmosphre in die diese gelebt haben. Hinter jeder einfacher
Datenbertragung im Klassenzimmer liegen echte Kmpfe, Trnen,
Abenteuer und sogar Versagen dieser bedeutenden Wissenschaftler.
Die gesichtslose Wissenschaft lhmt die Intelligenz, leert das Wesen,
ohne jeglichen Einfluss oder positive Einwirkung auf die jungen
Leute. (Sarte, 1997)
Der reflexive Lehrer ist ein Modell und ein unvergesslicher
Meister fr seine Schler. Ein guter Lehrer bleibt in Erinnerung seiner
Schler und Schlerinnen im Laufe der Schuljahre, die ihn oder sie
bewundern und schtzen. Ein Lehrer aus Berufung der sich auch um
das Leben seiner Schler kmmert, bleibt in den Seelen seiner Schler
fr immer abgebildet und wird zu einem Vorbild fr diese Schler.
Die Lebenslektionen werden fr immer im Unterbewusstsein der
Schler verbleiben. Der ultimative Erzieher ist Jesus Christus, der fr
seine Jnger wie ein lebendiges Feuer brannte. Er starb, damit seine
Lehre in den Reihen seiner Jnger hundertfach Frchte tragen kann.
Es gilt also, unsere Schler dazu zu erziehen, ihre Herausforderungen
zu meistern, sich eine reiche Kultur anzueignen, ihre Gedanken richtig
zu verwalten, das Leben zu lieben, denn es ist der einzige Weg in dem
wir faszinierende Lehrer werden. 19 Die beliebtesten und geachteten
Lehrer sind nicht diejenige die Regeln auferlegen, schimpfen und
kritisieren, sondern diejenigen, die sich um die Trume, Erfolge,
Misserfolge und Unsicherheiten ihrer Schler kmmern.
Faszinierende Lehrer sind nicht unfehlbar. Ganz im Gegensatz dazu
sind es diejenigen, die ihre Fehler offen zugeben und nicht gewaltsam
ihre Ideen durchsetzen. 20

19

Augusto Cury, Idem, S.73.


Siehe auch Thomas Gorden, Profesorul eficient, programul Gordon pentru
mbuntirea relaiei cu elevii, (engl. bersetzung I. Sava), Bukarest, Trei Verlag, 2011.

20

178

Gute Lehrer sind diejenigen, die ihre Schler fr einen Beruf


erziehen, reflektierende Lehrer erziehen sie aber frs Leben. Diese
faszinierenden Lehrer sind Frderer des Selbstwertgefhls. Sie
richten ein besonderes Augenmerk auf die Schler die verachtet,
schchtern und unpopulr sind. Sie bereiten ihre Schler dazu vor,
um den zuknftigen gesellschaftlichen Strmen in ihrem Leben zu
berleben. Wenn ihre Schler auf Schwierigkeiten treffen, wenn die
Weltwirtschaftskrise andauert, die gesellschaftlichen Probleme
zunehmen, sind es diese Lehrer die ihre Schler wie folgt
untersttzen: Versager sehen Blitz und Donner. Sieger sehen das
Regen und auch die damit verbundene Versprechung einer guten
Ernte. Versager werden von ihren Versagen und Frustrationen
gelhmt. Sieger sehen die Chance, alles von neuem zu ndern. Gebt
nie eure Trume auf! 21 Wir mssen die Schler darauf vorbereiten,
das Unbekannte zu erforschen, keine Angst dafr zu haben, zu
versagen, und nie aufhren zu versuchen. Neue Erfahrungen die sie
erleben fhren zu geistiger Entwicklung.
Die Anwendung dieser Techniken erfordert keine finanziellen
Anstrengungen, sondern die Ausbildung von Lehrern aus vollkommen
anderen psychologisch-pdagogischen Gesichtspunkten, die den
wesentlichen Herausforderungen der Umwandlungen in der modernen
Gesellschaft und dem Bildungsprozess gerecht werden. Diese
Techniken fhren zu einer Schule unserer Trume wie sie der groe
Erzieher Augusto Cury ertrumte. Diese Schule ist es, die die jungen
Menschen dazu erzieht, Kraft aus Zerbrechlichkeit, Sicherheit aus
Angst, Trnen aus Lcheln und Weisheit aus Versagen zu ziehen 22.
Wenn die Gesellschaft die Bildung zum Zentrum ihrer Interessen
machen wrde, so wrden Gefngnisse zu Museen werden, Polizisten zu
Dichtern und Psychiater zu Musiker...

(Augusto Cury)

21
22

Augusto Cury, zit.vol., S.79.


Ibidem, S.158.

179

THE RIGHT TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION.


THE ROMANIAN LEGISLATION AND RELIGIOUS
EDUCATION
Lect. PhD Ctlina MITITELU
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
The pages of our study prove l'evidence that the right to religious
education which is an inherent right to the right to the freedom of religion
is asserted by all the Romanian Legislation, including by the Law on
National Education (no. 1/2011).
In the same time, we underlined the fact that by this legislation the
religious education was restored in its historical, legal and natural
framework, although the wording of the text of the articles is incomplete,
which would hint that the authors of this Law were not too well acquainted
with the two areas, i.e. religious education and the confessional
(denominational) education system.
Keywords: the Constitution, EU Member States, the freedom of
religion, moral education.

The parents right to educate their children according to their


religious beliefs - which has its legal basis in both "Jus divinum" and
"Jus naturale" 1 - was enshrined in the provisions of International Law
and European Law 2.

See, N. V. Dur, Dreptul la demnitate uman (dignitas humana) i la libertate


religioas. De la Jus naturale la Jus cogens (The right to human dignity
(dignitas humana) and religious freedom. From "Jus naturale" 'to "Jus cogens"), in
Analele Universitii Ovidius. Seria: Drept i tiine Administrative (Ovidius
University Annals. Series: Law and Administration), no. 1, 2006, pp. 86-128.
2
Idem, Instruction and Education within the themes of some International
Conferences. An evaluation of the subjects approached by these from the angle of
some Reports, Recommendations and Decisions, in vol. International Conference,
1

180

According to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of


Human Rights, everyone has the right to manifest his/her religion or
religious belief, also in teaching.
In its turn, the European Convention on Human Rights
reiterated this principle, also stated by Article 18 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
The international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 3
reaffirmed this right to religious education (see Article 18, paragraphs
1 and 2) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights 4 required the State Parties "... to secure the religious
and moral education of their children in conformity with their own
convictions" (Article 13, section 3).
These rules and provisions stipulated by the international law
and by the European Union Law, regarding the right of every person
to manifest his/her religion or religious belief "also by teaching" and
the parents right to ensure their children a "religious and moral
education" in line "with their own (religious) convictions", have also
been provided and stated "expressis verbis" in the text of the
Romanian Constitution.
Under Article 29, paragraph 6 of the Constitution, "... parents
or legal tutors have the right to ensure, in accordance their own
convictions, the education of the minor children whose responsibility
devolves on them".
Thus, the Romanian constitutionalists recognize that parents
have "the natural right, but also the duty to care for their children's
upbringing and education", but this obligation of raising and educating
children is related to the freedom of conscience which they
understand "as a factor of spiritual continuity within the family" 5.
However, in reality, a spiritual continuity factor within the family 6 is
Exploration, Education and Progress in the third Millennium, Proceedings vol. II,
Galati University Press, Galai 2009, p. 203-217.
3
See, C. Mititelu, M. Mitra Radu, International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, in Journal of Danubius Studies and Reseaech, vol. III, no. 2/2013, pp. 47-57.
4
See, N. V. Dur, C. Mititelu, International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, in 8th Edition of International Conference The European Integration
Realities and Perspectives Proceedings, Danubius University Press, Galati, 2013,
pp. 130-136.
5
I. Muraru, Articolul 29. Libertatea contiinei (Article 29. Freedom of conscience),
in vol. Constituia Romniei. Comentariu pe articole (The Romanian Constitution.
Comment on articles), Ed. C.H. Beck, Bucureti, 2008, p. 286.
6
About Family and its role in the educational process, see N. V. Dur, Familia
cretin i rolul ei n societate (The Christian family and its role in society), in

181

right to the freedom of religion - set in 313 by the Edict of Milan 7 and not the freedom of conscience 8, because only the former has a
spiritual and religious dimension of human life in its sphere of
expression. In fact, under this right to the freedom of religion, parents
also bear the moral responsibility for the facts and acts of their minor
children.
Law 489/2006 (the Law on Religious Freedom and General
Regime of Religious Cults) 9 also provided for the parents and minor
children exclusive right to religious education, according to their
religious convictions. At the same time, the law provided that no one
can change the religion of a minor who has attained the age of 14
without his/her consent, and the young man/woman who has reached
the age of 16 has the right to choose his/her own religion (Art. 3).
The Romanian State shall ensure the freedom of religious
education, as required by each denomination, under Article 29 of the
Constitution. In addition, under the same constitutional article, the
State provides for the religious education in state schools.
The inclusion of religion as a compulsory subject in the
primary education curriculum also has its basis in the constitutional
text (Art. 29), being a natural consequence of the parents or the legal
tutors right to educate their children under the Religion or Teachings
of their own convictions, or of their religious Denomination or
Confession.
ndrumtor bisericesc (Church Guide), Rmnicu-Vlcea, 1986, no. 3, pp. 95-114;
Idem, Familia, un bun al umanitii (Family, a good of humanity), in Revista de
Teologie Sfntul Apostol Andrei (St. Andrew Journal of Theology), XI (2007), no. 1,
pp. 210-214; T. Petrescu, N. V. Dur, nvtura de credin a Bisericii Ortodoxe
despre Familie (Teaching of the faith of the Orthodox Church on the Family), in
Revista de Teologie Sfntul Apostol Andrei (St. Andrew Journal of Theology), Anul
XV, nr. 1/2011, p. 7-20.
7
For more information see N. V. Dur, Edictul de la Milan (313) i impactul lui
asupra relaiilor dintre Stat i Biseric. Cteva consideraii istorice, juridice i
ecleziologice (The Edict of Milan (313) and its impact on the relations between State
and Church. Some historical, juridical and ecclesiological considerations), in MO,
(The Metropolitan Church of Oltenia), no. 5-8, 2012, pp. 28-43.
8
For details on the role of consciousness, see N. V. Dur, The Theology of
Conscience and the Philosophy of Conscience, in Philosophical-Theological
Reviewer, Tbilisi, no. 1, 2011, pp. 20-29.
9
See, N. V. Dur, The Law no. 489/2006 on Religious Freedom and General
Regime of Religious Cults in Romania, n Dionysiana, II (2008), no. 1, pp. 37-54; C.
Mititelu, Legea nr. 489/2006 i relaiile dintre Stat i Biseric (Law no. 489/2006
and the relations between State and Church), in vol. RO-RUS-NIPPONICA, vol. I,
Ed. Universitaria, Craiova, 2010, pp. 36-43.

182

In their constitutional texts, the EU Member States have stated


and restated the basic principles set both by the European Convention
on Human Rights and by the Treaty of Lisbon, in 2007, on the
exercise of this natural right by parents.
Regarding the way in which this right is exercised, some
European jurists consider that it would produce a so-called conflict of
interest between Parents and State. For instance, in the opinion of
Romanian lawyers - tributary to the perspective of some of their own
peers in Western Europe - the provision of Article 29 of the Romanian
Constitution, according to which " the parents/legal tutors receive
the legal right to provide their minor children the education which
they deem necessary", would create a "potential conflict between the
parents rights and the position of guarantor of state authorities, in
extreme situations, regarding the minors. In their opinion, parental
education may entail, in certain cases, inoculating a type of faith
susceptible to threaten the community values or to constitute a longterm disability or to endanger the child's life" 10.
The Law of National Education no. 1 of 5th January 2011
(updated 11 and applicable since 1st February 2014) also remains an
evident testimony to the assertion of any persons right to religious
education in Romania.
First, this Law "provides the legal framework for the exercise
of the basic right to lifetime an education under the authority of the
Romanian state" (Art. 1), and aims - among other things - "at
promoting an education focused on values ..." (Art. 2, paragraph 1),
i.e. "moral and civic values" (Art. 4 f), because these "values" are
"necessary for personal fulfillment and development..." (Art. 2,
paragraph 3), retain "the national identity" and promote "the cultural
values of the Romanian people" (Art. 3, paragraph h). However, from
this amount of values, the spiritual and religious value represents its
constitutive part, which also guarantees to national minorities, the
I. Stanomir, Libertate, politic i religie: cteva observaii introductive(Liberty,
Politics and Religion: some introductory remarks), n vol. C. Ungureanu, Religia n
democraie. O dilem a modernitii (The Religion in democracy. A dilemma of the
modernity), Ed. Polirom, Bucureti, 2011, p. 403.
11
Published in The Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 18 of 10 January 2011.
The updated form of this Law, included, among others, Law no. 166 of 5 October
2011; Law no. 283 of 14 December 2011; Emergency Ordinance no. 21 of 30 May
2012; Emergency Ordinance no. 84 of 12 December 2012; Emergency Ordinance
no. 92 of 18 December 2012; Law no. 187 of 24 October 2012; GEO. 49 of 26 June
2014.
10

183

right to keep, develop and express their ethnical, cultural, language


and religious identity (Art. 3, paragraph i).
The same revised Education Law (no. 1 of 5th January 2011,
entered in force on 1st February 2014) states that one of the "principle
of the organization of confessional education according to the specific
requirements of every acknowledged cult" (Art. 3, paragraph s). In
other words, the legislator has revived religious education, which was
already a reality in Romania during 1923-1948.
The legislator prohibited the "activities that violate the rules of
morality ..." and "the political activities and religious proselytizing",
"in Educational facilities and institutions and in all the facilities
dedicated to vocational training and education" (Art. 7, paragraph 1).
However, by this ban, the Romanian legislator has provided thus for
the compliance with the rules of morality by "the teaching staff,
auxiliary staff and non-teaching staff" and forbade both "political
activities" and "religious proselytizing" (Article 7, paragraph 1).
The legislator also provided that "... the State provides for the
core funding for "private and religious education" (Article 9,
paragraph 2). However, through this funding, parents can educate their
children in religious schools - according to their own religious
beliefs.
In accordance with Article 15, paragraph 1 of Law no. 1 of 5th
January 2011, the religious Denominations officially recognized by
the Romanian State can organize - with the approval of the Ministry of
National Education - "the organization of a specific theological
education, within the state education in the existing state universities,
as faculties with double subordination, committed to the training of
the religious staff and to the social and missionary activity of the cults
... " (Art. 15, paragraph 1).
The Faculties of Theology of the three Christian
Denominations (Confessions), i.e. Orthodox, Roman-Catholic and
Protestant, from the State Universities, are, indeed, a clear testimony
of this specific theological education, which has a double
subordination, i.e. to the authority of that denomination and to State.
The law also expressly provides for the right of religious
Denominations, officially recognized by the State, "to organize
religious education by setting up and managing their own units and
private educational institutions ..." (Art. 15, paragraph 2).
However, both forms of education, id est "specifically
theological" in State Universities, and in "confessional" education,
184

also envisage that, in Romania, parents can educate their children in


Schools that promote their own doctrine of faith, also at the academic
level.
The same Law of Education states: "The framework schooling
plans for primary, secondary, high school and vocational education,
include religion as a school subject, which is part of the common part.
Those pupils belonging to the cults acknowledged by the state,
irrespective of their number, are granted the constitutional right to
participate in religion class, according to their respective religion"
(Art. 18, paragraph 1). However, the Law also ensured the students
freedom (expressed by their parents or legal tutors, for minor children)
to request, in writing, the permission not to attend "the religious
classes. In this case, the school results shall be calculated without
taking this subject into account" (Art. 18, paragraph 2).
In our view, this provision does not honor the Romanian
education system, even if it was reproduced in the text of similar laws
in other EU countries. Of course, it would have been more decent if
the legislator had stated that religion was optional, in order to avoid
any comment on its justification, especially since "The subject of
religion may be taught only by qualified teaching staff, according to
the provisions of the present law, authorized on the basis of the
protocols between the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and
Sports and the religious cults officially acknowledged by the state"
(Art. 18, paragraph 3).
It is noteworthy that the law sanctions the "diagnosis" of
children based on "religion" and "their inclusion in special need
educational classes ..." (Art. 50, paragraph 3).
Under Law no. 1 of 5th January 2011 - updated and applied on
1st February 2014 - the religious undergraduate educational
institutions receive "provisional authorization, periodical accreditation
and evaluation" by the "Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in
Undergraduate Education" (Art. 60, paragraph 5). Moreover, these
educational institutions are supported and coordinated by the State
(see Article 60, paragraph 6).
According to the National Education Law (no. 1 of 5th January
2011), religious Denominations may - in their capacity as "legal
persons" - establish "... early and primary, middle, high school and
post-high school educational institutions" (Art. 61, paragraph 4).
The same law states that undergraduate education funding, for
"confessional accredited" institutions, is also ensured by it "from
185

public funds or from other sources, according to the law" (Art. 102,
paragraph 1), including "taxes" (Art. 102, paragraph 2).
Like any other higher education institutions, the "confessional"
ones also enjoy "legal personality" and they have, like the "state"
ones, a "non-profit nature, they are of public interest and they are
apolitical" (Art. 114, paragraph 3).
Like any other institution of higher education, the
"confessional" ones must get "provisional authorization or
accreditation" (Art. 115, paragraph 1).
The Law also states that, in "higher education", any
discriminations on grounds of "religious orientation" are not admitted
(Art. 118, paragraph 2).
The same Law provides that, in higher education, "Faculties of
Theology" and "Theological Research Institutes" can be organized
(Art. 118, paragraph 4). The Faculties of Theology and the
Theological Research Institutes, however, have a "dual subordination"
(Art. 15, paragraph 1).
Under this Law, any public or private institution of higher
education, - including the confessional one so - should "respect the
law in force, its own Charter and national and European policies in
higher education" (Art. 124, paragraph 1). Regarding "the
confessional Universities, the law states that they must comply with
the "dogmatic and canonical Regulations and provisions (sic) specific
to the respective denomination" (Art. 124, paragraph 2).
The provisions of this article 124 (paragraph 2) - as well as of
the other articles of this law - are not explicit; on the contrary, they are
even confusing, because the legislator did not specify whether the
term "confessional university" also includes the Faculties of Theology
and the State universities. Of course, these faculties must take into
account the provisions included in the Statute of the respective
Denomination and its doctrine of faith, and, of course, if it is led by
canonical norms - such as the three Christian denominations
(Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic) - the basic provisions
set forth therein. Anyway, the way in which Article 124 was
formulated reveals that the authors of this law did not have a thorough
legal education, and had large gaps in the dogmatic and canonical
doctrine of the Denominations recognized by the Romanian state.
Only this would explain the fact that they wrongly refer to the
"dogmatic and canonical provisions" (sic), and not to the teachings of
faith and to the canonic rules of the respective Denominations.
186

The same legislator specified: "... the premises belonging to


Denominations, where the religious education is carried out ..." are not
part of "the university" (Art. 126, paragraphs 1 and 2). Instead, the
legislator has not provided for the obligation of the state academic
institution to provide for the area necessary to the normal process of
the religious education conducted by the Faculties of Theology in
State Universities.
As for "denominational private higher education institutions,
the law states that they are "founded at the initiative and with the
material and financial resources of a foundation or association, of a
religious sect or of an education provider, recognized as such in
compliance with the provisions of this law" (Art. 227, paragraph 1).
They have "university autonomy" and "economic and financial
autonomy" (Art. 227, paragraph 2).
The Law of National Education (no. 1 of 5th January 2011,
revised) states that one of the principles underlying the national
system of higher education is "the principle of the independence of
ideologies, religions and political doctrines" (Art. 118, paragraph i).
If, as far as Religions are concerned, we could talk about the
assertion of this principle of independence, however, in terms of
political ideology and political doctrine, it does not have a real
coverage, The Ministry of National Education itself is a specialty
organ of public administration, which, actually, implements "the
national policy" in undergraduate and higher education (see Article
94, paragraph 1). In what regards the Minister, he/she always has a
political affiliation, because he/she is part of a government made up
by members of political parties. Moreover, the government is the one
who approves the annual tuition figure (see Article 119, paragraph 1).
As such, the principle of the so-called "independence" of the national
higher education system is not applied by Religions but by the
political ideologies and doctrines of the State, whose exponents - in
today's society - are sometimes the bodies implementing the "national
policy" in education.
Instead of conclusions we may therefore say that the analysis be it brief - of the Law on National Education (no. 1/2011, with
subsequent amendments), reveals that the right to religious education which is an inherent right to the right to the freedom of religion 12 See, N. V. Dur, The Fundamental Rights and Liberties of Man in the E.U. Law,
in Dionysiana, IV, no. 1 / 2010, p. 431-464; Idem, Religious Freedom in Romania,
n Theologia Pontica, an V (2012), nr. 3-4, pp. 9-24.
12

187

was evidently asserted. The religious education was also restored in its
historical 13, legal and natural framework, although the wording of the
text of the articles is incomplete, which would hint that the authors of
this Law were not too well acquainted with the two areas, i.e. religious
education and the confessional (denominational) education system.

About this kind of education, see N. V. Dur, 100 de ani de la nfiinarea


Facultii de Teologie din Bucureti (100 years since the establishment of the
Faculty of Theology in Bucharest), in Ortodoxia, XXXIII (1981), no. 4, pp. 497500; Idem, Pagini de istorie din nvmntul teologic (Pages of history of
theological education), in GB, (The Voice of the Church), XLVII (1988), no. 1, pp.
96-101.
13

188

FAMILY EDUCATION THROUGH VIOLENCE


Lect. PhD Mariana MITRA
Vice Dean of The Faculty of Law from Constana
Abstract:
Domestic violence is a social, moral and serious problem and, at the
same time, it is a violation of human rights, manifesting itself in all segments
of society. Domestic violence is a social reality whose consequences should
not be ignored. Domestic violence is so complex that the attempt to fit it
causally is difficult. However, the main causes of domestic violence are
alcohol consumption or dependence, lack of employment, poverty and the
arrival of children within the family.
Keywords: family, education, domestic violence, children, poverty.

1. Brief history of the emergence and evolution of domestic


violence
"What are the causes of domestic violence?" This question has
not received yet a concrete and argued answer. Many theorists and
specialists have been trying to answer it since the 1970s, when the
first studies and researches were conducted in this area. Domestic
violence is both a past and present threat or challenge, entailing
physical injury within the relationships between social partners,
regardless of their legal status or domicile. Physical or sexual assault
may be accompanied by intimidation or verbal abuse; destruction of
the property belonging to the victim; isolation from friends, family or
other potential sources of support; threats made against other people
significant to the victim, including children; theft; control over the
victim's money, belongings, food, travel, telephone and other sources
of care and protection.
Although it is a well-known phenomenon, it is not easy to
arrive at a satisfactory and consensual definition. The World Health
Organization gave the most comprehensive definition of violence: "the
threat or the intended use of physical force or power against oneself,
against another person, against a group or community, leading to an
189

increased risk of producing injury, death, psychological damage,


abnormal development or deprivation". The World Health
Organization defines violence in relation to physical, mental and
social health and wellbeing.
2. The concept of domestic violence
Domestic violence implies any action carried out by a family
member in order to obtain a controlling position, to create fear, to
intimidate others. Domestic violence means abuse of any kind, i.e.
physical, sexual, or emotional. This is a purely didactic division;
abuse, domestic or physical violence is accompanied by emotional
abuse. Abuse has emotional repercussions. Domestic violence occurs
when a family member attempts to dominate physically or
psychologically another family member. Domestic violence is a
pattern of abusive behavior by a partner on the other partner 1.
According to article 2 of Law 217 of 22nd May 2003 on
preventing and fighting against domestic violence, domestic violence
is defined as "any physical or verbal action carried out intentionally by
a family member against another member of the same family, which
causes physical, mental, sexual or material damage". For the purposes
of this law, family member means the spouse and a close relative, as
defined in article 177 of the new Criminal Code. Under the new
Criminal Code, which entered in force on 1st February 2014, the
notion of family member means: a) ascendants and descendants,
brothers and sisters, their children, and the persons who became such
relatives, by adoption, under the law; b) the spouse; c) persons who
established relationships similar to those between spouses or between
parents and children, if they cohabit. The above provisions shall also
apply, in cases of adoption, to the adopted person or to his/her
descendants in relation to their natural relatives.
The basic cell of society, i.e. the family, has multiple
meanings 2. It is the basic social form, based on marriage, which
consists of spouses and their descendants and ascendants 3. Family
1

Perrone R, Nannini M, Violence et abuse sexuels dans la famille-une approche


systmatique et comunicationnelle, ESF Editeur, Paris, 1995, p. 36.
2
Gheorghe Nistoreanu, Costic Pun, Criminologie, Ed. Europa Nova, Bucureti,
1996, p.134.
3
Dicionarul Explicativ al Limbii Romne, Ed. Univers Enciclopedic, Bucureti,
1998, p. 366.

190

relationships are an important aspect of social life. The family is


subject to continued attention and defenses, in order to ensure, in this
way, its normal development and conservation. Family relationships
are based on friendship and mutual affection, on the moral and
material support that family members have to grant to each other.
3. Types of domestic violence, with special reference to the
violence against children, as a form of education
Child physical or emotional abuse and neglect are among the
worst forms of violence against children. The manifestations of
aggression are extremely diverse and occur at different levels:
pulsating, affection, attitude and behavior, including human nature
ways 4.
Beating children represented, over the centuries, one of the
most common act, in accordance with the old pedagogical principles
that the physical sanction is one of the principal means to achieve
conformity and obedience to parents and educators 5.
From early childhood until the age of 18, children are
particularly vulnerable and exposed to different forms of violence in
their homes. The study of the characteristics of the child-victim of
abuse deals with aspects related to age, relationship to the outside
world and status within the family. There are many examples of
children-martyrs who were imprisoned in cellars, treated like animals,
forced to endure "correction" treatments, defined as "abnormal" or
"strange", punished by incredible hardships and chores. Badly clothed,
ill fed and housed, they are delayed in their psychological, biological
and social age; they often suffer from maladies caused by ignorance
and lack of care, accompanied by multiple infectious complications.
Children remain victims of domestic violence even if we live in a
democratic world. We notice the large number of orphans and
children without family, cases of abandonment and remarriage 6. The
child is born with an inability to defend himself/herself. In order to
live, he/she needs cultural protection, because, in the mammals
world, these children could not survive, they would die.

C. Punescu, Agresivitatea i condiia uman, Ed. Tehnic, Bucureti, 1994, p. 18.


Sorin M. Rdulescu, Homo Sociologicus. Raionalitate i iraionalitate n aciunea
uman, Bucureti, Ed. ansa, 1994, p.174;
6
B. Camdessus, Lenfance violente, Paris, ESF Editeur, 1993, p. 29.
4
5

191

In a family haunted by violence, children grow up in an


environment where their basic needs (the need for security, orderly
life, love) are deeply neglected. The parental functions cannot be
fulfilled. A mother, victim of her husbands violence, is less able to
provide the necessary basic childcare (food, home, hygiene, clothing,
physical health) or to protect him/her from injury, accident, physical
or social threats. If these children arrive at the emergency room,
doctors notice serious injuries, old tracks of fractures, numerous scars,
irrefutable evidence of malnutrition. Such children grow up with a
sense of humility, think that they deserve their punishment and do not
look anyone in the face. They always back away and are their peers
scapegoats 7.
In other contexts, by their specific behavior, they can induce,
in turn, further violence in foster houses or at school, within children
groups. As shown by Paulo Sergio Pinheiros in-depth study
(independent expert appointed by the Secretary General to the UN
General Assembly, by Resolution no. 57/90/2002), materialized in the
"Report of the independent expert for the UN Study on Violence
against Children", written in 2004, abusers vary in age and in their
victims maturity degree. Abusers include parents, especially those of
stepchildren, foster parents, and partners in consensual unions with
biological mothers or fathers, siblings, other family members or
persons who take care of children.
The economic development, status, age, gender are among the
many factors associated with the risk of lethal violence. The highest
homicide rates among children, triggered by domestic violence, occur
in adolescents, especially in boys aged between 15 and 17 (3.28% girls and 9.06% - boys) and among children aged between 0 and 4
years (1.99% - girls and 4.09% - boys). Studies reveal that infants
present a greater risk of physical violence, while sexual violence
affects those who have reached puberty or adolescence.
Small-scale studies have revealed that certain groups of children
are particularly vulnerable to violence. These include children with
disabilities, those belonging to marginalized or broken families. The
report of the independent expert for the UN Study on Violence against
Children shows that most of the physical violence that occurs in the
family is not fatal, nor does it cause permanent physical or visible
damage. On the contrary, it remains hidden, unknown and
Ina-Maria Ropotic, Violena intrafamilial, Ed. Pro Universitaria, Bucureti,
2007, p. 52.
7

192

underestimated. However, a number of family violence cases,


committed against very young children, cause injury or death with a
permanent character, although perpetrators did not want to cause such
harm.
The research conducted in various countries indicates that the
abuse of infants, by shaking them, is frequently connected to blows to
the head or serious injury to the brain, by broad symptoms, and it
varies from one case to another, and it is generically called the
"shaken baby syndrome - SBS". The danger of the violence
manifested by shaking the infant is due to the constitutional
peculiarities of the age, i.e. the head of the infants up to one year is
very fragile, large and heavy in relation to the body; thus, too strong
shaking can cause injury, with serious consequences. Every year,
thousands of children under 2 years old, less than 12 months old in
most cases, die because they were too brutally shattered by their
parents.
The physical domestic violence against children can occur
frequently in the context of "disciplinary measures", which takes the
form of cruel or humiliating corporal punishment. Harsh treatment and
punishment in the family are common in both industrialized and
developing countries. Corporal punishment is also used by teachers,
with an "educational" purpose. Often, physical violence is
accompanied by psychological violence. Insults, isolation, rejection,
threats, emotional indifference and underestimation are forms of
violence that can affect the psychological development and welfare of
the child, especially when coming from an adult that they respect,
such as a parent.
Neglect, including failure to meet the childrens physical and
emotional needs, failure to protect them from danger or failure to
provide them the necessary health services or other services contribute
to the mortality and morbidity in young children. Disability increases
the risk of neglect. Children with disabilities are often abandoned.
Following attacks, in time, the victim loses self-esteem and develops
undesirable defense mechanisms in order to cope with violent
situations. The risk of giving in increases as the situation becomes
chronic. When children witness domestic violence that took place
between their parents, they will acquire violent behavior patterns.
It was shown that the trauma of the children who grow up in an
atmosphere of violence, even if they are not direct victims (but their
mothers or sisters are such victims), are more intense and entail deeper
193

and longer lasting consequences than in the case of the children who
are direct victims of abuse and neglect by their parents 8.
The consequences of the children's exposure to domestic
violence include: the emergence of school problems, physical
problems, unexplained illnesses, emotional and mental problems
(isolation, anger, fear of injury and death), psychological problems
(self-doubt, depression, comparisons with their colleagues happier
life), behavioral problems (aggression or passivity in case of other
attacks, sleeping troubles, fighting, running away from home,
pregnancies from an early age, drug and alcohol consumption). An
issue which has been less taken into consideration so far is that the
phenomenon of suicide and the suicide attempts increased among
young people; moreover, among the first causes of suicide there are
the damaged family environment and the poor communication within
the family. Although the incidence of this phenomenon decreased, it
got worse, i.e. the intensity violence (cruelty) increased.
There is also noticeable the large number of the children
victimized by their family and the increased violence between
cohabitants, which, currently, under the laws in force, do not enjoy the
status of "family".
4. Types of corporal punishment and vulnerable agents objects used in punishment 9
Spanking is the most common corporal punishment applied
worldwide and it is widely noticed in families coming from very
different backgrounds, guiding themselves by the proverb "beating is
torn from heaven". However, this case includes mostly families with a
lower or average social, professional and economic status. The palm is
the most commonly used method for the punishment of children,
particularly the young ones. Spanking (by palm) is neither dangerous
nor particularly painful. Statistics show that 91% of children
worldwide, aged between 5 and 16 years, were punished by spanking,
and 54% are regularly punished in this way. Spanking is used by
parents, grandparents, relatives who take care of minors, and rarely by
concubines, stepparents, foster parents, the latter resorting to much
tougher ways.
8

Catheline Nicole, Marcelii Daniel, La violence au college, 2001, p. 36.


Ina-Maria Ropotic, Violena intrafamiliala, Ed. Pro Universitaria, Bucureti,
2007, p. 59.
9

194

The rod is, certainly, the most frightening spanking tool.


Beating with a rod is used, at least in theory, for more serious deeds.
In Romania, a "moderate" variant of rod spanking is "hitting" the child
with a stick or cane. These tools cause intense, burning-like pains, but
the traces are smaller compared to those caused by the rod, the hose,
the broom tail or the belt - objects also used by families in order to
"educate" and "discipline" minors. Beating the childs bare bottom by
belt is used mainly by workers, peasants, miners and military
employees without higher education studies.
Slapping is a physical castigation often practiced in all kinds of
families. It is used against a background of depression, stress,
nervousness or increased fatigue of the adults. The latter act
uncontrollably, under impulse, without prior deliberation, in a
temporary moment of lack of self-control. It implies hitting the minor
at most twice, with ones palms, and it often surprises both the parents
and the child. Self-slapping is rarely applied. It is a sanction used in
Transylvania, Banat and a part of Bukovina, in Germanic families,
with very strict education.
Other relatively frequent manifestations of physical violence
are pulling the childs ears, pulling his/her hair, obliging the child to
kneel on nutshells.
The New Romanian Criminal Code uses the ambiguous term
of maltreatment of a minor in article 197: "the act of seriously
endangering, by measures or treatment of any kind, the physical,
mental or moral development of minors, committed by their parents or
persons who take care of the minor, shall be punished with
imprisonment from 3 to 7 years and by the prohibition of certain
rights. Such a definition is ambiguous enough to require some
additional classification in relation to the seriousness of the "illtreatment" of minors.
In most countries, with some exceptions, parents and often
teachers who teach young children are recognized the legal right to
apply these sanctions. The use of the same physical sanctions by
foreign persons who do not have guardianship or educational
relationships with children is considered criminal offense.
Some countries, including Sweden, prohibit, however, corporal
punishment by parents or teachers. The purpose of such legislation is
not to penalize those who violate these rules; for this reason, this law
is not incorporated into the criminal codes of these countries.

195

The Criminal Code of Texas (USA) states that the use of force,
except the one entailing the victim's death, against a minor under the
age of 18, is justified in the following two conditions: when the author
is the childs parent, stepparent or guardian and where the author
believes, sincerely, that force is necessary in order to discipline the
child or to protect or educate him/her.
Another example is given by the Criminal Code in another US
state, i.e. New Hampshire, which provides that "a parent, guardian or
other person responsible for the care and general welfare of a minor
may use force against him/her when and to the extent that he/she
sincerely believes that it is necessary to prevent or punish the minors
bad behavior".
5. The consequences of family violence with special
reference to children
Most abusers were themselves victims of repeated aggression
in childhood and adolescence and overtook such rules and certain
values from their families of origin as something natural, as the only
way of solving problems and educating children. Depending on their
personality, aspirations, education and training, the aggressed minors
who reach an adult age become, where appropriate, aggressors or
victims within the families that they establish, within the relationships
with their peers.
An abused child will become, in turn, aggressive, as he/she
grows up with the belief that the use of force or threat of force is the
most effective means to impose control and dominance over the
victim. In this way, some family groups transmit to their descendants
the patterns of violence that perpetuate from generation to
generation 10.
Those who turn from abused into abusers are cold, insensitive,
emotionally indifferent, marked and hardened by the aggression they
suffered from during childhood and adolescence, which made them hate
the world and life. They consider aggression (attack) as the most
effective method of defense; in their perspective, violence can serve as
a universal settlement tool for all issues (arising in communication,
education of children, and relationships with their life partners,
relatives, friends, neighbors).
Sorin M. Rduiescu, Sociologia violenei (intra)familiale, Victime i agresori n
familie, Ed. Lumina Lex, Bcurt, 2001, p. 57.
10

196

They may become complexed, insecure adults, with little selfesteem, oscillating, suspicious, insecure, and incapable of
communication, integration and social adaptation, convinced that they
are inferior to everyone and that they deserve anything bad that
happens to them. If, however, they start a family, they enter the full
domination of their spouses and suffer and endure the latters abuse,
because they feel inferior and do not have the moral support of their
parents or close relatives, and they are embarrassed to disclose their
situation.
In relation to the outside world, their little experience and
unshared secret prevent the child-victim of abuse to create deeper and
trust relationships with their comrades of similar age. Some teenagers
imagine that their shame is written on their forehead, that it is
discovered from a mere glance and that nobody can understand or
help them.
The specific effect of domestic violence on children is the
infantile-juvenile deviance. In poor families, violence is bound to face
socialization dysfunction and lineage will be skeptical, outraged,
elusive, conflictual or labeled, representing the base for subsequent
delinquency 11.
As a result of family violence, children can become more
aggressive, more secluded than others. Their cognitive abilities are
impaired; they suffer from stomach pains and insomnia. They may
experience some tics (blinking, nail biting), slow development of
speech, lack of self-confidence. They get bad grades in school and they
play truant (culminating with school abandonment). They react
violently when they are angry, they leave home most of the time or they
feel responsible to take care of their home and mother. In addition,
these children have difficulty in expressing their feelings and have a
low social adaptability degree, refusing to bring friends at home
because they fear that their friends will see their family situation. They
consume alcohol and drugs, they run away, they lie, they react violently
towards the elderly, they manifest destructive reactions towards
property.
Emotionally, these children feel responsible for what is
happening between their parents and feel guilty that the abuse does
not end. They are in a permanent state of grief, caused by fear of
abandonment, fear of injury, which may trigger self-destructive
Gheorghe Scripcaru, Criminologie clinic i relaional, Ed. Symposion, Iai,
1995, p. 68.
11

197

behavior, reaching even to suicide attempts 12. Regardless of their


stage of development and whether they were witnesses or victims,
there were noticed the following effects of domestic violence on
children:
Infants react to the environment around them - if they are
upset, they cry. Ante-preschool children start to develop attempts to
relate to the causes of emotions they show behavioral problems such
as frequent illnesses, deep shyness, low self-esteem and social
problems in kindergarten. Preschool children believe that everything
revolves around them and that everything is caused by them. When
they witness violence or abuse, they may think that they have caused
it. Some studies have shown that preschool boys display higher rates
of aggression and most somatic problems than other age groups.
Primary school children, particularly in the later stages, begin to learn
that violence is the most appropriate way to solve conflicts within a
relationship. Teenagers consider violence as their parents problem
and often think that the victim is guilty. The conflicts between parents
have a profound influence on the adolescents development and on
their behavior as adults and it is the strongest predictor of violent
delinquency.
5. Conclusion and suggestions
Domestic violence is a social, moral and serious problem and,
at the same time, it is a violation of human rights, manifesting itself in
all segments of society. Domestic violence is a social reality whose
consequences should not be ignored. Domestic violence is so complex
that the attempt to fit it causally is difficult. However, the main causes
of domestic violence are alcohol consumption or dependence, lack of
employment, poverty and the arrival of children within the family.
Domestic violence is present in all life environments, although there is
the bias that this phenomenon exists only in families with low
economic status and educational level. Although there is not much
research on domestic violence in families with high economic and
educational levels, it is estimated that, in these families, the
phenomenon is quite widespread.
Taking into account the distinct criminalization of murder,
felony murder, beatings or other violence, injury and bodily injury
causing death, the single offense of "Domestic violence", provided by
12

Politic G., Criminologie, Ed. Fundaiei Chemarea, Iai, 1996, p. 58.

198

article 199 of the new Criminal Code, undoubtedly highlights the


legislative developments in the field and also the extent of this
phenomenon. This has made it necessary to extend the protection
scope of the victims - family members. The field of law develops; it
splits into new branches and becomes more complex due to the
changes that occur within our society.

199

EUROPEAN SOCIAL POLICIES FOR RELIGIOUS


EDUCATION
Lect. PhD Claudia POPA
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
In recent years the concern of the European Council was to develop
constructive competences of relationship and dialogue, cultural or religious
customs to young people. The religious education intersects with the moral,
intercultural and the civics education, in an European society always in full
transformation and selection. If we were to analyze the presence of Religion
in the educational system in the European countries, we would see a few
common points to several countries.
Keywords: Politica, educatie, biserica statut programa cadru
didacticci, european.

Thus we have:
- The explanation of the presence of Religion in the
educational system in order to develop a perception that stands
against the religious fanaticism.
- The cult claims to make themselves known
- The Childs claim to receive a complete education, even a
religious one, located in an educational system that completes and
makes him be active.
- The professional preparation of teachers in relation to social
evolution.
In recent years the concern of the European Council was to
develop constructive competences of relationship and dialogue,
cultural or religious customs to young people. In a document The
White Book on Intercultural Dialogue - there is a chapter on "The
religious dimension of intercultural dialogue"in which also appears
the role and place of faith in the lives of citizens as part of the
European society.
200

According to art. 15 of the Statute of the Council of Europe,


the committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE decisional
organism) may conclude agreements or arrangements or make
recommendations to the member states of the European Council. The
recommendations dont have compulsory nature in principle but there
is a procedure of monitoring of the adopted measures by member
states as a result of those recommendations, article 15, b. The
recommendations of the Union are only to indicate a common
direction of education in Europe. But the teaching of Religion is a
matter of national decision of each European state.
The "Pact regarding the functioning of European Union
(TFUE)" as shown amended by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, shows
that the European Union carried out a "policy of support,
complementary to the natural policy of each Member State"according
to article no.6. Many teachers, specialists, say that there has to be a
relationship, a dialogue between religions to teach religious values.
This fact is based on the following actions:
the identifying of common points of all religions that are based on
the human condition
the dialogue between religions in order to perfect training of human
life in general
the tolerance and understanding that develops valid values for all
people of all time and in different areas 1.
Alongside these points there are also a few that attack teaching
religion in public schools; and they are also common to multiple
European countries presented by certain minority groups.
In the work 2 "Arrive Truth in Charity" Stransky, Sheerin 1981, p 6566 Paulist Press, there is specified an approach to teaching Religion,
especially for high school, namely ecumenism which may include:
the definition of the ecumenical, ecumenism concepts, ecumenical
movement
Doctrine evocation principles of ecumenism and methods of
transfiguration in the tradition
the indication of the purpose and method of ecumenism, the variety
of forms of union and cooperation of reason to restore the conditions
for unity
The description of Ecumenism history with positive and negative
moments
1
2

C. Cuco, Replici teoretice i practice, ed a II a, Ed. Polirom, 2009, p. 223.


Stransky Sheerin, Arrive Truth in Charity, Paulist Press, 1981, pp. 65-66.

201

the highlighting of institutional character of religious manifestations


with the possibility of division and coagulating of various religious
movements
the noticing of the false ecumenism that hides prozeletism,
syncretism, the diluting of specificity and traditions dismantle etc.
the presentation of spiritual ecumenism status, of prayer for unity of
all Christians
the list of forms of dialogue of ecclesiological communions between
the majority Church and other churches or religious institutions
the indication of the importance of the World Council of Churches in
the ecumenical movement, status, programs, achievements.
The religious education intersects with the moral, intercultural
and the civics education, in an European society always in full
transformation and selection. If we were to analyze the presence of
Religion in the educational system in the European countries, we
would see a few common points to several countries.
Thus we have:
- The explanation of the presence of Religion in the
educational system in order to develop a perception that stands
against the religious fanaticism.
- The cult claims to make themselves known
- the Childs claim to receive a complete education, even a
religious one, located in an educational system that completes and
makes him be active.
- The professional preparation of teachers in relation to social
evolution.
There are allowed three fundamental principles from the
perspective of educational policies in European countries that direct
these types of education:
Religion is a cultural fact
Beliefs about the world and values have progressively
developed, based on authentic experiences of individual and social
learning
an integrated approach to religious spiritual moral and ethical
values should be promoted. 3
By applying a comparative analysis it was observed that the
contents of religious education varies from country to country and in
3

Monica Cucuveanu, Simona Velela, Educaia moral-religioas n sistemul


educaiei din Romnia, Institutul de Educaie, Bucureti, p. 38.

202

the curricula, the discipline carries several names, namely: "religion",


"the religious training", "religious education", "religious studies",
"religious knowledge and education ethics", "morality and religion"
etc. Thus, the experts admit that "moral and religious values represent
an area of high sensitivity, due to beliefs and worldviews. Such values
can not be approached simplistically, from a lupestra curricular
perspective, neither can be reduced to a mere transmission of
knowledge; similarly, the development of moral and religious beliefs
must be consistent with democratic value , thus respecting the human
rights, pluralism and legislation in general 4.
The data of a comparative analysis revealed that in almost all
European countries, the religious education is part of the school
curriculum. The approach and realization of religious education varies
from country to country and we can not speak of a single European
model.
The style of religious education achievement is determined by
several factors such as:
types of state-recognized religion
religious community features, relationships between cults
the relationship between Religion and state
characteristics of education systems
type of educational policy promoted.
Italy
Teaching religious education in state schools in Italy is part of
an "Italian catechetical project" that has been promoted by the Roman
Catholic Church. Since 1884, the Italian Republic has signed an
agreement with the Vatican which was subsequently amended in 1929
and then through a new law 5 (law 1985) which stipulated that: "Italy,
recognized the value of religious culture, and given that the principles
of Catholicism were part of the historical heritage of the Italian
people, it will continue to ensure, among the educational aims, the
teaching of catholic religion in all public schools in the university".
Respecting freedom of conscience and educational
responsibility of parents, everyone is guaranteed the right to choose
whether or not to take advantage of such teaching. When registering,
4

Birzea Cezar, Perspectiva politicii educaionale, in Keast John, Religios diversity


and intercultural education a refence look for schools, Council of Europe, 2007, pp.
11-12.
5
Law 1985.

203

students or their parents may exercise this right at the request of


school authorities and their choice may not give rise to any form of
discrimination.
The "Italian catechetical project" emerged after Vatican
Council 2 is a form of success of the church to enter the public space
because it was the basis for teaching Christian formation of young
people, the transmitting of spiritual beliefs and guidelines that spread
throughout the postmodern and Enlightenment Western space.
Previous the concile Vatican 2, the changing of the catechesis
shape was tried by Pope Pius XII, by organizing more symposia and
congresses. Thus the Church has reviewed the entire contents taught
in Religion classes. Aiming not just a theoretical assimilation of
concepts but rather personality education and training students
through a kerygmatic catechesis 6. Over the next decade there were
various discussions which culminated in 1984 when the Concordat 7,
an obligatory class of religious education was established. With this
agreement, the teaching of religious education is taught at all levels of
education in accordance with the church doctrine. It is taught by a
teacher in kindergartens and schools or if the religious authority
agrees. The signing of a new agreement between the school and the
Italian Episcopal Conference (Conferenza Episcopal Italian)
established curricula for different levels of public schools, how the
content is organized, the criteria for choosing the textbooks and the
election of teachers.
Currently, the curriculum for religious education is established
by the Minister in accordance with church doctrine. Teachers can only
teach with the authority of church and theological training; they
prepare a special report for the parents of each student.The hours per
week in religious education varies due to school levels: 1.5 at
kindergarten, two hours at primary school, one hour at secondary
school. For those who do not attend Catholic religion, the school
provided other alternative activities, the option for making early
religious instruction each cycle which can be changed anytime.
Other disciplines have emerged along with religious education,
such as the history of religions. The Curriculum is fixed according to
the capacity of students and their openness to religious values.
6

Domenico Grasso, Lo stato attuale della khatehesi.


1984 Concordatul modific 1929 Concordatul i goluri art.1 din 1929 Patti
Lateranensi, n ceea ce privete caracterul confesional al statului italian ce a fost
semnat de Dettino Craxi de cardinalul Agostino Casaroli.

204

If in the early years elements of the Catholic faith, the correct


use of language, recognition and respect for moral and religious
values are brought in; in the years ahead the moments in the life of
Jesus, the prayer, religion spread of Christianity are brought to the
fore. The topics diversify at secondary school and new topics appear
such as the origins of the chosen people, callings, parables, epistles,
the activity of the Apostles, of the Church, the relationship between
faith-science technology, Christian virtues, the value of peace and
justice.
Sweden
The school in Sweden as in other European countries has a
history in terms of the tight relation with the church. Three quarters of
the population of Sweden is close to Lutheran confession and the
religious education is non Confessional organized; it fell the exclusive
responsibility of the state.
Religious education has appears in curricula made by the
Bible and especially the New Testament study in Sweden since 1919.
In 1940 they tried Swedish school system development, the religious
education curriculum called the new discipline-religious discipline,
which is a compulsory subject for state puplic schools, for both the
primary grades- 1-9 grades and 10- 12grades. .The students for the
secondary can not give up their participation at the religion class.
The curriculum is focused to provide information about world
religions, history of religions, about history, about east and culture.
Teachers have similar status with teachers who teach other subjects,
they are graduates of state universities lasting between three and five
years. Private Confessional, Roman Catholic or Muslim schools are
continually growing.
Besides the curriculum, these respect the curricula from state
schools to which we add other extrracurriculare with sectarian
activities for students who want to cultivate cultural and religious
identity.
Netherlands
The place of religious education within the school system in the
Netherlands varies from one school to another; there are public and
confessional schools. The state deals equally with both.
Denominational schools are followed by 75% of Dutch students. The
confessional character is difficult to distinguish in these schools due to
205

a very difficult relation with a certain cult. Some schools still offer a
Religion class organised by the cult to which the school belongs.
There has been also cases when parents have chosen the
nonconfessional approach, aiming at the philosophical presentation
of the main religious traditions of the world. The discipline has the
status of optional subjects.
For students attending a State school, the religious education is
carried out by cults at the request of parents, all the expenses are borne
by them; the school provides only the classroom. The school has the
possibility to offer a course on the history of religions, or an approach
to religious phenomenon. Teachers in confessional religious education
schools have the status as other teachers, the curricula of schools also
being made at school level.
The teachers are university graduates of theological teaching
mode for those who teach in the upper levels. For those who teach at
primary religious education classes are taught by elementary teachers
who have completed a course of religious sciences.
England
In the United Kingdom, the religious education is a
compulsory subject in the state educational system, after performing
teaching a religious education program in accordance with national
and local lines.
Religious education is mandated by the law education
published in 1944 by stating that every school day must begin with a
religious activity. The prayer is introduced in all the schools belonging
to the State 8. This compulsory prayer amended the 1988 education
reform is considered the most important education reform in England
Wales and northern Ireland.
With regard to religion, this document stated that this act of
worship prayer would be inappropriate; this law was repealed on the
1st of November 1996 through a new education law 9 and school
standars and law appeared in 1998 - framework, whereby "each
student takes part in an act of collective worship participating at a
community, foundation or voluntary school every day" 10, a broadly
Kevin Jeffereys, RA Butler, Consiliul Educaiei i 1944 Legea Educaiei, History
(1984) 69 # 227, pp. 415-431.
9
1996 Education Law Office of Public Sector Information, July 24, 1996.
10
Collective Worship "and school assemblies: your rights. British Humanist
Association. Retrieved 24 February 2013.pal.
8

206

Christian character "for community schools."Thus religious education


becomes a compulsory subject in all schools funded by the state,
material studied refers to the knowledge of different religions,
religious leaders and other religious and moral themes. The syllabus is
made by the local educational authorities with the permanent support
of the Council for religious education, which is an independent
provider of religious education (local authority and church
representatives, TeachersAssociation, and representatives of other
faiths and Christian groups). The emphasis placed on Christianity in
religious life appears in the curriculum. Parents have the right to
withdraw their children with the school consent.
In addition, schools are required by law to provide a collective
act of worship every day. This fact determined teachers organizations
to criticize, asking the government for a review 11.
The National Union of Teachers has made a new suggestion in
2008, namely that in the religious education to be invited
representatives of religions: priests rabbis, for a better religious
instruction of students.
Austria
Austrian law provides the freedom of religion and freedom to
religion, in other words it defends the right to adopt a belief and
ensures the conditions for religious nature. The State ensures the
conditions of organizing religious education, textbooks teachers
payment, atemporal intended for education, and the textbook
publishing programs are the responsibility of cults.
The compulsory course dates from 1949 according to a federal
law which situates it in the core curriculum for primary, secondary
and vocational educational system 12, "the subject is compulsory for
every student belonging to a church or religious organization
recognized by law; it is taught, led and supervised by them". The
stipulations in the federal law were changed in 1957 by an amendment
to the law of religious education.
Austria has fourteen official cults. For teaching primary
school, the teachers have the religious education of an academy or the
school teachers have graduated a normal school and have a
specialization cult in this area. For teaching at higher levels, teachers
BHA Briefing 2006/12: Educaie i Inspecii Bill (PDF) BHA Briefing. Asociaia
Umanist Britanic. 2006. Arhivat din original la 2007-10-15. Adus de 2008-02-07.
12
PGBI.NR190, redactare n 1993.
11

207

must be graduates of master in theology or in other areas but the


second specialization must be religious education. The evaluation of
teaching quality will be made by representatives of worship that
designated the teaching.
Analyzing the status of religion in the above countries, and the
words the grrek theologian Christus Yanaras Greek who says: "There
are some people like the Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian or Russian
people, which have a tradition of centuries, the tradition of a culture
based on the absolute priority of the person. I'm not talking here of an
ideology, but a culture, that is a way of life. And this way of life
became incarnate in our folk art, in our conception of life, society and
social relations, especially in the ecclesial praxis of Orthodox worship.
But unfortunately, all these people you mentioned are enchanted
centuries of European modernity dream 13. We can say that the
renewing breath of Orthodoxy can shape civil society by the values
and principles on three main coordinates: a new way of life (ethos), a
new priority of needs, a new conception of world and person view 14.

Chrystos Yanaras, Criza modernitii i realitatea persoanei, n Ortodoxie i


Occident, Bucureti, 1995, pp. 54-68.
14
Rodney L. Petersen, Forgivness and Reconciliation in Christian Theology. A
public Role for the Church in Civil Society in Emmanuel Clapsis, The Orthodox
Churches in a Pluralistic World: an Ecumenical Conversation, Geneva: WCC
Publications; Brookline, Mass., Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2004, pp. 110-123.
13

208

GODS PLACE IN THE CONTEMPORARY


ROMANIAN SCHOOL
Fr. Lect. PhD Nicuor TUC
Ovidius University of Constana
Fr. Lect. PhD Drago Corneliu BLAN
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
The Church and the school have always been supporting each other
in the process of mans training, in his preparation for life and society; they
have taught him to dissociate good from evil. The first schools operated in the
places of worship or next to them. Today, the school separated from the
Church cannot succeed in the huge responsibility of educating children. In
the present Romanian school, one can feel, on the one hand, the consequences
of the materialist-atheist ideology of the communist period, and, on the other
hand, the influences of a world undergoing a full process of secularization.
Religion has always given a sense and a direction to the human existence.
Religion - as an educational discipline - has the role of binder between the
disciplines that have lost or did not have God. By learning religion, the
pupils will better understand the meaning of man, because religion forms
man for himself and for society; it is a need of human nature.
Keywords: God, school, education, religion, identity.

In one of his books, the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor


shows that the fundamental question of morals is not one of the kind:
How should we lead a good (correct) life from a moral perspective?
or What rules should we respect to become good?. The true question
of morals is, on the contrary, What do we live on? What are the
moral sources that we use to quench our thirst? What gives us strength
to act morally? 1
1

Charles Taylor, Quellen des Selbst. Die Entstenhung der neuzeitlichenIdentitat, dt.
Ub. Frankfurt am Main, 1994, p. 32.

209

This power to act morally is given to us by our Orthodox faith,


alive for over two thousand years. The culture has assured its future,
its perennially, only on the basis of the immortal religion. In our
geographic area, eternal culture means Orthodox religion,
Christianity! Here is encompassed the essence of creation - life, the
future - , but also of the spirit the triumph of good! Here, in
between the Carpathians, the Danube and the Sea, the Romanian
people, the first in time to have populated this area and the only one
that inhabited it perennially, has built his existence by writing his own
national, cultural and religious history. Born out of the Daco-Roman
osmosis and sanctified by the Evangel, the Romanians are the only
people stepping into history as a Christian people. Latinity and
Christianism are the two coordinates defining and singularizing it
among the populations of the Earth. Despite all the vicissitudes that it
has gone through and that it has had to face, this people has come out
victorious every time, accomplishing, with Gods help, its calling and
mission in history and in creation. 2
The Church and the School are two institutions that are
extremely close as function so that it is impossible to serve in the
Church and to forsake school and the other way round, to be part of
the school and to forsake the Church. This happens if you really
understand and appropriate their role. The fundamental reason why
the Church and the School suppose one another is the fact that both of
them have in view man. There is no salvation without knowledge and
no knowledge without training. The Churchs mission is mans
salvation and the Schools mission is mans training. He Who founded
the Church, our Savior Jesus Christ, called Himself Rabbi
(Teacher), one of His missions being to teach, and one of the first
missions given to the apostles shows that one of the functions of the
Church will be that of teaching: Go and teach all nations...
(Matthew 28:19).
The Romanian spirituality, a fruit of the unity between
Church and School
Church and School have always stayed together in mans
training process, in mans preparation for life and society, they have
taught man to tell right from wrong, to discern between life in sin and
a sinless, normal life, a life of faith, of virtue, and especially have
Alexandru Ioni, Din trecutul Bisericii i Patriei noastre, Ed. Ex Ponto,
Constana, 2001, p. 5.

210

educated man to think about the physical life but also about the
immortality of the soul.
In our Romanian villages, Church and School two important
and imposing edifices, are situated almost always next to each other
and this happens because the two are edifices of the spirit and of faith
and their place can only be next to each other. Light and happiness,
calm and peace irradiate with golden rays both from the altar of the
Church and from the gentle word of the priest, but also from the
teachers desk and from the innocent eyes of the children in the school
desks.
From the beginnings of Christianity, the priests and the monks
were erudite people, they read, printed books, wrote letters. This is
why the first schools functioned in the precincts of the places of
worship or near them, and the priests or even the cantors served as
teachers. Let us remember that even our great story-teller Ion Creang
relates that the priest Ion Humuleteanu or bdia Vasile, cantor of the
Church of Humuleti, were his primary-school teachers. At that time,
the children learnt using the Church books, which were their first
ABCs.
On Romanian land, the first schools were, consequently, those
from the porch of the Church and from the monasteries, and the
Church served the nations education and language having the
conscience that this is its mission. Near the Church of Saint Nicholas
of cheii Braovului was created the oldest Romanian school of our
country (1495).
Studying the history of the Romanian people, we have the
conviction that the Romanian school was born in the Church of the
nation, sprung from it and remained close to it. The books, assets of
the Church and also of school, were printed for all the Romanians of
all the countries. The books of Transylvania crossed over the
Carpathians in Wallachia and Moldova, and those of Wallachia and
Moldova also penetrated in Transylvania to spread the word of the
Holy Scripture... in all the countries and lands speaking the Romanian
language 3 and to be of good use to all the people speaking
Romanian 4. Printed by the Church, they were taken over by the
school and by the educated people of the nation and profitably used as
means of reinforcing the conscience of ecclesiastical and national
Mitropolitul Nicolae al Ardealului, Biserica Ortodox Romn, una i aceeai n
toate timpurile, Sibiu, 1968, p.18.
4
Ibidem.
3

211

unity of all the Romanians. For two millennia, during which the
Romanians soul was shaped, his soul, - says Octavian Goga - as a
vast basin, has gathered in it memories and hopes, joys and crying, all
the thrills that made it vibrate along the centuries. Who could disjoint
this treasure of feelings and select the mystery that gave birth to the
multifold variety expressing our national specifics? - he wondered 5.
The Romanian spirituality was born in the Church and in school, and
has been preserved through the collaboration of these two
fundamental institutions; the Romanian spirituality is a creation, a
miracle sprung from the unity of action of the two institutions. By
means of them, the society has preserved, cultivated and transmitted
its cultural values.
For hundreds of years, in the Romanian Countries, people have
quenched their thirst from a unique spring of moral and spiritual life:
the Orthodox ethos present in the Holy Evangel and generally in the
Holy Scripture interpreted by the Holy Fathers, and in the Holy
Liturgy and in all the divine services of the Church.
At a certain moment, however, in the history of the Romanians
there was a breakup that imposed a second source of the moral life
along with the Christian ethos: the ideology and aspirations of the
Enlightenment. Horia Roman Patapieviei, in his work The Recent Man
wrote the following things referring to the fact that only by faith in
God can man go over the threshold of ephemerality: The human
societies are born, live and die on earth; it is here that their destinies
are fulfilled yet they do not encompass man as a whole. After his
commitment in the society, man still has the noblest part of himself
available, as he remains with those great capacities by which he
ascends to God, to a future life, to unknown assets from an invisible
world... As individual and identical people, as beings truly endowed
with immortality, we have a destiny different from that of the States." 6
In the present Romanian school one can feel, on the one hand,
the consequences of the materialist-atheist ideology of the communist
period, and, on the other hand, the influences of a world under
secularization, so that, slowly but steadily, the Romanian school tends
to draw away from the Church, as in it blows the wind of the
autonomy from God. This explains the proliferation of the cases of
suicide, of addictions, of delinquents and criminals among pupils and

5
6

Octavian Goga, Precursori, Ed. Minerva, Bucureti, 1989, p. 40.


Cf. H.R. Patapievici, Omul recent, Ed. Humanitas, Bucureti, 2005, p. 397.

212

students and the unfortunate lack of submission to the educators and


to the parents.
A Godless school can no longer set in order the lives of its
disciples. It can provide to them computers, modern laboratories for
their specialization in one scientific domain or the other, but without
God, it will not be able to protect them from robotization,
dehumanization (loss of their moral dimension) and the danger of
becoming rootless people.
The School, separated from the Church, cannot succeed in the
huge responsibility of education, because of the opposition of a series
of ideologists, philosophers, moralists and educators, stars,
superstars, megastars, people with no God, no commitment and no
family, who by their negative example given by their own life in the
media and at concerts, exhort the young generation to immorality and
laziness and inoculate to them Freuds complex 7, namely Freuds
theory according to which in order to get rid of complexes we need to
get rid of shame.
The Christian education of the children
Saint John Chrysostom considers children to be the greatest
caress that God has given to mankind after it has lost immortality, by
its fall into sin. Children are the ray of light and the source of joy in
their parents soul, a cane for the old age and for the weaknesses of
those who have given birth to them and have raised them. They
represent a divine gift, a blessing for their parents, as, with their
coming in the world, our home, our family needs to become a place of
joy and of hope.
The joys of the true parents are the accomplishments or
realizations, successes and achievements of their children, and
similarly their worst hardships are not their personal ones, but the
defeats, failures and hardships of their children. Our children are the
heritage we leave behind, the reason and the motivation of our
endeavors and sacrifices of a lifetime.
In order for them to become a true caress for our tired souls,
burdened by years and difficulties, our children need to be raised and
educated in a Christian spirit, with love for the true moral and
religious values.
Therefore, this education needs to begin in the early childhood,
and must become a constant of their life. And the first exercise they
7

See Savatie Batavoi, ntre Freud i Hristos, Ed. Nemira, Bucureti, 2001, p. 15.

213

can acquire is prayer and going to church. There is nothing as helpful


for a childs healthy physical and psychological development as
prayer and faith.
Education is the most beautiful and the most difficult art, the
parents being true artists endeavoring to achieve artistic works. The
child, says Saint John Chrysostom, is, at the beginning, like a block of
marble. Just as the sculptor has to shape his block of marble
beautifully, similarly parents need to beautify their childrens lives
with the highest virtues and, removing all that is sin and alien, need to
turn their children into true living artistic works.
The method of education needs to rely on love, goodness and
kindness.
In conclusion, we can state that the most important educational
factors are the family, the Church and school. Children represent the
most important investment of our life. Children are the ultimate and
essential motivation and reason of our life and this is why a loving and
responsible parent cannot have peace and joy unless his child has
them as well. We work our whole life for them, hoping that they will
return some of this help to us when we will need it most, in our
moments of disease and old age, of need and powerlessness, just as we
have given birth and helped them grow and prosper in due time and
any time. The true heritage that the parents should leave to their
children is not material but purely spiritual and consists in faith,
honesty, goodness, kindness, meekness, love, purity etc. Some of us
are too busy with the immediate and material investments and a fast
profit, and forget or ignore the time and feelings that need to be given
to our children and when we realize it, it might be too late. Just as a
tree needs to be looked after when it has been planted, to grow up
straight and beautifully, similarly we should supervise, guide and
possibly correct the physical and psychical development of the
children from their early age. Once the tree has grown up crooked and
sickly, all our efforts might prove to be in vain.
Therefore, at the root of the true education, we need to put love
and patience, because to educate a person, to adorn a person with the
most beautiful and the highest qualities of a human being is neither
easy, nor a short-term endeavor, but supposes a lifetime effort.
Arguments in favor of a religious education
We want a united Europe, we often talk about globalization,
about a unique State, we vote constitutions of the European Union, we
214

rejoice at the integration of our country as member of the European


Union, we wish to guide ourselves according to the same
socioeconomic principles and desires, yet we should not let ourselves
disinherited of the fundamental values of our tradition.
In the concert of mankind, each and every people has a
specific message of civilization and culture, and the Romanian people
has been born to be Christian-Orthodox by excellence. And this fact is
all the more important, seeing the words Simion Mehedini uttered a
century ago: ...each man and people in history is worth as much as he
has grasped from the Evangel of our Savior Jesus Christ 8.
Although there are voices rejecting the functioning of the
Religious Education class in the name of the States lay character and
of the freedom of thought, we consider it normal that, in a pluralist
society, people should hear about the Bible in schools, otherwise the
cultural heritage becomes impossible to understand and they should
hear about the Fathers of the Church in the study of thinking 9.
The training of the young people through the educational
system needs to be multidirectional and polyvalent, as the school
educates the individual from an intellectual, moral, civic, esthetic,
hygienic perspective; this is why the religious component is naturally,
organically added to the previous perspectives, meeting the need for
an educational and training complementariness and continuity. For
this reason, it is necessary that these sides of education be envisioned
as a global, integrative approach 10. Or as follows: as a discipline of
education, religion has the role of binder between the disciplines that
have lost or did not have God; by learning religion, the pupils will
better understand mans role, religion trains man for himself and for
the society, it is a need of the human nature.
The arguments in favor of the religious education are many:
a. the cultural argument - the religious type of training sets into
motion the mind and the soul, opens the spirit towards diverse cultural
experiences. The lack of training from a religious perspective means
spiritual infirmity, being a form of analphabetism.

Apud Vasile Nechita, Hristos n coal. mpliniri i eecuri n predarea religiei n


coal, in TV, nr. 9-12/2002, p. 128.
9
Olivier Clement, Viaa din inima morii, translation by Claudiu Soare, Ed. Pandora,
Trgovite, 2001, p. 43.
10
Constantin Cuco, Educaia religioas. Repere teoretice i metodice, Ed. Polirom,
Iai, 1999, p. 13.
8

215

b. the psychological argument - religious education invites to


reflection, to self-knowledge; it is not just the transmission of specific
knowledge but also the shaping or training of the personality. Turning
to religion is healing and saving.
c. the ethical argument - the religious type of morals can fill a
gap or can help overcome some existential orientation gap.
d. the sociological argument - the religious values are meant to
bring people together, to create sustainable relations
e. the historical argument - for many centuries, the culture was at
home in churches and monasteries
f. the ecumenical argument - the religious education and training
prepare man for the acceptance and understanding of his fellow, and
he becomes more generous and less suspicious of the others
g. the theological argument - each person should be guided to
God, to reach a deep sense of life and of the existence
h. the pedagogical argument - religious education opens the
appetite for self-improvement and represents a way of making the
self-responsible in relation to the subsequent options 11.
These arguments in favor of a religious education correspond to
the essential dimensions of the human personality, those that form the
puzzle of the personality on its way towards adulthood: physical
dimension, psychical dimension but also social dimension.
Religion gives sense and direction to the existence. The religious
values are values par excellence. The religious values are not
integrable but integrative the religious values draw a unifying vault
sheltering under their arch the most remote values.
Desecration and depersonalization. The estrangement from God
We would like to believe that todays man has not been born
of the founding crime of Nietzsches deicide but on the contrary can
be called homo religiosus. However, the contemporary man has
misunderstood his calling - HOMO SECUNDUS DEUS looking for
his happiness and accomplishment in the temporality of this life.
Today, the European type of civilization wants itself freed from
religion and morals, therefore it wants itself post-Christian and postmodern. This means that man no longer trusts his axiology, his old
reference system that configured it initially and in which Christianity
and implicitly Christ held a central place. Since the Renaissance to
this day, man has been on the lookout for trifles...
11

Ibidem, p. 26.

216

The man of our century is physically immersed in matter,


bored of the worlds and does not find his joy in the voyages towards
eternity, because between the man created in Gods image and the
man of our days, an unbridgeable gap has been created.
We are under the impression that we are evolving, that the
societies we live in tend towards our good, the good of all of us; we
are under the impression that the technological means and the means
of living, of any kind, are making our lives happier and our work
easier, yet, probably we do not realize that this progress of any kind
does not have mans salvation as its aim. Father Dumitru Popescu, in a
recent paper The Church and politics (Biserica i politica) wrote
in this sense: man has won great victories in the fight for conquering
the great or the small universe, but deep in his soul, he feels
overwhelmed by irrational forces that he can no longer control and
which ceaselessly fuel the explosion of violence that we are all
witnessing, powerlessly. Our Savior Jesus Christ is right when he says
that man gains nothing if he wins the whole world but he loses his
soul 12.
If we do not need Christ in our schools, if we do not need the
true faith in the education of our children, if we do not need the
teaching showing us how to make the difference between right and
wrong, what do we need, then? Yet, in order to be bereaved of our
identity of Christian-born people, we are confronted with different
methods trying to uproot us and to lead us astray from our true
feeling and living.
However, when troubles appear in our lives, we are
wondering: How can God let all these things happen? An eloquent
answer has been given in this sense by Anne Graham, the daughter of
the great American preacher, Billy Graham. When asked about the
attacks of September 11, 2001: How could God let this happen?, she
replied I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but
for years weve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out
of our government and to get out of our lives... 13.
Conclusions
It is strange how people despise God and then they ask
themselves why everything is getting worse and worse. It is strange
how we believe all that the papers are writing, but we distrust the
12
13

Dumitru Popescu, Biserica i politica, in Gb, nr. 1-4/2005, p. 120.


Apud Vasile Nechita, op. cit., p. 129.

217

words of the Bible. And it is even stranger that, more often than not,
we, the Romanians, are able to deny our own being to reach certain
temporary goals.
The Romanian Orthodox Church has supported Romanias
joining of the European Union, yet it needs to permanently militate for
the maintaining of our forefathers spiritual values and faith, without
which we would lose our own identity because whatever we may
believe, The world is not ruled by Nero but by God 14.
Consequently, the Religion class doubtlessly needs to be part
of the national curriculum because it is only there that we learn to be
more honest, more correct, closer to Christ. Without Christ, we get to
fall, we get to live an insignificant, sad, useless life, a senseless
tribulation towards a senseless end of our life this is the most
important lesson provided by the Religion class: the presentation of
the real, miserable state of man in this world, a state of downfall and
confusion, of disintegration, without the sure guidance provided by
Christ, but also of the possibility to face the tests of life with dignity
and serenity, a state that no other discipline can present better or to
which no other discipline can offer viable alternatives; it is a
profound lesson of life, the most profound and important lesson,
namely that of being a true man.

Henryk Sienkyewicz, Quo vadis, translation by Stan Velea, Ed. Leda, Bucureti,
2004, p. 59.

14

218

THE CATECHETICAL SCHOOL OF ALEXANDRIA A MODEL OF CHRISTIAN


Fr. Lect. PhD Adrian VASILE
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
The Catechetical School of Alexandria is associated with renowned
personalities of theology, such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen, as well
as with the beginning of Christianity, when the Christian communities were
organizing training courses for those wishing to become witnesses of true
faith. Often, it is mentioned alongside other catechetical schools like the one
in Caesarea of Palestine, Antioch and Jerusalem, emphasizing, a bit more
each time, that distinctive element between the catechetical school of
Alexandria and the rest, especially in Antioch i.e. the very exegetical method
used by it, namely the allegorical method. That is, the subject itself is one
often mentioned in the literature that deals with various aspects of the
history and theology of the first Christian centuries.
Keywords: The Catechetical School of Alexandria, Pantaenus,
Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Dionysius of Alexandria, Didymus the
Blind, the educational framework, the Greek-Roman education,
catechumenate, Christian education.

Introduction
The Catechetical School of Alexandria has proved to be one of
the first Christian educational settings, of a higher level. Its time in
history was lost somewhere in the mists of time, as well as its end, but
nevertheless, its existence remains deeply inscribed in our memory
because of the activity, during its time of glory, of Clement of
Alexandria and Origen and teachers who put all their labor in the
service of Christian theology and pedagogy. This area of study is the
result of several spheres of influence, which together constitute the
special ingredients that led to the birth and operation of a catechetical
219

school, which differs significantly from the others. The Catechetical


School of Alexandria, as it existed in history, is an educational
framework influenced by the geographical, urban and social
environment in which it appeared. As Alexandria was a point of
confluence between very different worlds and cultures, it provided
catechetical schools with the opportunity to embed, in its own form of
manifestation, the special characteristics of this very variety, thereby
making this environment a Christian learning place where people from
different social levels, belonging to different nations and religions can
meet, as well as a place where the Greek-Roman educational system
intertwined with the initial form of the catechumenate, thus making
possible the creation of an environment that simultaneously taught
profane and Christian science. Similarly, the form in which the school
works proved to be strongly influenced by socio-political events that
have incurred before and during its existence. But for Alexander the
Great, but for the dynasty of pharaohs and the Roman conquest,
Alexandria would not have existed as we know it, as the cradle of the
catechetical school of Alexandria. But for the advent of Christianity,
with all that history of the first Christian centuries, we would not have
been able to speak of the emergence of such an educational
framework.
I. The Catechetical School of Alexandria: exegesis and discourse
In this famous center of antiquity, there tread the feet of Saint
Mark, one of the seventy apostles, the author of the Second Gospel.
Here is what Eusebius tells us about him: Mark is said to have been
the first sent to preach the Gospel in Egypt, as he wrote it, and he
founded the first church there. 1 And the Chronicle says that Mark
evangelized Alexandria and the news is likely to have been relayed by
Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, a disciple of Origen, which
Eusebius often refers to in his History 2.
Well, in this already evangelized center, around the half of the
second century, there opened an important catechetical school, whose
first leader was Pantaenus (about AD 180). Interestingly enough, the
Alexandrian school is known by different names: the school of sacred
words and teachings; the school of catechesis; the assembly (for
1

See Eusebius of Caeserea, Writings, part. I, n PSB, vol. 13, The Publishing House
of the IBMBOR, trad. de T. Bodogae, Bucharest, 1987, p. 82.
2
Ibidem, nota 84.

220

education) of believers or simply the School of Alexandria. After


Pantaenus, the most valuable catechists were Clement of Alexandria
(150-217) and Origen (185-245). At first, the school was not
maintained by the Church, but through private means. Origen, for
example, in order to earn his living he used to sell manuscripts of
profane authors found in his possession, and also gave private lessons.
Yet, the exquisite knowledge of Alexandrian teachers would have a
beneficial effect on the prestige of the school, especially through the
study and interpretation of the Scripture. The method of interpretation
in this school is allegorical. This mystical tendency of approach to
sacred texts will be tempered, more generally, by the literal
interpretation the School of Antioch was to focus on, aspect which
will be discussed below. Clement left us three important works:
Protrepticus, Paedagogus, and Stromata. Among these, in terms of
catechetical approach, Paedagogus 3 is of most interest to us, which
we have already made some remarks on in the previous lecture. Like
other great and conscientious Christian teachers, Clement sought the
foundation of Christian Science in order to counteract and overcome
the pride of pagan science. He does not actually reject pagan
philosophy, which somewhat resembles the Old Testament, which sets
the path for the New Testament. He appreciates science in general, but
the Christian one in a special way, as he considers, in fact, being the
first step to salvation. Paedagogus is regarded as the first scientific
pedagogy treatise by means of which Christian tradition powered the
education at all times.
Origen imposed himself to posterity in the domain of doctrine
and catechesis especially by his work Of Principles, i.e. On the
Beginnings, in four books, dealing with the Christian doctrine: the
Trinity, angels, the world, man, soul, resurrection, freedom , the Holy
Scriptures 4 etc. A man of great warmth and depth, of deep religious
convictions, as well as a brilliant scholar, especially in the biblical and
dogmatic field, he was considered, however, the most popular
catechist of the third century, who spent his entire life teaching and
3

Pertinent observations on the personality of Clement and his work Paedagogus


made by C. CUCO, in Religious Education. Content and ways of achievement,
Didactics and Pedagogy, Bucharest, 1996, 29-31. Also, in the volume Religious
Education. Theoretical and methodical landmarks, Publishing House of Polirom,
1999, pp. 47-48.
4
See Romanian translation Origen, Exegetical Writings, n PSB, vol. 8, The
Publishing House of IBMBOR, trad. pr. T. Bodogae, Bucharest, 1982, 297 p.

221

preaching, as pointed out by a French researcher of the early


twentieth century 5.
The purpose of "The principles", as mentioned above, is the
one confessed by Origen himself: I wrote this paper, on the one
hand, for those of our faithful believers seeking for a rational
explanation to the principles of faith; but on the other hand, I wanted
to give a response against the heretics who always challenge us to
engage in unpleasant discussions... " 6.
When Christianity entered the citadel in the first century AD, it
came into contact with all the other currents and religions 7. The
interest aroused by the complex nature of the issues arising thereby
led to the founding of the catechetical schools: the School of
Alexandria is the oldest center of theological science in the history of
Christianity. It gave Christendom theologians as: Clement of
Alexandria, Origen, Dionysius, Pierini, Peter Athanasius and Cyril.
The allegorical method was used long before the Greek philosophers,
in the interpretation of myths and fables about the gods and it occurs
in Homer, Hesiod, Pythagoras, Plato and Antisthenes.
As can be easily noticed, the Alexandrian discourse bore the
mark of Hellenistic philosophy which was based on the speculative
idealism of Plato. Among the Hebrew interpreters, Philo and the
rabbis inspired themselves a lot from this pluralist and mystical
spring. Therefore, they often resorted to allegorical methods in order
to discern the spiritual meaning of Holy Scripture, believing that this
method would reveal more fully and adequately the eternal truth than
a strict interpretation of historical texts 8.
Those who have adopted the allegorical discourse and not an
authentic typological method, they did so because of a worldview that
denies implicitly that the ultimate truth can be embodied in space and
time 9. Seeking the truth in the antitype, another pole of the analogy,
the allegory tends to impoverish the divine plan of its historical
context. The result was the transformation of Christian faith into a
religion of mysteries forthe initiated who were specialized in gnosis
(gnosis). Against their intention, the allegory adepts recklessly
5

J. G. Bardy, Un prdicateur populaire au III-e sicle, n Revue pratique


dapologetique, Toulouse, 1927, p. 515.
6
Origen, Exegetical Writings, n PSB, vol. 8, The Publishing House of IBMBOR,
trad. pr. T. Bodogae, Bucharest, 1982, p. 14.
7
J. Quasten, Patrology, vol. II, in chapter The School of Alexandria, p. 2.
8
John Breck, op. cit., p. 53.
9
Boris Bobrinskoi, op. cit., p. 122.

222

undermined the dogma of the Incarnation of Christ as well as his


address to the meek and the sinners 10.
The allegory had been used in the Church by Christian writers
long before the foundation of the Alexandrian school. The Epistle of
Barnabas, Justin the Martyr and Philosopher, Irenaeus and Tertullian
used allegory, but rejected Gnostic allegorization.
The School of Alexandria was therefore equipped with a dual
legacy: the use of allegory as hermeneutic discourse and the apostolic
faith of the inspired Word of God as the sole source of Christian
truth 11. Founded in the second century by the former stoic philosopher
Pantaenus, this school was the first important Christian center for the
study of biblical sciences. Since we are interested in an illustration of
the basic principles of Alexandrian allegory, we will limit ourselves to
a brief evaluation of discourse in Clement and Origen. A philosopher
rather than an exegete, Clement ( ca. 215 AD) focused its efforts on
the reconciliation of the apostolic faith with the Hellenistic spirit,
which was dominant at the time. Greek philosophy and Jewish law, he
says, are two twin paths which converge in Christ 12. He treats the
subject in his most important works that comprise a defense against
paganism: Protreptikos pros Hellenas, pedagogical writings addressed
to the new converts: Paidagogos and various reflections on the
relationship between Greek philosophy and Christian faith:
Stromateis.
He also developed comments on the Old and New Testaments
called Sketches - Hypotyposeis or Admirationes, of which we have
preserved only fragments.
Although Clement did not develop an exclusively exegetical
discourse or system, he yet offers a theory of allegorical interpretation
based on the axiom that the highest truths can be expressed only as
symbols 13. The interpreter, he thinks, should seek a deeper meaning
of the Scripture, that goes beyond the literal meaning, and up to a
point Clement was right. Updating certain elements of Gnostic
anthropology, he distinguishes the simple from the perfected
those who are happy with the literal sense, those who achieve
communion with Christ through gnosis (knowledge) of God 14. To the
10

John Breck, op. cit., p. 56


J. Quasten, op. cit., p. 5.
12
Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, 1, 5, 331.
13
Th. Camelot, Clement dAlexandrie et lEcriture, Paris, 1956, p. 244.
14
Dumitru Stniloae, op. cit., p. 244.
11

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perfected the text is simply a means of the Holy Spirit, it is a cipher


that expresses truth itself. Compared with the symbolic or spiritual
meaning, the historical significance of a passage is secondary. This
doctrine foreign to the biblical tradition stems from the Platonic
conception, shared by Origen, according to which there is a hierarchy
of beings ... the lower reflect the upper and can be regarded as
symbols of the upper 15. Photius, who knew the work of Hypotyposeis,
sentenced its author for not having already discarded the influences of
Gnostic mythology. Although Clement was a faithful disciple of
Christ and a staunch defender of the apostolic faith, he allowed his
method to be permiated with the excesses of exegetical theology up to
its transformation into heresy. Using allegorical speech, he tried to
separate faith from gnosis (gnosis). Although faith is essential to
salvation, it is only a preliminary step towards pure knowledge. Faith
is the foundation - but only the foundation of knowledge.
Gnostic truth acquires salvation through initiatory
contemplation (epoptike theoria) which consists in the mystical
understanding of the saving truth. This concept is not without merit as
far as it is consistent with biblical and patristic tradition 16. In relation
to this tradition, but it is dangerous to claim that (theoria) of divine
mysteries is reserved only for the initiated. Developing their theory
based on a typology and not based on an allegory, the Antiochenes
brought a corrective to the gnosticizing trends of Clement and other
Alexandrians. Origen (about 185-254) was the successor of Clement
to the School of Alexandria between 203-231. Excommunicated by
his bishop, Demetrius, Origen was obliged to leave Alexandria and
settle in Caesarea. There, he founded another school of biblical
studies, which he led for twenty years. Exegete and theologian of
talent, energy and remarkable faith, Origen was condemned by the
Council of Constantinople 553 for many reasons, but mostly because
of his teaching on the universal restoration (apokatastasis) of the preexistence of the human soul as well as because of his allegorical
discourse. Origen and the exegetical principles introduced in the
fourth book of dogmatic treatise De principiis (Peri archon). In his
discourse he attempts to distinguish among three different levels of
meaning in the Scripture: the bodily (somatic), the psychological and
the spiritual (pnevmatic) 17. These three levels correspond to the three
15

John H.D. Kelly, Doctrines Harvard, 1984, p. 74.


Vl. Lossky, Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, Bucharest, 1992, p. 16.
17
G.W. Butterworth, Origen. On First Principles, New York, 1966, p. 275.
16

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aspects of human nature that were met in the Platonic anthropology:


body, soul and spirit. So, says Origen, three times one must write in
ones soul the words of Scripture: firstly, the simplest of men must be
built by the band, so to speak, of the Scripture, for so we call the
nearest meaning; Secondly, who is a little more advanced and is
somewhat educated by the soul, and thirdly, and the most perfected
to resemble the ones the Apostles speak of: the wisdom and preaching
of the perfected but not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of
this world ..., that is spiritual law which we know is the shadow of
future goods.
For as man is composed of body, soul and spirit, so things are
with the Scripture, that God in His infinite care gave us for our
salvation. Following his teacher, Clement, Origen denies that all
people have the ability to move from the body, through the soul to
the spirit, through divine knowledge acquisition. Only the
perfected man can enjoy the future blessing of things to come,
whereas ordinary people have to do with a slender bodily build.
Such terms compromise, even if unintentionally, the biblical
doctrine of salvation, and were rejected by the later tradition of the
Church. In practice, the discourse of Origen distinguishes three
methods of interpretation of the meaning of the Scripture: historical,
typological and allegorical. Origen did not generally deny history, but
he often neglected it and put it on the backburner 18. This weakness
was inherent to the allegorical method. Alexandrians called allegory
any relocation of an expression or of a speech from an object (real or
not) to another by means of a real or ideal similarity between them 19.
But often, the unreal or ideal relationship between the two objects
made one of them be overwhelmed or suppressed by the other. As a
result, legitimate typology was neglected and the meaning of a
passage was presented as a symbol or a metaphor, often devoid of
historical basis.
Bolotov said that the Alexandrians were in danger of inventing
an own Scripture. More specifically, the real danger that one can be
thrown into by this allegorical method is the extent to which it
transgressed the historical boundaries of typology which threatens to
turn divine dispensation HEILSCHESCHICHTE (history of salvation)
into MYTHOLOGY 20.
18

J. Danielou, Origene, Paris, 1948, p. 180.


J. Breck, op.cit., p. 63
20
Ibidem, p. 64.
19

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II. Religious Education in School


As long as we remain faithful to the Christian paradigm, we know
why and how to deal with the teaching of religion, but we do not know
with what effect. Clive Beck, who, although postmodern (not
postmodernist) is a real teacher and not a transmitter of ideological
discourses disguised in educational pursuits, says that religion plays an
important role in the character structure of many people, but many people
can be moral without also being religious. In the ordinary sense of daily
life, the relationship between religion and morality is not absolutely
necessary. But for many people, it is necessary to be religious in order to
be moral. Religion appears as a mediator of their morality, and if you lose
one of the parts, the other will also suffer, partly or totally, temporarily or
permanently 21. Some people who once attended religion classes will be
marked for life by them; others will remain with vague and unclear ideas
which will give them however much hassle; others will reject the
religious conception of the world, becoming convinced atheist; Finally,
there will be individuals who are likely to further question their religious
beliefs or from mere social conformity will meet formal requirements of
the confession which they belong to; the proportion remains undecided,
with no systematic religious education, aspirations or disappointments
that will cause them to seek their own path to ultimate values.
But either way, the spiritual principles of education reflected in
teaching are relatively clearly stated. In a systematic didactic principles
closely related to the Christian religion, Magdalena Dumitrana identifies
six such spiritual principles. Three of them are the principles of Christian
education: 1) the ecclesiocentric principle; 2) The principle of Christian
conception of a child (Christ principle of the child); 3) The Christocentric
principle. Other three principles are directly related to religious education
and teaching religion in the classroom 4) the predominantly formative
principle (Christian personality formation); 5) The principle of religion
specific purpose and means: religion is addressed primarily to affectivity;
education is not taught, but partakes, the teacher having the quality
spiritual guide and the class becoming a little ecclesia; 6) The principle of
Christian moral education: Christian religion - says G.G. Antonescu takes from moral education the method of forming moral beliefs and
skills, in turn, gives moral education an ideological content of ethics
that we must cultivate in school, Christian morality respectively.
Christian ethics must underpin truths transmitted to other subjects, all of
which are unified Christian ideals and feelings; all objects of study
21

See, Magdalena Dumitrana, Christian Didactics, V&Integral Publishing House,


Bucharest, 2007 .

226

should be taught from a deeply Christian perspective. After 1989, there


was a genuine revival of faith and religious practice, which did not mean
a return to the Christian ideal of education after the fall of communist
aggressive atheism. Romania was considered culturally reintegrated in
Europe, but the continent was already in an advanced stage of
secularization. Only those who seek to regain real Romania returned to
past wars, when, for or against, the issue of religion was treated in all
seriousness. We understand why lay intellectuals, as teacher Dumitru
Salade, who cultivated humanist discourse, are convinced that religion
can be the basis of moral education; because without idealizing the era,
the social environment was then saturated with religiosity, so formative
education was able to fulfill at least partially its proposed purpose.
Debates are in full swing in the case of instructional paradigm.
Some voices inclined to a religious pluralist education system, in the
form of the history of religions. But the religions to be selected are a
dilemma - the greater as Mircea Eliades encyclopedic model cannot be
followed in school. Then, this education would be quartered in general
topics and if the teaching of religion seeks full general education in a
student, it is obvious that the problem of religious illiteracy for new
generations would not be solved. Another opinion, an utopian perspective
of others, is to emphasize religion for the reinstatement of civism and
moral beliefs. Another orientation, cultivated in France, is interested in
emphasizing religious incidences on understanding different topics, the
role of religion in history and culture. Followers of religious education
find this approach inconsistent (Schlegel).
At more or less formal level, there are at least four reasons why it
is considered that Europe should necessarily strengthen religious
knowledge in public education: 1) combating religious illiteracy; 2)
search for answers to the challenges of democratic pluralism, primarily
religious pluralism; 3) counter the drift of relativism arising from the
collapse of great ideologies; 4) education to life in the city and to the
respect due to the other. The suggestion to strengthen religious education
in public schools includes a sum of contradictions and reveals the reasons
for religious education, although occupying a marginal position in the
curriculum, is an important symbolic stakes for state and society. On one
hand, it recognizes the role of beliefs and moral and religious values in
the formation of identity and in determining social actions.
On the other hand, the trend in European education is the
subordination of religious education to the aims of education by deconfession, non-catechetic education and openness to pluralism of
interpretations. Public recognition of religious mission in the plan of
education (Bildung) is not equivalent to a plea for homo religiosus. As,

227

beyond helping the child to form and justify his own choices and form an
autonomous concept of the world and the existence, the focus is not on an
infusion of spirituality in school, the intelligence of faith (Andr
Fencing ) but on a consolidation of the values of modernity and post
modernity. However flexible the position of authority in education and
pedagogy today might be, which directs but does not constrain (and,
ironically, divine pedagogy in the thought of Origen) it gives less account
to the wide range of socio-cultural, political and educational options in
moral and religious education. Thus, the Recommendation Religion and
Democracy the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (1396
No. 1999) focuses on teaching religion as a set of values towards which
young people should develop critical faculties in the learning of ethics
and democratic citizenship. A critical reading of religious fact is
supposed to knowingly accept or reject religious values, but can also
cause a drain of meaning or an upside down certification of the issue of
the divine. The Recommendation Religion and Democracy indicates the
problematic status of the subjectreligion in public education whereas
the educative moral of our time refers to the human rights and
childrens rights. Things can be seen from another perspective. One of
the keys to the revival of religious education as instructional paradigm
may be to ensure visibility of the experiential dimension (concerning the
questioning of religious experience or lack thereof to the subject of youth
education) andthe consequential size (the consequences of faith and
religious practices on the various areas of the life of individuals). Another
way is the emphasis on the ethical dimension as in the case of education
in Germany, where topical discussions are ubiquitous. Since the
closeness to religion allows individuals to identify themselves and
question, outside democracy, the limitations and assumptions in the light
of its constituent spiritual principle; thereby helping it not to indulge in a
comfortable sufficiency.
Much more should be done about functional teaching principles
of teaching and learning. The activities of both paradigms would benefit,
especially from Christian education. If people wish both to be moral and
be saved, then they need to be prepared to receive revelation.
Salvation - says Mircea Vulcnescu in a conference is not an insidious
process, not something that comes to us without taking into account; but
a strong work ... It's always welcome, a spiritual activation of the
educated subject, deepening a self-reliance and self-assessment. A
genuine religious education is active when shaking opinions, mindsets,
attitudes and character transformations occur. Priest Professor Dumitru
Clugr believes that frequent examination of the conscience is an
essential means of achieving moral life.

228

To this aim, we also need a new alliance among teachers: if the


teacher also wants to have an influence on education, he or she is invited
to observe the calm right to opinion, to enter into an honest and open
dialogue with them, to agree to seek together responses to the unrest and
ignorance of the youth 22... Some of them will find elsewhere which are
the uncreated reasons of this infinite ethical dialogue.

Conclusions
The Catechetical School of Alexandria is an educational
framework, which addresses all those who want to discover and
deepen the true teaching. Thus, many of those who have crossed the
threshold of this school are souls who have long sought a teaching that
reveal the way into the mysteries of this world. Women and men,
Christians or pagans, rich or poor, all in one place, browse the first
training session which included deepening sciences of this world, and
then promote a second level, which mainly study the philosophy and
the Scriptures. The relationship between the teacher and his students
was a special one, seen from the perspective of similarity relationship
between the Savior, the Master of all, and church members. That is, do
not turn the catechetical school teacher from the department as a
know-it-all, but rather as a learner in relation to his teacher and as a
guiding towards salvation, when they relate to those who have been
entrusted to the ones to be trained. The Christian teacher appreciates
and encourages the good results of his learners, and rebukes, or scolds,
when a student shunned the right path. Therefore, this relationship was
much more complex and more uplifting than that existing between
pagan teachers and their disciples, a relationship that is based on a
bossy attitude and vanity, and considers the instructor the best par
excellence, but also claimed that his teaching is true. The objectives of
the Christian education were defined as possible. They ranged
between the boundaries of this world, pertaining to the way of
Christian life and life thereafter, salvation of the soul which is the very
purpose of this training. These objectives include: developing
intellectual capacities, acquiring Christian teaching, changing human
nature, knowing the Creator of all things visible and invisible, worldly
and divine contemplation, acquiring Christian virtues, the acquisition

See, Constantin Cuco, Religious Education, Content and ways of achievement,


EDP, R.A., Bucharest, 1996 .

22

229

of wisdom, perfection, faith, obedience to God, and full acquisition of


knowledge in the afterlife.
These objectives were achieved through the implementation of
a process to study hard. Learning and teaching are done in two ways:
in writing and orally. The content taught was well structured and
involved a sum of knowledge from different fields, of which the most
important were philosophy, considered to be the fault of the
connection between secular science and the Christian faith, and the
Holy Scriptures as the only detainers of Holy Tradition, the true
teaching. The ability to perform written or oral exercises in biblical
exegesis and the ability to conceive argumentative content on topics
relating to teaching basic elements of Orthodox faith were crowned
skills that every student at the end of his training stage at the
catechetical School of Alexandria aimed at. Unfortunately, the internal
vision of teaching activity carried out under this school can be shaped
only through the writings of Clement of Alexandria and, to some
extent, of Origen, the period of decline that followed them, is only a
mist in the history of this school, which does not reveal anything
about this unique educational space. However, looking at all these
aspects of the catechetical school of Alexandria, we find the
independent existence of this school, its teachers personalities to real
existence that fascinates through complexity and uniqueness. This
Alexandrian Christian education phenomenon has served the Church
of Christ in times of sorrow, offering not only theologians of great
value, authors of works that have remained firmly rooted in the
Christian literary treasure, but also graduates who, although not all
remained enrolled in pages of church history, certainly served the
Church and God, each of the homes and environments from which
they came, preaching the doctrine acquired in the catechetical school
of Alexandria. This educational framework formed, therefore, not
only elites of Christian theology and pedagogy, but also true
confessors, who carried on the teaching of Christ, sent by the Holy
Apostles, to all nations.

230

RELIGIOUS MUSIC AND THE TEACHING ROLE


OF THIS ART
Fr. Lect. PhD Iosif Gyulai MUREAN
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
Christians created a particular singing which reflected their spiritual
and social life, their ideals and livings. In this music interpenetrate,
particularlly, modal specific elements that assure it the identity of a distinct
ethos. All the external unsuitable elements did not rezist; they gradually
disappeared. Christian song gave voice to spirituality, and along its history
tried to exist despite of many vicissitudes. Christianity used the religious
singing for its teaching role for the illumination of people.
Keywords: religious music, singing, teaching, spiritual songs, praise.

Spiritual and cultural tradition in which gentile presents itself


before history can determine its proper existance. It is known that only
consciousness of affiliation to a spiritual system well represented can
guarantee the inner freedom of man, in complexity of the relationships
in which every one is reporting to God, to the others and to himself.
The life lived in spirit and truth (John 4, 23) 1 is the only one that
can guarantee the meaning of the man on earth.
To say that Romanian people was born in Christianity is an
absolute truth. The allegiance of our people, since the begginings of
his spiritual constitution, to the eastern Christianity is another
unchallenged reality. Christian cult, especially the eastern one, always
combined ostentation with sobriety, theology with mystic, riguor with
freedom. These apparent antinomies are founded by Christian
paradoxal character.
Church singing, as a way for transmition of knowledge, has
also scriptural, apostolical and patristical roots.
1

We cite from ***The Holy Bible, revised standard version, an Ecumenical edition,
London, 1973.

231

The presence of singing in Orthodoxy is remarcable during the


entire byzantine history, also when we follow the roots of liturgical
Christian singing in a continous succession up to the first centuries
after Christ where we find a lot of literary indirect references, when
musical documents are missing 2.
About scriptural evidences there are a lot of references. First of
all, we must say that the man had to thank his Creator for the
multitude of benefits received from above. So, he had to recognize
and praise the glory, For from him and through him and to him are
all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen (Romans 11, 36). Thus,
man ows his Creator submision and honour, carrying Him in word and
in heart extant: But what does Scripture say? The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart, that is, the word of faith which we
preach (Romans 10, 8) because heart is the house in which the
meeting between God and creature happens, in two ways: upwards
(when man rises his heart to God) and downwards (when God himself
searches the human heart) 3. Upwards, if man would direct his heart to
the highest, Lord will grant him understanding in everything (2
Timothy 2, 7). In the latter, God inspires with His charisma the gift of
the Holy Spirit. Heaving this gift, the man has to experiment the
prayer as to receive the gift of intelligible activity as well: Otherwise,
if you bless with the spirit, how can any one in the position of an
outsider say the Amen to your thanksgiving when he does not know
what you are saying? (1 Corinthians 14, 16). Therefore, having this
gift it is necessary to be understood. But, how? To pray with his spirit,
but with his mind, also. In other words, if the mind do not understand
what it is praying, it is not pray; but, if it does not understand what is
singing, that is not a song: If even lifeless instruments, such as the
flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will any one know
what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will
get ready for battle? (1 Corinthians 14, 7-8). So, this gift would be
useful to all his listeners only in the way of implication of mind for
understanding.
In New Testament music is a way of preaching. Christian
songs reveal the teach of the Bible, as it is saying: ...addressing one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
Vasile Grjdian, Studii de Teologie Imnografic, Ed. Universitii "Lucian Blaga",
Sibiu, 2008, p. 49.
3
Grigorie T. Marcu, Antropologia paulin, Tiparul Tipografiei Arhidiecezane,
Sibiu, 1941, pp. 39-46.
2

232

melody to the lord with all your heart (Ephesians 5, 19), or Let the
word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in
all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with
thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3, 16). Saint Paul
uses the writen word as a replacement for direct talking 4. This is the
sense in which songs are in doctrinal concordance with the true
teaching and they preach testamental knowledge. Since in the time of
the Old Testament, the songs teached the sons of Israel: Now
therefore write this song, and teach it to the people of Israel; put it in
their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the
people of Israel (Deuteronomy 31, 19). Spoken teaching becomes
singing, and obtaining such a quality to be teached (Ephesians 5, 19);
and the words get firmness. The mesage transmitted through such
words is better recepted, if clothes in musically sound. These prerequisites were arguments for usage of music as a source in duty for
teaching and persuation. The gentiles were convinced only by words
and acts, and finally by the power of the Holy Ghost. In that manner
the Gospel was preached as the power of God for salvation to every
one who has faith (Romans 1, 16). The Church is instructed to use
singing, to address itself in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
(Ephesians 5, 19).
The Church fixed a standard for singing, which is rigid
enough, unalterable and limited, for the praise to be safe against any
external influence. That is why songs were made in respect for all
traditions, and they are based on new principles, a total new life style,
including music 5.
The essence of teaching is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14, 19:
...nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my
mind, in order to instruct others, then ten thousand words in a
tongue. More over, teaching is the purpose of singing: What then,
brethren? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a
revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for
edification (14, 26). Those who listen the singing and understand the
words could be instructed.
The book of Revelation 14, 3 mentions the singing in a vision
of Saint John: No one could learn that song except the hundred and
Arthur Darby Nock, Sfntul Apostol Pavel, transl. by Ctlina Gaidu, Ed. Herald,
Bucureti, 2011, p. 10.
5
Joseph N. Ashton, Music in Worship: The Use of Music in Church Service, 2nd
edition, Pilgrim Press, Boston, 1943, p. 113.
4

233

forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth. The
language that Saint John uses is the apocaliptical expression of the
Old Testament - as pricipal source of the Revelation.
Saint James mentions the singing of psalms in his Epistle: Is
any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him
sing praise (James 5, 13).
About the New Testament evidences it could at least be said
that it creates the impression of a positive attitude toward liturgical
song. These passages suggest that it was primarily in this context that
the New Testament enthusiasm for sacred song continued to be
fostered.
But, most concludent mentions are offered by Holy Fathers of
the Church.
Saint Justin the Martyr (100-165) in his Apology, I, 13, wrote:
We have been instructed that only the following worship is worthy of
him, not the consumption by fire of those things created by him for our
nourishment but the use of them by ourselves and by those in need,
while in gratitude to him we offer solemn prayers and hymns for his
creation and for all things leading to good health 6. Saint Justin
remarked that after Plato, philosophy is the most important of all the
arts. Most expressive greek term for the idea of art is mousikh,
which shows the work of Muses that inspire the art works, but it
describes mostly that philosophy is the greatest, in the special
meaning received by mousikh since the time of greek classicism: the
idea of music. So, philosophy is the highest music created and tuned
by human mind. Only by tunes and harmonies of that philosophycal
music the sober-minded of Plato could raise up to the highest circle of
heavenly spheres, where they were capable of divine saga of sublime
ideas and where they were delighted with the ineffable spherycal,
universal, cosmical music 7. The Christian view is that one could not
philozophize or get the sublime living over sensitive, without knowing
the most beautiful of all the arts - singing -, for the rhythm and
harmony orchestrate the constitutive elements of human n spiritual
living. In other work, Dialogue with Trypho, Saint Justin declared:
And the rest of the psalm reveals that he hymned God while with
Sf. Iustin Martirul i Filozoful, Apologia nti, n Apologei de limb greac, n
col. PSB, vol. 2, trad. i note de Olimp N. Cciul, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1980,
pp. 25-26.
7
Ioan G. Coman, Probleme de filisofie i literatur patristic, Ed. IBMBOR,
Bucureti, 1995, p. 27.
6

234

them, which in fact is set forth in the memoirs of the Apostle. Here are
the words: I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the
church will I hymn thee 8. An interesting text appears at PseudoJustin, Hortatory Address to the Greeks 8: For neither by nature nor
by human understanding is it possible for men to know things so great
and divine, but by the gift descending from above at that time upon
those holy men, to whom there was no need of verbal artifice nor of
saying anything in a contentious or quarrelsome way, but to present
themselves pure to the working of the divine Spirit, so that the Divinity
itself, coming down from heaven like a plectrum and using those just
men as an instrument like the cithara or lyre, might reveal to us the
knowledge of divine and heavenly things. Therefore, as if from one
mouth and one tongue, in conformity and harmony with one another,
they have taught us about God, about the creation of the world, about
the fashioning of man... 9
Tatian (fl. c. 160) spoke about teaching in Discourse to the
Greeks 1, that the Greeks deceitfully took credit for the musical
inventions of earlier peoples, whether barbarians or Jews, would
become a commonplace of patristic literature: Cease, then, to call
these imitations your discoveries. For Orpheus taught you to compose
and sing poetry, and also to participate in the mysteries. The Tuscans
taught you to sculpt, the chronicles of the Egyptians taught you to
write history; you acquired the art of aulos playing from Marsyas and
Olympus, while these same two rustic Phrygians contrived the
harmony of the syrinx... 10 In another part of his writing, Tatian
showed the first hint of the patristic polemic against pagan musical
immorality: And this Sappho is a lewd, lovesick female who sings to
her own licentiousness, whereas all our women are chaste, and the
maidens at their distaffs sing of godly things more earnestly than that
girl of yours 11.
The Odes of Solomon descovered images involving teaching
by songs of truth: Teach me the songs of thy truth, /that I may yield

Sf. Iustin Martirul i Filozoful, Dialogul cu iudeul Trifon, II, n Apologei de limb
greac, n col. PSB, vol. 2, trad. i note de Olimp N. Cciul, Ed. IBMBOR,
Bucureti, 1980, p. 217.
9
Idem, Cohortatio ad Graecos, VIII, n PG, t. VI, Paris, 1857, col. 256-257.
10
Tatiani Assyrii, Oratio adversus Graecos, 1, n PG, t.VI, Paris, 1857, col. 804-805.
11
Ibidem, col. 873.
8

235

fruits in thee;/ And open the cithara of the Holy Spirit to me,/ that with
every note I may praise thee, O Lord 12.
Clement of Alexandria (150-215) had a note in his
Protrepticus I, 5, I, in which the New Song presides over cosmic
music and teaches the knowledge by which all world to become a
symphony: It ordered the universe concordantly and tuned the
discord of the elements in an harmonious arrangement, so that the
entire cosmos might become through its agency a consonance. It let
loose the rolling sea, yet checked it from advancing upon the earth. It
stabilized the receding earth and established it as boundary to the sea.
And indeed it even softened the raging fire with air as if tempering the
Dorian harmony with the Lydian 13. In Stromata V, IV, 19, Clement
argues for allegorical interpretation: the unspiritual fail to understand
just as the unmusical fail to perceive musically: He who is still blind
and deaf, lacking in understanding, and not perceiving with the
fearless and keen vision of the soul, which the Savior alone grants,
like the uninitiated at the mysteries or the unmusical in choral
dancing, neither pure nor worthy of the pure truth, discordant,
disordered and material he must remain standing outside the sacred
chorus 14. Further, Clement remarked that David was the example of
music, singing and prophesying at the same time, and harmoniously
hymning God 15.
For Origen (185-265) knowing of profane philosophy was the
base of Christian philosophy. Music was the preparing science for
contemplation and it must be studyed as well. It is mentioned that the
greatest figures of Christianity followed the courses of greatest
profane schools, getting the science and secrets of highest aspirations:
I would wish that you take from Greek philosophy that which has the
capacity, as it were, to become encyclical and propaedeutic studies
for Christianity, and whatever of geometry and astronomy might be
useful in the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, so that just as the
children of the philosophers speak of geometry and music, grammar,
rhetoric and astronomy as being ancillary to philosophy, we too may
12

***The Odes of Solomon, translated and edited by J. Charlesworth, 2nd ed.,


Missoula, Montana, 1977, apud J. McKinnon, Music in Early Christian Literature,
Cambridge University Press, New York, 1987, p. 23.
13
Clement Alexandrinul, Cuvnt de ndemn ctre Eleni (Protrepticul) I, 1-3, n
Scrieri, Partea nti, n col. PSB, vol. 4, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1982, p. 72.
14
Idem, Stromatele, I, XVI, 76. 4-6, n Scrieri, Partea a doua, trad., note i indici de
D. Fecioru, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1982, p. 322.
15
Ibidem, pp. 436-437.

236

say this of philosophy itself in relation to Christianity 16. The profane


conception about soul was radically changed in Christianity. The
human soul, heaving reason, is in continual aspiration to communion
with its Creator. This communion is realized through complexity of
the enchanting praise, which human brings to the Lord, and the
harmonious way of melodious singing develops the value, the strenght
and the beauty of pray, as spiritually supreme experience in
Christianity: For our mind cannot pray unless the Spirit, within its
hearing, as it were, first prays before it. Nor can it sing and hymn the
Father in Christ with proper rhythm, melody, meter and harmony,
unless the Spirit who searches all things, even the depths of God, has
first searched the depths of the mind with praise and song and, as far
as it is capable, has understood them 17. The false teaching is the
most dangerous threat for Christianity. Against it fights the entire
ellite of Holy Fathers. It distracts the atention from true teaching and
inserts the uncertain in the souls of those who are less prepared. That
is why dogmas were introduced in singings, to be more easily taken
by the believers, who do not sing alone to the Lord, but with the entire
universe and creation.
Lactantius (250-325) mentioned the link between soul and
singing, in his Divinae institutiones VII, XIII: What of Aristoxenus
who declared absolutely that there is no soul, even while it lives in the
body? He thought that just as a consonant sound or song what the
musicians call harmony is produced on citharas by tension upon
their strings, so too the power of sentience exists in human bodies
from the joining together of the viscera and vigor of the limbs.
Nothing more senseless than this can be said. Certainly this man had
healthy eyes, but a heart that was blind, for with it he failed to see that
he lived and possessed a mind with which he had thought that very
thing 18.
Saint Athanasius (296-373) wrote in Epistula ad Marcellinum
28 that the musical aspect of psalmody is justified as a sign of inner
harmony, and to sing for the sake of pleasing sound rather than as a
manifestation of inner harmony is blameworthy: Just as we make
16

Origenis, Epistola ad Gregorium,1, n P.G., t. XI, Typographi Brepols Editores


Pontificii, Turnholti (Belgium), 1861, col. 88.
17
Idem, Despre rugciune, II, 4, n Scrieri alese, Partea a doua, n col. PSB, vol. 7,
trad. de T. Bodogae, Ed IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1982, p. 203.
18
Luci Caecilii Firmiani Lactantii, Divinae institutiones, VII, XIII, n PL, t. VI
(Tomus primus), Paris, 1844, col. 779.

237

known and signify the thoughts of the soul through the words we
express, so too the Lord wished the melody of the words to be a sign of
the spiritual harmony of the soul, and ordained that the canticles be
sung with melody and the psalms read with song 19.
As it could be observed in the writings of Pachomius (290346), every one in the monastery had to know reading and to retain
some teachings from the Scriptures, and the easy way to obtain this
was by singing those teachings: And there shall be absolutely no one
in the monastery who does not learn to read and retain something
from the Scriptures, at least the New Testament and the Psalter. No
one shall find pretexts for himself which prevent him from going to the
synaxis, the psalmody and the prayer. One shall not neglect the times
for prayer and psalmody, whether on a boat, in a monastery, in the
field, on a journey, or engaged in whatever duty 20.
Evagrius Ponticus (346-399) said about the benefits of singing:
Pray with moderation and calm, and chant psalms with
understanding and proper measure, and you will be raised on high
like a young eagle. Psalmody lays the passions to rest and causes the
stirrings of the body to be stilled; prayer prepares the mind to perform
its proper activity 21. He continues with other important observations:
Reading, keeping vigil and prayer focus the wondering mind.
Hunger, toil and solitude quell inflamed desire. Psalmody, patience
and pity arrest seething anger. And these are to be practised at the
appropriate time and in good measure, for what is excessive and illtimed is not lasting, and what does not last is harmful rather than
beneficial 22.
Also Saint Basil (330-379) says: What did the Holy Spirit do
when he saw that the human race not led easily to virtue, and that due
to our penchant for pleasure we gave little heed to an upright life? He
mixed sweetness of melody with doctrine so that inadvertently we
would absorb the benefit of the words through gentleness and ease of
hearing, just as clever physicians frequently smear the cup with honey
when giving the fastidious some rather bitter medicine to drink. Thus
19

S. Athanasii, Epistola ad Marcellinum de interpretatione psalmorum, 28, n PG, t.


XXVII (Tomus Tertius), Paris, 1857, col. 40.
20
S. Eusebii Hieronymi, Regulae Sancti Pachomii, in Operum Tomus II, Translatio
Latina, n PL, t. XXIII, Paris, 1845, col. 78.
21
S.P.N. Nili Abbas, De oratione LXXXII, LXXXIII, n PG., t. LXXIX, Paris,
1865, col. 1185.
22
Evagrie Ponticul, Tratatul Practic XV, n col. SC, No. 171, trad. i comentariu de
A. Guillaumont i C. Guillaumont, Edit. du Cerf, Paris, 1971, pp. 536-538.

238

he contrived for us these harmonious psalm tunes, so that those who


are children in actual age as well as those who are young in behavior,
while appearing only to sing would in reality be training their souls.
For not one of these many indifferent people ever leaves church easily
retaining in memory some maxim of either the Apostles or the
Prophets, but they do sing the texts of the Psalms at home and
circulate them in marketplace 23. And Saint Gregory of Nazianzus
speaks about psalmody as future hymnody: the psalmody with which
you will be received is a foreshadowing of future hymnody 24. Perhaps
the richest and most eloquent of the patristic encomiums of psalmody
is given by Saint John Chrysostom (347-407): When God saw that
the majority of men were slothful, and that they approached spiritual
reading with reluctance and submitted to the effort involved without
pleasure wishing to make the task more agreeable and to relieve the
sense of laboriousness he mixed melody with prophecy, so that
enticed by the rhythm and melody, all might raise sacred hymns to
him with great eagerness. For nothing so arouses the soul, gives it
wing, sets it free from the earth, releases it from the prison of the
body, teaches it to love wisdom, and to condemn all the things of this
life, as concordant melody and sacred song composed in rhythm 25.
In conclusion, the word of revelation is revealed in the Holy
Scriptures and Traditions. Those who had been charged to transmit
the teachings, in their mission of evangelization had the duty to
preach this revelation. The mission of teaching was assumed by the
Apostles, the Apostolic Fathers and the Fathers of the Church in the
first millenium, to whom added the apprentices and their posterity
until our days. Church singing from the first centuries was a way of
teaching and preaching of the Word. The singing word is a guide for
every Christian. For the first Christians, the singing was the
expression and thrill of their faith and it was sustained and
stimulated for its teaching role.
As it was observed in the references from above, those who
sing must know that they do not transmit their own message, but that
of the Church, as the keeper of the thesaurus of teaching. The singings
must determine spiritual attitudes and moral behaviour.
23

Sf. Vasile cel Mare, Omilia la Psalmul I, n Scrieri, Partea nti, n col. PSB, vol.
17, trad., note i indici de D. Fecioru, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1986, pp. 183-185.
24
Sancti Gregorii Theologi, Oratio XL, In sanctum baptisma, 46, n PG, t. XXXVI
(Tomus Secundus), Paris, 1888, col. 425.
25
Sancti Joanni Chrysostomi, Expositio in Psalmos, VII, 15, n PG, t. LV (Tomus
Quintus), Paris, 1862, col. 156.

239

ORTHODOX CANONICAL LEGISLATION ON


RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TODAY
Fr. Asist. Prof. PhD Vlad MAXIM
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
Today its the time for a new evangelization process. This demands,
must be a clear, serious and ordered effort in order to succeed in evangelizing
culture. The Gospel and therefore the evangelization do not identify with
culture and are independent towards all types of cultures. However, the
kingdom announced by the Gospel is experienced by those who share a deeply
bound with a culture and so, its construction cant avoid using culture
elements and human cultures. Independent towards cultures, the Gospel and
evangelization are not necessarily incompatible with them, but capable to
imbue them all, without enslaving to any of them. The rupture between
culture and Gospel is, without doubt, the drama of our era. Therefore,
numerous efforts should be made in order to realise a great evangelization of
culture and cultures. They should be regenerated by meeting the
Annunciation. In order to make this happen, it is necessary to explain the
meaning of the Gospel in peoples language and cultures. The Holy Bible, the
word of God expressed using mans language, is the prototype of the
productive meeting between the word of God itself and culture.
Keywords: evangelization, God, Canon, synod, church, education,
bishop, Gospel.

The educations great importance in mans life and its growing


influence on the evolution of todays society is, for the Church of
Christ, the subject of a careful reflection. The way the process of
catechesis takes place in Church or the way it emits teaching power,
meaning how the teaching powers specific methods are used, is very
varied; by its nature, the activity of spreading the truth through faith
imposes a contact with a number of objective realities, existent in the
240

Churchs life, determined by its historical path towards the Eschaton.


The mission of spreading the revealed truth does not take place
exclusively inside the Church, but naturally, it is meant to be held
outside the Church so that all humans can save themselves and come
face the truth; they should integrate in the Church-the Body of Christ
as living active members.
Moreover, the initial form in which this work has been
conducted was precisely the one imposed by the nature of preaching
itself, which was meant to be addressed especially to non-Christians,
in order to accomplish the will of Jesus. The Saviour had commanded
the Apostles to preach the Gospel around the world to every man 1
(Matthew 10:5). Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
For the Holy Church, to evangelize means to bring the good
news to all strata of humanity and, through its influence, to change on
the inside, to renew humanity, itself. It is also about touching and
overthrowing through the Gospels judgmental criteria determining
values, points of interest, ways of thinking, sources of inspiration and
humans ways of living which are in contradiction with Gods word
and with the plan of salvation. It is necessary to evangelize not in a
decorative way, like a varnishing of a surface, but in a vital way, in
depth and to the roots culture and mans cultures, always starting
from the person and always coming back to the relationship between
people and God.
This good news is addressed to the human person in its
complex, spiritual and moral, economical and political, cultural and
social totality 2. Therefore, the Church does not hesitate to speak about
the evangelization of cultures, of mentalities, customs, behaviours.
The new evangelization demands a clear, serious and ordered effort in
order to succeed in evangelizing culture. The Gospel and therefore the
evangelization do not identify with culture and are independent
towards all types of cultures. However, the kingdom announced by the
Gospel is experienced by those who share a deeply bound with a
culture and so, its construction can not avoid using culture elements

Ioan N. Floca, Drept canonic ortodox. Legislaie i Administraie Bisericeasc,


vol. II, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1990, p. 12.
2
Gheorghios D. Metallinos, Parohia-Hristos n mijlocul nostru, trad. de Ioan I. Ic,
Ed. Deisis, Sibiu, 2004, pp. 94-95.
1

241

and human cultures 3. Independent towards cultures, the Gospel and


evangelization are not necessarily incompatible with them, but
capable to imbue them all, without enslaving to any of them.
The rupture between culture and Gospel is, without doubt, the
drama of our era. Therefore, numerous efforts should be made in order
to realise a great evangelization of culture and cultures. They should
be regenerated by meeting the Annunciation. In order to make this
happen, it is necessary to explain the meaning of the Gospel in
peoples language and cultures 4. The Holy Bible, the word of God
expressed using mans language, is the prototype of the productive
meeting between the word of God itself and culture.
The great theologian and catechist, Saint Gregory of Nyssa,
aware of these realities, emphasised the same type of approach
towards this issue in his work, The Great Catechism. Nowadays, it is
utterly felt the need of evangelization of cultures and the need of
making heard the faiths message: The presiding ministers of the
mystery of godliness have need of a system in their instructions, in
order that the Church may be replenished by the accession of such as
should be saved, through the teaching of the word of Faith being
brought home to the hearing of unbelievers. Not that the same method
of instruction will be suitable in the case of all who approach the
word. The catechism must be adapted to the diversities of their
religious worship; with an eye, indeed, to the one aim and end of the
system, but not using the same method of preparation in each
individual case 5.
All those who become the servants of Christs Church are
given the responsibility for the evangelization mission. This mission
should be accomplished in time and should be seen as a chore from
Jesus Christ which consists in sanctifying, leading and teaching.
While succeeding the three stages of the divine evolution
bishop, priest, deacon, the most important duties and rights of the
clergy are, firstly, the ones referring to the preaching of the revealed
truth:
1. The preaching of the teachings from Christs Gospel by
word, just as Saint Apostle Paul said to Timothy: I charge thee
Antonie Plmdeal, Preotul n Biseric, n lume, acas, Sibiu, 1996, pp. 117-119.
Emilianos Timiades, Preot, parohie, nnoire, trad. de Paul Brusanowski, Ed. Sofia,
Bucuresti, 2001, p. 183.
5
Sf. Grigorie de Nyssa, Marele Cuvnt Catehetic, trad. de Grigorie Teodorescu, Ed.
Sofia, 1998, p. 11.
3
4

242

therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the
quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word;
be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
long suffering and doctrine. (II Timothy 4:1-2)
2. The preaching of the teachings by deeds. The one who
preaches the Gospel must spend his life according to what he
preaches, turning himself into a living example for the others, so that
one can feed the flock of God which is among you (I Peter 5:3) 6.
In this respect and according to the article 49 from The status
for the organization and functioning of the Romanian Orthodox
Church, it is required that all the members of clergy are obliged to
preach the word of God to His flock 7.This way, it is synthesized the
entire canonical legislation which explicitly provides the fact that
every single member of the clergy is indicated to preach and interpret
Christs teachings. From the Churchs tradition, one can observe that
the process of catechesis inside church has not been the exclusive
privilege of the clergy, as many laities have also participated and,
under the approbation and careful guidance of the bishops of Christs
Church, have accomplished their mission.
The priests duty of preaching Gods word is referred by the
Orthodox Churchs canons. Whereas the canons are rules given by the
Churchs ecumenical synods and its particular ones, they are obliged
to stabilise the way how the Church is organised and conducted, so
that it can accomplish its given mission. The Churchs parents and
teachers provided some canons, which regulate the nature and
functions of the Christian preacher and command the bishop and the
priest to preach the divine word. The most important canons are: the
19th from Laodicea, the 58th apostolic one and the 19th and 64th from
the Trullo synod, also known as the Quinisext Council, held at
Constantinople in 691 8.
According to the 19th Canon of Laodicea after the bishops
preaching, the first thing to do is to perform the prayer of
catechumens. The 58th canon states that the bishop or the presbyter,
not taking care of the clergy or the people and not teaching them the
right faith, should be excommunicated; if the carelessness and the
Gh. Burc, Rnduieli canonice privitoare la propovaduirea cuvntului lui
Dumnezeu, n rev. MMS, nr. 3-4/1974.
7
Statutul pentru Organizarea si Funcionarea Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane, Ed.
IBMBOR, Bucureti, 2008, p. 39.
8
Ioan N. Floca, Canoanele Bisericii Ortodoxe, Sibiu, 1992.
6

243

laziness continue, he must be excommunicated. At last, in the 18th


Canon from the Trullo synod, it is decided that The Churches
primates must teach - each day and especially on Sundays - the entire
clergy and every person the words of the right faith, choosing the
correct ideas about the truth from the divine Scripture, without
trespassing the decided frontiers or the Parents tradition. And if
those written can not be understood, they should not be interpreted
differently than the teachers of the Church have said in their writings,
nor the preachers should express their own opinions as they might be
wrong. And so, because Gods people know about the good and the
necessary, about the useless and the undesirable, they will follow the
path of good and they will not fall into the arms of ignorance, but will
remember those learnt and will try their best to stay safe and protect
their souls in order to achieve salvation.
For the preaching of our Lords word, the 19th Canon of
Laodicea (held in 343) has an important value; the Canon states that
the preachings existence has a significant role in the divine worship.
Describing the old ritual of the Holy Liturgy, the Canon found the
preaching as one of the constituents of the Liturgy, just as it was
declared by St. Luke the Evangelist, in the first century, in the 20th
chapter of The Acts of the Apostles and by Saint Justin (Justin
Martyr) in the second century, in The First Apology 9. Therefore,
according to the apostolic and post apostolic tradition, in three
centuries, the preaching has become part of the Holy Eucharist.
The 58th and the 19th apostolic Canon of Trullo have declared
utterly necessary excommunicating or defrocking the bishop and the
priest who wont preach on Sundays and during holidays. Thereby, in
the IV-VI centuries, preaching the Lords word was the duty of
bishops and priests, this way evolving from the initial practice of the
Church which was based on the apostolic tradition; this tradition
stipulated that only the bishops, as the direct descendants of the
apostles, could preach. The presence of a priest behind a pulpit,
alongside a bishop, and the preaching of Gods word is the result of
the new ways in the Church carries on its activity.
Christianity became an accepted religion (religio licita) once
the Edict of Milan was issued by the emperor Constantine de Great, in
313 AD, and later, during the reign of Theodosius the Great, became
the state religion, facts which led to the increasing number of religious
Sf. Iustin Martirul i Filozoful, Apologiile, n vol. Apolgeti de limba greac, trad.
de Olimp N. Cciul, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti,1997, p. 95.
9

244

communities. Also, although those communities need spiritual


guidance, the bishops couldnt fulfil it by themselves 10.Under these
circumstances, specific to the Christian Church, a promotion towards
the pulpit for a large number of cultivated priests, all thanks to their
theological knowledge, their wide knowledge about the Holy Bible
and about the oratorical art. From this category of priests, the most
famous ones are: John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo.
Therefore, the 19th Canon of the Trullo Synod demands that both the
bishop and the priest must preach the word of our Lord.
The famous Zonara explained these canons in the commentary
for the 58th apostolic canon. According to him Each bishop has the
duty to teach the people who are in his care about the dogmas of the
Christian faith, to led them towards the true faith and to led them to
follow the right path, because God has said through his prophets:
<<When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou
givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his
wicked way to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his
iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.>> (Ezekiel 3:18);
The bishop who neglects the preaching shall be punished and if his
indifference continues, he shall be excommunicated 11.
Because the act of preaching was, during the first centuries, a
bishops duty (as it was stated in the biblical, patristic and canonical
writings) and later a priests duty, there are no explicit canons in the
Churchs legislation which may state this act as the deacons duty.
However, it can not be suggested that the deacons have no access at
the pulpit or that those who preach could be disrespecting the
ecclesiastical laws. On the contrary, in The Acts of the Apostles are
mentioned deacons preaching, deacons such as Saint Stephen and
Saint Philip. They had held speeches which had had a great success on
the audience. The deacons right of preaching is specified as well in
the Apostolic Constitutions and in the Churchs history are mentioned
important preachers which were also deacons (e.g.: Saint Ephrem the
Syrian) 12.
Veniamin Micle, Propovduirea cuvntului lui Dumnezeu n lumina nvturii
Bisericii Ortodoxe, n rev. MO, nr. 1-2/1975, p. 43.
11
Sintagma Ateniana, II, 75 apud Nicodim Milas, Canoanele Bisericii Ortodoxe
nsoite de comentarii, vol. 1, part 1, Arad, 1930, Tipografia Diecezan, pp. 272-273.
12
Ioan Popa, Norme canonice privitoare la dreptul i datoria preotului de a predica,
n rev. GB, nr 3-4/1972, p. 328.
10

245

Now, some might wonder if the layman has too the right and
duty to preach Gods word. In the Holy Bible is stated that, under
certain circumstances, the duty of preaching could also belong to any
believer. In this regard, our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed: Whosoever
therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before
My Father who is in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before
men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in Heaven.
(Matthew 10:32, 10:33). Reprising this idea, the Apostle Paul said:
that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans,
10:9; 10:10).
In addition to this general reference of our Lords and Saint
Pauls, there is also a special command addressed to the bishops and
priests who are called and sent to preach, as how shall they preach
unless they are sent? (Romans, 10:15). Based on our Saviors
command and on Saint Pauls affirmation and determined by the
heresies which were showing up in the Church because of some
unwell prepared teachers, the Holy Parents had decided through the
64rd Canon from Trullo that no layman is allowed to preach in the
Church: IT does not befit a layman to dispute or teach publicly, thus
claiming for himself authority to teach, but he should yield to the
order appointed by the Lord, and to open his ears to those who have
received the grace to teach, and be taught by them divine things; for
in one Church God has made "different members," according to the
word of the Apostle: and Gregory the Theologian, wisely interpreting
this passage, commends the order in vogue with them saying:(1) "This
order brethren we revere, this we guard. Let this one be the ear; that
one the tongue, the hand or any other member. Let this one teach, but
let that one learn." And a little further on: "Learning in docility and
abounding in cheerfulness, and ministering with alacrity, we shall not
all be the tongue which is the more active member, not all of us
Apostles, not all prophets, nor shall we all interpret." And again:
"Why dost thou make thyself a shepherd when thou art a sheep? Why
become the head when thou art a foot? Why dost thou try to be a
commander when thou art enrolled in the number of the soldiers?"
And elsewhere: "Wisdom orders, Be not swift in words; nor compare
thyself with the rich, being poor; nor seek to be wiser than the wise."

246

But if anyone be found weakening the present canon, he is to be cut off


for forty days.
Therefore, this Canon forbids any layman to preach in public
the word of God, but, at the same time, allows the layman to teach
without the bishops approval. The 64rd Trullo Canon deserves a
careful exegetical attention, as its content is not as exclusivist with the
laymen as it may seem at a first (ad literam) interpretation. Because
the teaching is a charismatic ministration, in the Church, the only ones
allowed to teach are those who have the gift of words, gained through
study. Based on Apostle Pauls teachings about the ministration, the
Trullo Synod excluded the laymen from teaching, as they do not have
the necessary charisma.
Forbidding the laymen from teaching the people, the Trullo
Synod managed to continue the old laws of the Church, though
adapting them to those times 13. And He gave some to be apostles,
and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and
teachers (Ephesians 4:11). Ever since the Apostles era, there were
preachers tasked with a special charismatic ministration 14. For us is
hard to decide exactly in what consisted their preaching, but it
certainly did not exclude the primates preaching in both the Churches
which had no preachers and those which had. The preaching was part
of the bishops ministration from early times, if not from the very first
beginning. Saint Justin Martyr gives us the proof Then, after the
reader stops, the bishop holds a lecture through which he advises and
urges the auditorium to follow those beautiful teachings 15.
If this custom was available for the Church of Rome, then it
must have existed in other Churches too. Saint Justin Martyr was one
of those well-known preachers. It is unknown to us if he had the
possibility to teach others in church gatherings; in case he did, he must
have had the Churchs bishop by his side, as a preacher.
In the third century, appears the tendency to entrust teachings
exclusively to bishops, in order to remove the teachers who were still
doing this job in some places. From those times, we know about the
conflict between Origen and his bishop, Demetrius of Alexandria. The
preach Origen held in church, at the demand of two Palestinian
Emilian Cornitescu, Sfnta Scriptur n mna credinciosului. ndreptar pentru
folosirea ei, n rev. Ort., nr. 2/1980, pp. 300-305.
14
Teodor M. Popescu, Primii didascali cretini n vol. Biserica i Cultura, Ed.
IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1996, pp. 79-182.
15
Sf. Iustin Martirul, op. cit., p. 95.
13

247

bishops, Alexander of Jerusalem and Eusebius of Caesarea, led to


Demetrius protest. The Palestinian bishops tried to justify, in a letter
for Demetrius, Origens behavior: He added to his epistle that never
before, nor now, a layman has preached before bishops. I dont know
how can someone speak about something so untrue? Because where
there are people capable of helping their brethren, they are invited by
the holy bishops to speak to the people. So did Evelpist in Laranda, at
the request of the blessed bishop Leon; and also at Iconium, Paulin,
being asked by the bishop Celsus, as well as Theodor at Sinada, in the
presence of the bishop Atticus. And there might have been similar
cases of which we are not aware. 16
Not just once, were expressed points of view regarding this
incident, fact which proves that, according to the Churchs laws,
teaching was a special charismatic ministration and it was forbidden to
those who were not called to do it. The Church of Alexandria had no
need of teachers, because of its particular organization: from early
times, the presbyters had the possibility to preach during church
gatherings. When he was still in Alexandria, Origen had no such
claims, as he did not consider himself belonging to the hierarchy, even
though he found the ministration of preaching far more important than
any other ministration.
But, the Palestinian bishops knew about an old law, which
allowed the teachers to preach in church gatherings. In order to solve
the conflict, the bishops ordained Origen to presbyter, possibly at his
own demand. But, there was a mistake, as Origens ordination was
breaking the churchs rules, because it was performed without both
the approval and knowledge of his bishop. On the other hand,
according to Demetrius, not even Origens status as a presbyter
allowed him to preach in church; back then, in Alexandria, not all
presbyters had the permission to such things, unless they were the
head of a Church. The bishops of Palestine werent entirely right when
they were affirming that the Church allows laymen to preach during
church gatherings, since the Churchs old laws were stating that
during such meetings, only those who were indeed called and asked to
teach. The conflict had no historical consequences; While Demetrius
considered that the preaching was strictly the duty of the hierarchy, it
did not mean that the laymen could not ever speak to the people.
Eusebiu de Cezareea, Istoria Bisericeasc, n col. PSB, vol. 13, trad. de Teodor
Bodogae, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1987, p. 244.
16

248

This was also the Trullo Synods opinion, which considered that the
invested laymen do not receive the gift of preaching.
In the 64th canon of the Trullo Synod, it is not established to
whom belongs the gift of preaching. Probably, this issue was
beyond the scope of the Holy Parents gathered at the Synod, but
undoubtedly, they were taking into account that this duty belonged to
the bishops as the Churchs Primates. It is properly that the Churchs
Primates is said in the 19th canon of the same Synod must teach
every single day and especially on Sundays, the entire clergy and all
people about the right faith [].
For the times when the Trullo Synod happened, Primates were
only the bishops and certainly, not the presbyters, nor parish leaders,
as it is nowadays. The Primates preaching excluded to some extent
the possibility of preaching of other clergy members about whose
attributions regarding teaching are not mentioned by the Synod. Both
the clergy and the laymen should learn from the bishop. If the
presbyters had sometimes the possibility to preach in Church, in front
of Gods flock, fact which should have been known by the Parents
present at the Trullo Synod, this wouldnt have diminished the
significance and position of the Synods principles regarding the
bishops doctrinal privilege 17. Presbyters were preaching in Churches
only with the bishops approbation, fact which did not always please
the people, as Augustines attitude suggests.
Is a result of the Trullo Synods decision, in Byzantium, the
teaching became a duty reserved exclusively to bishops. According to
Theodore Balsamon, the clergymen, even though they had a higher
position, did not have the right to teach in churches, if they were not
called and asked by a bishop. Some might wonder wrote Balsamon,
if this 64th canon of the Trullo Synod forbids laymen from teaching
others in front of the people or from discussing about religious issues,
then this also applies to monks, clergymen or does it not? Since the
right of teaching belongs only to bishops and to those who are asked
to do it, whoever breaks this canonic command, will be punished.
Thus, many monks and clergymen who have studied the word from the

Nicolae V. Dur, Norme canonice referitoare la ndatorirea nvtoreasc i


omiletic a preotului, n rev. MB, nr. 3-4/1983, pp. 165-166.
17

249

Gospel My Father is more than I am were punished because they


were talking our writing erroneously about it. 18
Being appointed as a teacher is not a call to ministration, but a
simple task. Teaching Gods people, said Balsamon once more, and
interpreting the dogmas about the Holy Spirit is a chore given only to
bishops and to those chosen by them to do it 19. In time, not having
the possibility to personally perform the ministrations, the bishops
chose those clergymen, whom they have found capable of preaching,
to teach in churches. Those assigned were only replacing the bishop.
The right of teaching the people, said Balsamon, is only given
to bishops, while the teachers teach only after the patriarch allows
them [] Therefore, after the patriarch dies, they can not teach
anymore 20.
The preachers from Constantinople preached in the name of
the patriarch who, assigning them this chore, was also giving them his
right to preach; therefore, once he died, they were obliged to stop
teaching, until a new patriarch would assign them his rights. The
assignment Balsamon was talking about depends on every primates
decision of choosing as helpers the preachers whom he considered
enough prepared or suitable for this mission.
Thus, the canon being fully understood, it can be noticed that it
does not forbid any Christian from promoting, in his living
environment, the principles of the Christian ethics, principles such as
peace, love, justice, work, the spirit of sacrifice, helping each other
etc. and from proclaiming his love for Jesus Christ. Also, in the
Orthodox Church, the bishops often assign laymen, with a certain
education, to preach.
The Orthodox theologian, Paul Evdokimov, mentions in his
precious work, Orthodoxy, that: In the extent of needs, the bishops
assign the power of teaching and even preaching, to theology
teachers, realying on their own universal priesthood, on their state of
being <<anointed by God>> In both cases, it is not only about a
human delegation, which is essential for the Churchs sacerdotal

18

Balsamon, Interpretarea canonului 64 Trulan, apud Nikolai Afanasiev, Biserica


Duhului Sfnt, vol. 1, trad. de Elena Derevici, Ed. Patmos, Cluj Napoca, 2008, pp.
130-131.
19
Ibidem.
20
Ibidem.

250

order. The laymen are a society or even the ecclesiastical society,


which is, at the same time, the world and the Church. 21
Thanks to the indissoluble bond between the ecclesiastical
hierarchy and the believers, our Church did not restrict preaching
Gods word only to hierarchy, but, at the same time, it did not accept
the preaching to be done by every person, without the close
supervision of a pastor, in order to avoid the apparition of some
heresies, disunions and sectarian activities. The Church was aware
that the preaching is a divine mission, entrusted to the hierarchy
established by Jesus Christ; but, at the same time, it promoted that
laitys apostolate, encouraging them to implement the principles of
Christian spirituality in their own lives.

21

Paul Evdokimov, Ortodoxia, trad. de Irineu Popa, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucuresti, 1996,
p. 307.

251

L'EDUCATION RELIGIEUSE EN ROUMANIE ET


LES RECOMMANDATIONS DE L'ASSEMBLEE
PARLEMENTAIRE DU CONSEIL DE L'EUROPE.
Fr. Asist. Prof. PhD Iulian ISBOIU
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract :
The social and political changes in Romania, after the year 1989,
have brought back in the Romanian education, after almost 50 years of
pause, the religion teaching in public schools. This decision has brought
discussions and disputes caused by these who want the exclusion of this
subject from the educational program, accusing the Church of
confessionalism.
In order to be able to justify the legality of teaching religion in public
schools in Romania, we have put forward the recommendations of the
Parliamentary Committee of the Council of Europe that concern religious
education. We have also made a research of the statute that teaching
religious education in the European states, a presentation of the Romanian
legislation in this field, as well as a summary of the curriculum content of
the discipline Religion.
Keywords:
religious
education,
European
recommendation, school, Church, scholar curriculum.

legislation,

Introduction
Ceux qui contestent la prsence de l'enseignement religieux
dans les coles de Roumanie, font souvent appelle la situation de
l'Europe, en affirmant que la direction vers laquelle se dirige l'Union
Europenne, sur ce sujet, envisage notamment une sparation totale
entre l'Eglise et l'Etat. C'est pourquoi, soutiennent-ils, l'enseignement
de la discipline Religion dans les coles roumaines devrait rester une
affaire interne et personnelle de l'Eglise.
252

Mais si nous nous rapportons ceux qui se passe en fait en


Europe unie on peut observer que l'ducation religieuse est enseigne
dans les coles publiques finances ou non par les Etats. Cette
situation est en fait une consquence de la libert de chaque tat
membre de l'Union en ce qui concerne l'organisation de son systme
ducationnel 1. "Donc la comptence exclusive des Etats membres, en
ce qui concerne le contenu et le mode d'organiser les systmes
nationaux d'ducation, n'est pas mise maintenant en discussion dans la
perspective du droit primaire de l'Union Europenne 2.
Vivant dans une Union Europenne dans laquelle tous les Etats
membre ont les mmes droits, la Roumanie doit respecter toutes les
obligations qu'elle les a assumes. Mais il faut faire une diffrence trs
claire
entre
rglements,
directives,
dcisions,
avis
et
3
recommandations . Cet article vient de dmontrer trs clair que
l'Union Europenne n'adopte pas des dcisions au caractre obligatoire
dans le domaine de l'ducation religieuse et ce problme est l'affaire
de chaque tat membre de l'Union Europenne 4.
1. Inter-culturalit et interdisciplinarit dans l'Union
Europenne
Pendant la dernire priode l'Europe avait manifest un intrt
spcial pour une ducation interculturelle qui ne fait autre chose que
permuter en plan social l'orientation de l'enseignement, notamment
celui universitaire, vers l'tude interdisciplinaire, tude qui va
dvelopper l'aire de comptence de l'tudiant. En tenant compte que
l'Europe est un territoire dans lequel la diversit culturelle et religieuse
reprsente une ralit importante, les institutions de l'Union
Europenne, notamment le Conseil d'Europe, ont initi un dialogue
interculturel qui a comme but les dbattes des thmes d'intrt gnral
sur la comprhension de cette diversit des traditions et des coutumes
des peuples qui constituent l'Union. Ainsi le chapitre "Dimensions

L'article 165 de TFUE (Trait sur le fonctionnement de l'Union europenne), cf.


Sorin elaru, George Vlaicu, L'tude de la Religion dans les coles publiques des
Etats membres de l'Union Europenne, dans ST, nr. 1 (2012), p. 230.
2
Ibidem.
3
Art. 288 TFUE.
4
Sorin elaru, George Vlaicu, art. cit., p. 230.

253

religieuses du dialogue interculturel" de la Carte Blanche du Dialogue


interculturel "prsente la religion comme un fait culturel" 5.
Mais quand on parle d'un dialogue culturel on ne peut pas
inclure aussi l'expression "dialogue interreligieux" parce-que ce type
de dialogue se droule dans un autre spectre et lui est dpendent de
l'ide d'une communication interreligieuse ou interconfessionnelle qui
se construit sur la base des connaissances religieuses apprises en mode
systmatique dans le cadre organis comme celui de l'ducation.
Par consquence on ne peut pas ignorer le rle de la croyance
religieuse dans la vie des personnes qui vivent dans l'espace de
l'Union Europenne, fait qui avait conduit vers certaines
recommandations que le Conseil d'Europe les a proposs aux
gouvernements des Etats membres en ce qui concerne l'introduction
de l'tude de la religion dans le tronque commun primaire et
secondaire de l'enseignement (les recommandations 1720/2005 et
1804/2007).
2. La recommandation 1720/2005 6
La premire recommandation de l'Assemble Parlementaire
s'inscrit, comme il est mentionn dans l'article nr. 1, dans les
paramtres de la reconnaissance du droit de chaque citoyen d'avoir ou
de ne pas avoir une religion, et d'ici l'ide de la tolrance comme
exercice dmocratique. La construction de l'argument de cette
recommandation commence avec le rle trs important que la famille
le reprsente en ce qui concerne l'ducation religieuse. Ce fait est
remarqu aussi dans les analyses ralises au niveau national, dans
notre pays, dans lesquelles on constate le rle de plus en plus diminu
de la famille en ce qui concerne l'ducation religieuse-morale des
enfants. Cette absence peut conduire un dficit majeur de
comprhension, de la part des citoyens, en ce qui concerne les
manifestations identitaires de chaque peuple de l'Union Europenne. Il
est mentionn, de mme, l'influence mdia, qui peut tre positive ou
ngative (art. 4), fait que nous l'observons dans le mdia roumain
quand elle analyse certaines dcisions prise par l'Eglise Orthodoxe
5

Ibidem, p. 231.
Discussion par lAssemble le 4 octobre 2005 (27e sance) (voir Doc. 10673,
rapport de la commission de la culture, de la science et de lducation, rapporteur:
M. Schneider).Texte adopt par lAssemble le 4 octobre 2005 (27e
sance).http://assembly.coe.int/mainf.

254

Roumaine, culte majoritaire en Roumanie, en ce qui concerne


l'enseignement religieux. Une position ferme attire notre attention,
l'article 5, qui mentionne que " la politique et la religion ne devraient
pas se mlanger", mais on ajoute : " Cependant, la dmocratie et la
religion ne doivent pas tre incompatibles. En effet, elles doivent tre
des partenaires valables dans les efforts pour le bien commun." Les
deux facteurs impliqus, la politique et la religion, ne devraient tre
ignors, mais, par contre, il faut mentionner le fait que sans une
implication concrte des gouvernements " pour garantir la libert de
conscience et dexpression religieuse, pour encourager lenseignement
du fait religieux, pour promouvoir le dialogue avec et entre les
religions, et pour favoriser lexpression culturelle et sociale des
religions."(Art. 6), on ne peut pas combattre l'ignorance pour la
comprhension des religions en gnral. Mais pour combattre le
fanatisme, chaque citoyen faudrait tre inform, a l'intermde du
systme ducationnel, de point de vue interculturel concernant
l'histoire et la philosophie des autres religions "avec mesure et
objectivit"(art. 7). On recommande, de mme, que les religions
dominantes dans certains pays informent sur l'origine et l'histoire des
autres religions (art. 8). On condamne aussi la confessionnalisation
exagre dans certaines pays (l ou une certaine religion est
majoritaire ou dans les coles confessionnelles) et l'absence de
l'ducation religieuse dans les pays dclars lacs (art. 9) et en mme
temps la qualit dficitaires des enseignants en ce qui concerne
l'enseignement comparative des religions (art. 10). En tenant compte
que les trois religions monothistes "ont des racines communes
(Abraham) et partagent beaucoup de valeurs avec dautres religions"
l'Assemble recommande au Conseil des Ministres les suivants :
"13.1. dtudier les approches possibles de lenseignement des
religions pour les niveaux primaire et secondaire, par exemple par
des modules de base qui seraient ensuite adapts aux diffrents
systmes ducatifs;
13.2. de promouvoir la formation initiale et continue des
enseignants du fait religieux dans le respect des principes voqus
dans les paragraphes prcdents;
13.3. denvisager la cration dun institut europen de
formation denseignants pour ltude comparative des religions.
14. LAssemble recommande aussi au Comit des Ministres
dencourager les gouvernements des Etats membres veiller
255

lenseignement du fait religieux aux niveaux primaire et secondaire de


lducation nationale, notamment sur la base des critres suivants:
14.1. son objectif doit consister faire dcouvrir aux lves les
religions qui se pratiquent dans leur pays et celles de leurs voisins,
leur faire voir que chacun a le mme droit de croire que sa religion
est la vraie et que le fait que dautres ont une religion diffrente, ou
nont pas de religion, ne les rend pas diffrents en tant qutres
humains;
14.2. il devrait inclure lhistoire des principales religions,
ainsi que loption de ne pas avoir de religion, en toute neutralit;"
Les critres de cet article regardent plutt des
recommandations pour empcher les attitudes fanatiques des certains
religions. Ce n'est pas le cas de l'Eglise Orthodoxe, en gnral, et de
l'Eglise Orthodoxe Roumaine en particulier, qui n'a jamais promu
pendant son histoire le fanatisme religieux. C'est pourquoi, en ce qui
concerne la programme analytique de la Religion, elle promue les
valeurs essentielles de l'orthodoxie, en la prsentant comme une vraie
religion, sans avoir considrer ceux qui embrassent une autre religion
ou confession chrtienne comme n'tant pas des vrais tres humaines.
Mais pour qu'un enfant puisse comprendre pourquoi d'autres
personnes n'ont pas la mme croyance comme la sienne, il faut
d'abord l'duquer a comprendre sa religion pour tre prpar, au
moment donn, accepter l'existence des autres religions et confessions
chrtiennes et leur accorder son respect. Concernant cette attitude
nous allons analyser, dans un autre chapitre, la programme analytique
de la discipline Religion, qui est enseigne en Roumanie pour pouvoir
le respect accord par l'Eglise Orthodoxe Roumaine pour toutes les
religions et confessions chrtiennes.
3. La recommandation 1804/2007 7.
Ce qui caractrise spcialement cette recommandation est trs
bien formul dans le premier article qui affirme: "LAssemble
parlementaire constate limportance du fait religieux dans la socit
europenne. Cette importance relve de la prsence historique de
certaines religions depuis des sicles, et de leur influence dans
7

Discussion par lAssemble le 29 juin 2007 (27e sance) (voir Doc. 11298, rapport
de la commission de la culture, de la science et de lducation, rapporteur:
M. de Puig). Texte adopt par lAssemble le 29 juin 2007 (27e sance),
http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.

256

lhistoire europenne. Aujourdhui encore, on peut constater la


multiplication de religions sur notre continent, lequel prsente une
ralit trs plurielle des croyances et des Eglises." C'est pourquoi on
constate aussi qu'il faut tenir compte "des diffrences entre les
religions elles-mmes et des circonstances propres chaque pays"
(art. 3). Mme si on demande vhment une sparation visible entre
l'Eglise et l'Etat, l'Assemble " reconnat galement le droit des
diffrents pays dorganiser, y compris par des lois, les relations entre
lEtat et la religion, conformment aux dispositions de la Convention
europenne des Droits de lHomme (STE no 5)" (art. 5). On constate
aussi que moins d'un europen sur 5participe une fois par semaine au
service religieux de sa religion ou confession par rapport ce qui s'est
pass, il y a vingt ans (art. 6). Malgr a on observe en parallle un
dsir des religions d'tre de plus en plus prsentes dans la vie de la
socit et le besoin d'un dialogue interculturel et interreligieux, qui
n'est pas le devoir de l'Assemble, en principal, mais elle considre
qu'il est forcment ncessaire que celui-ci existe. En faisant rfrence
la Recommandation 1396/1999 qui affirme que " Plusieurs
problmes de la socit moderne ont aussi une composante religieuse,
tels que les mouvements fondamentalistes intolrants et les actes
terroristes, le racisme et la xnophobie, les conflits ethniques" (art. 3) 8
on affirme que "Lducation est un lment majeur pour combattre
lignorance, les strotypes et lincomprhension des religions aussi
bien que des responsables religieux, et joue un rle central dans la
construction dune socit dmocratique." (Art. 12). On reconnait le
rle positif que la media et la famille peuvent les avoir dans ce
domaine (art. 13). Dans le contexte ou dans Europe existe des Etats
dans lesquels la religion joue un rle trs important, comme celui des
Royaume Unis ou la Chambre des Lords a des places spciales pour
des vques, qui prennent des dcisions, et d'autre part des pays qui
interdisent les symboles religieuses, la situation n'est pas trs facile
(art. 15). Il faut que la libert religieuse, garantie par les articles 9 de
la Convention europenne des droits de l'homme et art. 18 de la
Dclaration Universelle des droits de l'homme, doit s'encadrer dans les
limites du respect de la dmocratie et de ces prceptes de base (la
scurit publique, l'ordre publique, la sant, la morale publique et la
protection des droits des autres tres humaines) (art. 16).
8

http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?link=/Documents/AdoptedText/ta99/FREC1396.
htm Religion et dmocratie, Extrait de la Gazette officielle du Conseil de lEurope
janvier 1999.

257

En dsirant respecter la libert d'expression stipule par la


Rsolution 1510/2006 qui affirme : " LAssemble est davis que la
libert dexpression, telle quelle est protge en vertu de larticle 10
de la Convention europenne des Droits de lHomme, ne doit pas tre
davantage restreinte pour rpondre la sensibilit croissante de
certains groupes religieux." 9 l'Assemble se solidarise avec le Conseil
des Ministres en vue de la participation aux diffrentes confrences
organises par les communauts religieuses, en rpondant ainsi positif
a leurs demandes (art. 19-22). Par la suite l'Assemble recommande au
Conseil des Ministres surveiller le respect pour la libert religieuse
et ne pas permettre des ingrences dans les affaires confessionnelles
et surveiller l'indpendance du droit et du politique devant la religion.
L'article 23.7 fondement l'ide "denvisager la cration dun institut
ayant pour mission dlaborer des programmes, mthodes et matriels
pdagogiques afin dtudier le patrimoine religieux des Etats
membres du Conseil de lEurope; ces programmes doivent tre
labors en troite collaboration avec les reprsentants des
diffrentes religions traditionnellement prsentes sur le continent
europen" et l'article 24.1 recommande: " promouvoir la formation
initiale et continue des enseignants, en vue dune ducation objective
et pondre sur les religions aujourdhui et sur les religions dans
lHistoire, et exiger une formation aux droits de lhomme pour tous
les responsables religieux, notamment pour ceux qui ont un rle
ducatif en contact avec des jeunes".
4. L'enseignement religieux en Europe - respecter les
recommandations.
En tenant compte du cadre lgislatif en ce qui concerne la
libert religieuse en Europe, tablie soit par la Convention de
Lisbonne ou par les conventions de droit de l'homme, nous essaierons
prsenter une image gnrale du statut de l'ducation religieuse dans
l'Union Europenne en faisant rfrence notamment a ce qui ce passe
en Roumanie. Ainsi on remarque, de point de vue de la prsence de
l'heure de l'ducation religieuse ou, dans certains cas, des heures

Discussion par lAssemble le 28 juin 2006 (19e sance) (voir Doc. 10970, rapport
de la commission de la culture, de la science et de lducation, rapporteur: Mme
Hurskainen). Texte adopt par lAssemble le 28 juin 2006 (19e sance).

258

d'ducation morale - religieuse ou de l'histoire de religion, la situation


se prsente comme il suit 10:
- Royaumes Unis - l'ducation religieuse a un caractre
interconfessionnelle et est enseigner obligatoire tous niveaux
d'tude, tant finance par l'tat. Mme ci l'enseignement
confessionnel est financ par l'tat, il existe un cours d'ducation
religieuse obligatoire duquel les lves peuvent demander d'tre
absolus. De mme la prsence aux services religieux liturgique
journalire est obligatoire.
- Autriche - on observe que la discipline ducation religieuse
est obligatoire pour l'enseignement primaire, secondaire est
vocationnelle. On enseigne deux cours (deux heures) pas semaine a
l'exception des classes de moins de dix lves. Il faut mentionner que
l'enseignement religieux est confessionnel. Les lves a l'ge de plus
de quatorze ans peuvent bnficier de l'absolution de cours soit a la
demande de leurs parents soit leurs demande. Les professeurs qui
enseignent l'ducation religieuse sont rmunrs par l'tat.
- Belgique - on enseigne deux cours (deux heures) de
l'ducation religieuse pour les cycles primaire et secondaire, comme
discipline obligatoire. Les cours ont caractre confessionnel et sont
enseigner par la confession reconnue par l'tat. Les lves peuvent tre
absolue des cours, a la demande, a l'obligation de suivi des cours de
l'Education Morale.
- Bulgarie - l'ducation religieuse est optionnelle et est
enseigner a tous les niveaux de l'enseignement: primaire, secondaire et
gymnasial, une heure par semaine. Les professeurs sont recruts
parmi le prtre ou le professeur de l'histoire, de langue bulgare ou de
philosophie qui suivent un cours de prparation auprs des facults de
thologie.
- Tchquie - l'ducation religieuse est un objet d'tude
optionnel ayant un caractre confessionnel organise par les cultes qui
sont reconnus d'tat. La difficult consiste dans le fait que le cour de
Les informations sont prise de Sorin elaru, George Vlaicu, art. cit., et Irina
Horga, Perspectives europennes concernant l'ducation religieuse dans l'cole,
dans Almanah bisericesc, Arhiepiscopia Bucurestilor, 2006, p. 111-118. L'analyse
comparative a compris 41 pays et a utilis les informations rapportes par la base
des dates de Eurydice de la Communaut Europenne concernant les systmes
nationaux d'enseignement (www.europa.eu.int/comm/education) et les rapports
nationaux prsents au Forum International The new intercultural challenge to
education: religious diversity and dialogue in Europe, Strasbourg, septembre 2002.
10

259

l'ducation religieuse est inclus dans la programme ducationnelle la


discrtion des directeurs des coles s'ils existe au moins sept
demande, mais a cause de l'indiffrence de la population (60% se
dclarent athes) seulement 5% des lves du cycle primaire et 1% de
celui secondaire participent l'heure de l'ducation religieuse. Les
professeurs sont rmunrs par les coles.
- Chypre - l'enseignement religieux est obligatoire et a un
caractre confessionnel; deux cours par semaine depuis la premire
classe jusqu' douzime. Les professeurs sont rmunrs par l'tat.
Sont absolus des cours seulement les lves qui n'appartiennent du
culte orthodoxe.
- Danemark - l'tude de l'ducation religieuse est obligatoire
aux tos les niveaux d'enseignement, une heure par semaine. Les lves
peuvent tres absolus des cours la demande des parents jusqu' l'ge
de 15 ans et leur demande aprs cet ge. La discipline a un caractre
non-confessionnel et les professeurs sont rmunrs des fonds publics.
- Croatie - l'objet d'tude s'appelle religion et a un caractre
confessionnel et est enseign une heure par semaine. La discipline est
optionnelle et les professeurs sont rmunrs par les communauts
religieuses.
- Estonie - la discipline est appele Religion et a un caractre
optionnel pour tous les niveaux d'tude. Il faut exister au moins 15
demandes de la part des parents, mais seulement 1-2 % des lves
participent ces cours. La discipline a caractre non-confessionnel.
- Finlande - l'ducation religieuse est discipline obligatoire
dans les coles publiques ayant caractre confessionnel et est
organise par les dix cultes reconnus par l'tat la demande de
minimum trois lves de mme anne d'tude. Il existe aussi
l'alternative d'tudier l'Etique sculaire enseign aux lves qui
n'appartient pas aucun culte ou pour ceux qui ne bnficient pas
d'une heure d'ducation religieuse organise par leur culte.
- France - sauf les rgions Alsace, Lorraine et Moselle la
discipline Education religieuse n'est pas enseigne dans les coles.
Dans les trois rgions mentionnes la discipline 2ducation religieuse
est enseigne obligatoire dans les cycles primaire et secondaire les
lves tant absolus avec l'exigence de participer un cours
d'ducation civique et morale.
- Allemagne - l'ducation religieuse fait partie du tronque
commun pour les cycles primaire et secondaire, ayant caractre
confessionnel et obligatoire. On enseigne 53-62 heures par an el les
260

professeurs sont rmunrs par l'Etat. Les lves peuvent obtenir


absolution de la participation au cours, la demande des parents ou
des lves de plus de 14 ans la condition qu'ils participent une
autre discipline : philosophie applique, thique, etc.
- Grce - l'tude de l'ducation religieuse se trouve dans le
tronque commun des disciplines tous les niveaux de l'enseignement
pr universitaire, ayant caractre confessionnel, obligatoire, les
professeurs sont rmunrs du budget de l'Etat. On enseigne deux
heures par semaine, sauf les annes terminales du lyce dans lesquels
on enseigne une seule heure par semaine.
- Islande - l'ducation religieuse est discipline obligatoire avec
caractre confessionnel et les professeurs sont rmunrs par l'tat.
On enseigne une demi-heure chaque jour dans le cycle primaire et
deux heures par semaine pour le cycle secondaire.
- Italie - l'tude de l'ducation religieuse q caractre optionnel
et est organis par l'Eglise catholique, le financement tant offert par
l'Etat. Pour le cycle primaire on enseigne deux heures par semaine et
dans le cycle secondaire une heure par semaine. Les lves l'ge de
plus de 14 ans choisissent eux-mmes au dbut de chaque anne s'ils
veulent participer ou non l'heure de l'ducation religieuse. C'est
intressant le fait que les autres cultes non-catholiques pourraient
organis des cours de l'ducation religieuse condition de rmunrer
eux-mmes les professeurs.
- Lettonie - cause de l'histoire rcente, aprs la libration de
sous l'occupation sovitique, l'ducation religieuse a un statu
optionnel et est enseigne la demande de moins 10 lves de la
mme classe. Elle a un caractre confessionnel et est finance par
l'tat. Comme alternative d'tude les lves peuvent choisir des cours
de l'histoire des religions ou d'thique.
- Lituanie - l'tude de l'ducation religieuse ou de l'tique est
obligatoire, les parents ou les lves gs de plus de 14 ans peuvent
choisir une des deux matires d'tudes. On enseigne une heure par
semaine tous les niveaux pr-universitaires et a un caractre
confessionnel. Les professeurs son rmunrs par l'Etat.
- Luxembourg - est enseign seulement des cours obligatoires
d'ducation religieuse catholique, une heure par semaine, pour tous les
cycles pr-universitaires. Les professeurs sont financs par l'Etat. Les
lves peuvent choisir comme alternative des cours d'thique.
- Malta - l'ducation religieuse est obligatoire pour tous les
cycles pr-universitaires. Elle a un caractre confessionnel et est
261

finance du budget de l'Etat. On enseigne une demi-heure au dbut des


cours pour le cycle primaire et deux heures par semaine pour le cycle
secondaire. Les lves peuvent obtenir une absolution de ces cours
sans tre obligs de choisir une autre alternative.
- Pays Bas - il faut mentionner que plus de soixante-quinze
pourcents des lves sont enseigns dans des coles confessionnelles.
Malgr le fait que les coles sont dclares confessionnelles, la
majorit d'elles ont un contact trs faible avec le culte. En principe le
statut de la discipline est non-confessionnel, sauf dans les coles
confessionnelles, et les professeurs sont rmunrs par l'Etat. On
enseigne une heure par semaine et comme alternative existe, pour
ceux qui dsirent, l'Histoire des religions.
- En Pologne l'ducation religieuse est une discipline
optionnelle, les lves pouvant choisir comme alternative l'tude de
l'thique. On enseigne une heure par semaine et elle a caractre
confessionnel. Les lves qui appartiennent une autre confession, ou
religion, peuvent tudier la religion de leur culte, la condition qu'ils
forment un groupe de moins de 7 personnes.
- Portugal - les lves peuvent choisir entre la discipline
"Religion et Morale" et celle de "Dveloppement personnel et social".
Elles sont obligatoires et la discipline religion et morale a un caractre
confessionnel. Sont enseignes tous les cycles pr-universitaires et
les professeurs sont rmunrs par l'Etat.
- Slovaquie - on enseigne une heure de religion par semaine
pour tous les cycles pr-universitaires. Les lves ont la possibilit de
choisir entre la discipline Religion et la discipline Ethique et les cours
sont organiss confessionnel pour un group de minimum 12 lves Le
financement est offert par l'Etat.
- Slovnie - il faut mentionner qu' cause de la mention dans la
Constitution de cet Etat du fait qu'il existe une sparation absolue
entre l'Etat et les cultes religieuses, la discipline Religion est un cours
non-confessionnel et prsente les traditions religieuses et
philosophiques du monde. Les professeurs sont rmunrs par l'Etat.
- Espagne - l'tude de la religion est optionnelle et on enseigne
une heure par semaine et le financement est offert par l'Etat. Elle a un
caractre confessionnel et les lves qui dsirent une alternative
d'tude peuvent choisir la discipline "L'histoire et la culture des
religions". La discipline est enseigne pour tous les cycles pruniversitaires.
262

- Sude - l'tude de la religion a un caractre confessionnel et


est organis par l'Etat qui offre aussi le financement. Elle est
enseigne obligatoire toutes les niveaux d'tude pr-universitaire et
est appele "Science de la religion". Il n'existe pas une alternative pour
choisir une autre discipline d'tude.
- Hongrie - chaque culte organise ses heures de religion, soit
avant les cours, soit aprs eux. La discipline a un caractre strictement
confessionnel, est finance par l'Etat, mais elle n'est pas inclue dans la
curricula. Tous les cultes reconnus ont le droit d'organiser ses cours de
religion. Dans les coles confessionnelles on enseigne deux heures par
semaine.
5. L'ducation religieuse en Roumanie et le respect pour les
lois et les recommandations europennes.
La Loi de l'Education Nationale nr. 1/2011 11, en faisant
rfrence l'ducation religieuse dans les coles, mentionne les
suivants :
"Art. 18.1 Les plans cadre de l'enseignement primaire,
gymnasial, du lyce et professionnel (coles des mtiers) inclut la
Religion comme discipline scolaire, qui fait partie de du tronque
commun. On assure, aux lves appartenant tous les cultes
religieux reconnus, indiffremment de leur nombre, le droit
constitutionnel participer l'heure de religion, conforme leur
confession.
2.
A la demande crite de l'lve majeur, respectif aux
parents ou au tuteur lgal de l'lve mineur, l'lve peut renoncer
frquenter les heures de Religion. Dans ce cas, la situation scolaire ne
comprenne pas la discipline Religion. De mme on procde pour
l'lve auquel, des raisons objectives, ne se sont pas assur les
conditions pour qu'il puisse frquenter les heures de cette discipline.
3. La discipline religion peut tre enseigne que du personnel
didactique qualifi conformment aux rglements de la loi prsente et
habilit par rapport aux protocoles convenus entre le Ministre de
l'Education, de la Recherche, des Jeunes et du Sport et les cultes
religieuses reconnus par l'Etat."
Aprs que nous avons analys, en gnral, le mode dans
lequel les Pais de l'Union Europenne mettent en pratique les
11

La Loi de l'Education Nationale nr. 1/2011, http://www.fsli.ro/Legislatie.php.

263

recommandations de la Commission Europenne concernant


l'enseignement de l'ducation religieuse dans les coles d'tat et
confessionnelles, nous allons voir le mode dans lequel la Roumanie
applique de mme ces recommandations.
En tenant compte qu'en Roumanie le pourcentage des gens qui
se sont dclars comme membres d'une communaut religieuse
orthodoxe est de 86,5 % 12, en conformit avec la Loi de l'Education
Nationale s'est dcid que la discipline Religion fait partie du tronque
commun et d'accorder le droit de chaque culte d'organiser cette heure
au cadre lgal du programme scolaire. Ont observ de mme que la
loi mentionne la possibilit de chaque lve majeur ou ses parents ou
tuteur, peuvent renoncer la demande l'heure de Religion sans tre
oblig choisir une autre discipline. La loi a t souvent attaqu, par
des membres des organisations sculaires de Roumanie qui reprochent
l'Etat une complicit en ce qui concerne la confessionnalisation de
l'enseignement religieux, le proslytisme et, en mme temps, la
prsence obligatoire de l'tude de la religion dans les coles d'tat
reprsente un offensive contre la libert de choix de chaque individu.
Mais pour mieux comprendre ce qu'il se passe en ralit en
Roumanie, nous allons analyser les thmes qui sont enseignes dans le
programme scolaire de la discipline Religion Orthodoxe, tous les
niveaux de l'enseignement. Quand on parle du peuple Roumain on fait
rfrence un peuple trs attach aux valeurs chrtiennes qui avait
gard avec beaucoup de conscience son identit (langue, croyance,
coutumes et traditions). La Commission Europenne apprcie dans
une des ses recommandations 13 le rle trs important que joue la
famille en ce qui concerne le choix de la religion de leurs enfants, en
dsirant un enseignement religieux dans lequel les enfants apprennent
le valeurs de chaque religion et le respect pour tous les tres
humaines, mme s'ils ne sont pas de la mme religion, nous
considrons qu'il est ncessaire que chaque enfant connaisse
premirement les valeurs de sa religion, reus au sein de leur famille.
Ayant une telle formation religieuse l'lve dtienne une base
suffisante des connaissances suffisante pour comprendre ce qui sont
adeptes d'une autre religion ou confession que la sienne. C'est
pourquoi la programme scolaire pour l'enseignement de la religion

12
13

http://www.eurel.info/spip.php?article2187&lang=fr.
art. 3 de la Recommandation de 2005.

264

pour le cycle primaire 14 nous prsente des objectifs cadres d'intrt


gnral en vue de la formation de pour comprendre l'existence de
Dieu, la dcouverte de Dieu, l'amour de Dieu, la vie du chrtien dans
la communaut et des informations sur les grandes ftes chrtiennes.
De mme ont suivi la connaissance des enseignement de la Sainte
Ecriture, des traditions religieuses, de l'histoire de l'Eglise, la
formation des vertus chrtiennes, d'un comportement moral-religieux
et des attitudes d'acception, comprhension et respect accords ceux
qui sont membres d'une autre croyances ou convictions.
Les lves du cycle gymnasial (classes V-VIII) 15 apprennent
aux cours de religion d'autres valeurs et attitudes. Ainsi ils devraient
conscientiser le rle des renseignements de l'Eglise dans la vie
personnelle et de la communaut, dvelopper le respect pour la
sacralit; assumer leurs identit religieuse, se responsabiliser en ce qui
concerne les droits et les obligations qui drivent des diffrentes
identits (religion, confessions, nation, communaut, profession,
culture, etc.), avoir respect et comprhension sur les tres humains qui
sont membres d'autres croyances et convictions et assumer la
tolrance ethnique et religieuse. Ce sont des lments qui se trouvent
dans la programme du cycle du lyce (classes IX-XII) 16. Aussi dans la
programme des classes de lyce apparaissent plusieurs thmes de
l'histoire des religions : la prsentation des religions d'antiquit :
Msopotamie, Egypte, Grce, et Roma (IXe classe); des religions
orientales : hindouisme, bouddhisme, confucianisme (Xe classe). Dans
la Xe classe on tudie, ct de la synthse de l'orthodoxie les
grandes religions du monde (judasme, christianisme, islam) sur les
critres des caractristiques dfinitoires, l'aire de la reprsentation,
doctrine, adeptes, et leur importance dans l'histoire de l'humanit. Les
comptences spcifiques qui dfinissent le programme de la XIIe
classe prsentent la systmatisation des principaux enseignements de
l'orthodoxie, la prsentation des lments dfinitoires des confessions
chrtiennes de notre pays et la position de l'Eglise Orthodoxe face aux
14

Programmes scolaires, discipline Religion - culte orthodoxe, approuv par l'ordre


du ministre nr. 5299/01.09.2008 et Programmes scolaires pour la discipline
Religion - culte orthodoxe, approuv par l'ordre du ministre nr. 3418/19.03.2013.
15
Programmes scolaires, discipline Religion - culte orthodoxe, approuv par l'ordre
du ministre nr. 5097/09.09.2009.
16
Programmes scolaires, discipline Religion - culte orthodoxe, approuv par l'ordre
du ministre nr. 5230/01.09.2008

265

problmes actuels. Pour arriver ces comptences on fait une analyse


quidistante et concrte pour le dveloppement des thmes en faisant
rfrence l'orthodoxie, catholicisme, protestantisme et noprotestantisme, au rle des jeunes pour la dfense de la vie (combattre
la violence, le suicide, euthanasie et la dgradation de la dignit
humaine), le rle du dialogue cumnique et inter religieux, le
dialogue entre religion et science et le rle du christianisme au
dveloppement de la culture europenne.
Conclusions
La Rvolution roumaine de 1989 a apport des changements
majeurs dans la vie politique conomique et sociale. La relation entre
l'Etat et l'Eglise est devenue une naturelle dans une dmocratie et une
des mesures prises tout de suite a t la rintroduction de l'tude de la
religion dans les coles publiques.
Nous avons vu que cette dcision avait provoqu des diffrents
dbats publiques qui ont entrain les opposants et les soutenants de
cette mesure.
En tenant compte du fait que ces dcisions sont prises dans un
tat europen nous avons analys la situation lgislative europenne
concernant l'enseignement de l'ducation religieuse dans les coles
publiques, et nous avons prsent aussi les recommandations de la
Commission Parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe.
Pour mieux observer le mode d'application de ces
recommandations, nous avons tudi le statut de l'enseignement de
l'ducation religieuse dans les pays europens et nous avons constat
que seulement dans deux tats nous ne trouvons pas l'enseignement de
l'ducation religieuse dans les coles publiques.
Aussi nous avons prsent le contenu des programmes
scolaires pour la discipline Religion, approuvs par le Ministre de
l'Education de Roumanie, et on a constat qu'elles respectent les
recommandations europennes, ceux qui confirment l'attitude de
l'Eglise Orthodoxe Roumaine concernant la prsence de la discipline
Religion dans tronque commun au niveau primaire et secondaire de
l'enseignement.

266

ABOUT SPEAKING IN PARABLES AND


SALVATION
Fr. Asist. Prof. PhD Nicolae POPESCU
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
Referring to the message of Jesus Christ, Bible scholars claim that a
third of it is in the form of parables. But It can be seen in the Gospels where
our Lord used many more parables than those specifically mentioned: "He
spoke to them many things in parables ... Jesus spoke the word through many
parables ... as they were able to hear it." (Matthew 13: 3, Mark 4: 33). As a
general rule, Christ speaks to the crowd in secret (in the form of parables)
However He speaks openly disciples. "And without parable he spoke them,
and expounded all things to his disciples, especially" (Mark 4: 34). Is this a
discrimination against believers in favor of elites or the contrary is an aid to
salvation anyone wants it?
Keywords: Parable, interpretation, gnosticism, hidden message,
discrimination, salvation.

"Listen to teaching" (1 Timothy 4: 13). In these words is


contained a whole program of learning and knowledge, for which our
Saviour said us: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes
to the Father except through me. If ye had known me, ye should have
known my Father. And from henceforth ye know him; and ye have
seen Him." (John 14: 6-7).
Referring to this teaching by knowledge the Fathers of the
Church had called it Gnosis, and stated that is offered to all, but not to
everyone who wants salvation. Because not all people want to know
God and not all those who want to know Him they know how to
achieve this knowledge; also, not all people know the importance and
necessity of this knowledge, although the Savior addressed it to all,
and did it not secretly, but did it ordinarily in parables. Is this way to
learn crowds a hindrance or a help to people?
267

The Orthodox Church uses the term "know" two-way, both


intellectually as gaining knowledge but and also practically or
relational for create habituation as a way of life by divine grace.
Today, by the media power are heavily invoked by Protestant
theologians the theoretical knowledge at the expense of those
practical, relational and charismatic (by divine grace). That's why, to
knowledge the parables is invoked need for personal research
logically, philological, contextual, historical, and in any other way, but
always only in theory, on the reasoning that the parable is a
communication who hide a message, and accordingly just they must
be research initiated and sustained formal manner text without any
interest as regards moral and practical way to live. To satisfy the
desire of the believers beginners who are interested to explore the
parables of our Saviour Jesus Christ, we will proceed to a possible
speech in a Protestant rationalistic manner without forgetting,
however, that we are Orthodox. And we do this exercise to gain
benefit which our Saviour gave to speaking in parables,
simultaneously also we will show what are the risks of one incorrect
investigation/research.
Thus, referring to the message of Jesus Christ, thesescholars in
Holy Scripture argue that a third of it was presented in the form of
parables. But it can be seen that in the Gospels our Lord Jesus Christ
used many more examples than those specified: "He spoke many
things in parables ... Jesus preached the word through many parables
... as they were able to understand it." (Matthew 13: 3; Mark 4: 33),
and chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew is often called "Chapter of
parables" 1 or "speech of parables" 2 because the Holy Evangelist
Matthew recounts here seven of the parables spoken by Jesus.
A parable is "a short and simple story, which communicate a
spiritual truth, a religious principle or a moral lesson, a figure of
speech in which truth is illustrated by a comparison or by examples
taken from everyday experiences." 3 In the early church there is real
concern about the relationship between faith and knowledge (pistis
and gnosis) long before the heresy called Gnosticism occurs.
1

Briger Gerhardsson, The Seven Parables in Matthew XIII, in New Testament


Studies, vol. 19, no. 6, 1972, p. 16.
2
Gerhard Maier, Evanghelia dup Matei, Ed. Lumina Lumii, Korntal - Germania,
2000, p. 437.
3
Herbert Lokyer Sr., gen. eds. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Nashville,
TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc. 1995, p. 943.

268

The parable is a Greek word (from gr. , - ,


(), laying face to face. comparison; comparison; parable;
saying: Matthew 13: 3-35, Mark 7, 17, Luke 8: 9 and 11) 4, spread
through Latin translation of Christian texts that mean "parable,
comparison, similarity" and indicates a figure of speech rather than a
literary genre.
means "near" and to "throw". More specifically: to
throw or put something together with another thing (to make a
comparison). So through the parable we understand a simple story that
compares earthly realities with the spiritual truths 5. However, the
Greek word , was often used to translate the proverb term in
Hebrew writings, as this term has a wider range of meanings than in
Greek. Romanian translations introduced the instance term. n acest
sens Origen fa de ideea c Iisus vorbete mulimilor n parabole,
comment on the relationship between the teaching who said outsiders
ones and the words said the ones in house, make distinguishing
between parable = lesson for the household ones and instance =
lesson for the outsiders ones, and opposes both similarity (or analogy we would say) which it considers a concept of the same kind as those
two, but who has a more general content. 6
Without be fable or allegory, the parable nevertheless contains
allegorical elements because symbolically plays a religious or moral
truth, both in the form of a story, the theme of everyday life or
imaginary, as well as a maxim, proverb or speech enigmatic, whose
meaning must be sought. 7
Etymologically speaking parable means putting things
together, and may be similar to the allegory because by similarity
means "to say things in a different way"; therefore the parable is a
comparison that is not immediately clear, or a descriptive story short,
usually meant to convey one truth or answer a single question, while

Daniel Brnu, Emeric Hubert, Jozsef Kovacs, Dicionar Grec-Romn pentru


studiul cuvintelor Noului Testament, Editura Teologos - Cluj-Napoca, Arad, 1999,
art. 3850.
5
Barclay William, And Jesus Said, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA,
U.S.A., 1970, p. 12
6
Origen, Scrieri alese, in col. PSB, vol. 7, trad. T. Bodogae, N. Neaga and Z. Lacu,
EIBMBOR, Bucureti, 1982, p. 22.
7
Ene Branite, Prof. Ecaterina Branite, Dicionar enciclopedic de cunotine
religioase, Ed. Diecezan, Caransebe, 2001, p. 341.
4

269

the allegory refers to a more elaborate story where all the details, or
most of them, have their counterpart in its application 8.
The line between parable and allegory is not rigid, both forms
can be found in the Gospels. But there is a difference fundametal
other than the amount of detail visible. While developed allegory is
essentially illustrative, so that almost can be said that the details of the
story were derived from the its application, many of the Saviour's
parables are simple illustrations of some general principles; more
quickly, they contain messages that can not be transmitted in no any
other way 9.
Through examples taken from everyday life, the Savior helps
people understand things that would have been difficult to assimilate
otherwise. The parables are part of Holy Scripture, the Word of God
itself. Generally, a parable reflects the truth, but is not the truth itself.
Sometimes a parable is a real case that illustrate important aspects of
the truth. The context of Parable - where, when and to whom Jesus
told the parable - is the key to its interpretation. Thus, understanding
the habits and mentalities of Oriental teachings will help us in
understanding the parable. Parable details are important when
clarifying a certain truth, but the trying to harmonize all the details is
often doomed to failure and damaging to the reader.
The parable presents to our attention, the own moral reality,
with reward and punishment that they deserve, in the form analogical
and symbolic of an concrete and correct image which does not
indicate personal to us, thus leaving us the freedom to express or not,
attitudes, views and appropriate reaction to our willingness by moral
perfection. Thus the parable is a kind of mirror in which man wants,
can be seen, symbolized by something that is close by, in other words,
a parable helps you to see yourself through the eyes of your neighbor.
Each parable spoken by Christ has its talc and its purpose, to help
people understand God's great love for humanity and human debt to
Him for salvation 10.
According to the view of Andrew Pleu the parable is a
narrative that substitutes an argument. Always says more than says,
and often more than seems to say 11. Beyond the lack of an
***Dicionar biblic, vol. II. Ed. Cartea Cretin, Oradea, 1995, p. 1034.
Ibidem, pp. 1034-1035.
10
Ene Branite, Ecaterina Branite, op. cit., p. 342.
11
Andrei Pleu, Parabolele lui Iisus. Adevrul ca poveste, Ed. Humanitas,
Bucureti, 2012, p. 13.
8
9

270

acknowledgment from the church, it is still an attitude that invites to


more responsibility in defining the biblical terms.
Also, the parables are specific procedures of Oriental mentality
narrative not only to the Jewish pedagogy; they describe the changing
realities and processes developed in a direction that can continue
indefinitely, while the statement or conceptual explanations are
specific to the Western mentality, used to describe the static reality,
isolating it without any changes, which we leads to consider same
statement of Andrei Pleu: "The easterners do not sorts the abstract
ideas, as we are accustomed; they do not think in concepts but they
have a intuitive vision (Anschauungen). 12
Through the parables of our Lord Jesus Christ send the same
truths as well as His work. Moreover, through everything he does and
everything he says, Jesus himself is a "parable in action" as said
Andrei Pleu 13. In this way, the Incarnation is "the guy" or "reality" of
Parable that mimics, and as God the Word was incarnate in human
flesh, in the same way the Savior's teaching is clothed in parables
through scenes or fragments taken from the wild. In other words, as
we look at the actual events of Jesus' life to reap the saving teachings
in the same way we must look parables and teachings. Following this
logic, if the parable can be an icon for the incarnation, then the
Eucharist could be considered a mystery committed in accordance
with the "image" and to the "likeness" of the Incarnation of the Lord.
Generally its proposed a classification of the parables as the
content: parables of the kingdom, parables of forgiveness, parables of
love or the parables of neighbor, parables about the Hebrew and
Gentile, parables to learning prayer, parables of repentance, humility,
of service or divine calling, eschatological parables and parables about
personal responsibility.
As a general rule, Christ the Lord speaks to the crowd in
parables (ie symbols) but speaks openly disciples. "And without
parable he spoke not; and to his disciples they expounded all things"
(Mark 4: 34). However, sometimes speaks in parables to the disciples
as well as between different disciples and only some people say
12

Cf. Paul W.J. Fiebig, Altjdische Gleichnisse, J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck),
Tbingen, 1904, p. 96, (However any eventual orthodox argumentation of this idea
based on the arguments of Pleu is doomed to failure because he is not and does not
even recognize that it would be a believer frequently); apud Andrei Pleu,
Parabolele lui Iisus..., p. 7
13
Ibidem, p. 25, nota 1.

271

certain sacraments (cf. Mark 13: 3; Matthew 17: 1). But the distinction
of the two groups remains a priority and has its motivation in
condemning people already guilty because he had hardhearted.
This response contradicts the common use of the parabola. If
the rabbis generally used parable to facilitate understanding of a
message, the Savior often uses exactly in reverse, to show those who
assume they already know something, in fact, the Savior shows that
something is not understood at all well. Anyway, the parables of Old
Testament are differ from those of New Testament and the parables
rabbis - although are like of the Saviour - are current only in 70 d. AD.
This leads some scholars to recognize the primacy of Christ. 14
Septuagint translators used the word "parable" to play back the
corresponding term Jewish maal, pl. mealim, widely used in the Old
Testament and Semitic world generally, 15 and the question addressed
by disciples to Savior: "Why are you talking to us in parables?"
(Matthew 13: 10), seems unexpected in Jewish environment, in which
the rabbis frequently resorted to it, and seems more suited to a nonJewish environment and unfamiliar with this process.
Even more surprising is the answer Savior: "Unto you it is
given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but to others in
parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing they might not
understand" (Luke 8: 10). For this people's heart was hardened, and
their ears hardly hear and their eyes they have closed, lest the eyes to
see and ears to hear and hearts to understand and recover and I
would heal them. (Acts 28: 27). But blessed are your eyes for they see
and your ears, for they hear." (Matthew 13: 15-16).
Sometimes Savior notes that the disciples are just as
unreceptive as some of the people: "So you also equally foolish?"
(Mark 7: 18) while the "outsiders" sometimes very well know what it
is about in the parable. (Mark 12: 1-9 and 12). But then the question
arises: can be tolerable the opacity of disciples but guilty the opacity
of Crowd? 16
May be an added text, as sustain some scientists ? 17 But if we
accept the authenticity of the Holy Gospel according to Luke we will
understand the Savior choice for speaking in parables on the ground
14

J. Breech, Jesus and Postmodernism, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1989, pp. 24-25.
Maxime Hermaniuk C.SS.R., La Parabole vanglique. Enqute exgtique et
critique, Biblioteca Alfonsiana, Louvain, Descle de Brouwer, Paris, 1947, pp. 62-189.
16
Andrei Pleu, Parabolele lui Iisus..., p. 39.
17
Maxime Hermaniuk C.SS.R., La Parabole vanglique, pp. 11-13.
15

272

that he doesn't has scattered his gifts both caution: (Do not give the
holy to dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample
them under their feet and, turning they rend you. Matt. 7-6) as well
from love (in gift ye have taken, also freely give. Matt. 10-8) and He
do not offers the treasure by kingdom of heaven to those who have no
desire to receive the gift duly because: "Ask and you do not receive,
because ye ask amiss, that you may spend it in pleasure.
Preadesfrnailor! Do you not know that friendship with the world is
enmity with God? Who then will you be friend of the world makes
himself an enemy of God." (James 4: 3-4). And the separation
between the initiated and uninitiated seemed rather a distinction
between listeners available and the unavailable ones 18. We understand
that generosity is not always regarded as a generous, because the
exclusion the inadequate ones to the extent that is right, that is only
apparent an hardness and the Savior offer though is for all, is not for
everyone, because the actual difference in the initiated and uninitiated
it makes even by people through their freedom. 19
This apparent "discrimination", to speaking in parables seems
to contradict the Christian mission, compassion and Savior interest to
release, heal, to support and helps crowd. But especially seems to
contradict constant training activity crowd. And I say "seems" because
in reality Saviour addresses his words for maximum benefit but
always in accordance with the power of understanding the
interlocutors.
How else can we understand that "meek and lowly in heart"
(Matthew 2: 29), who "came not to judge the world" (John 12: 47) to
delimited ruthless among his listeners? If the purpose of the Saviour is
to obscure to the many topics such as: understanding, repentance,
forgiveness, why more speaks with crowd if he do it in this manner?
Our Lord Jesus Christ is not a formalist Pharisee who work only in
letter of the Law.
To find a possible explanation of such a bias was told that
speaking in parables is a first form of judgment. In fact, a warning of
judgment, because he loves everyone, but can not move to forgiveness
without repentance of the sinner evidence that will be effective. And
speaking in parables although still difficult, forgiveness is not deleted
because who pass to cryptic expression of the parable, however, is

18
19

Andrei Pleu, Parabolele lui Iisus..., p. 42.


Ibidem, p. 44.

273

recovered for God. 20 This message seems to come from Gnosticism.


So we can identify on the outsiders with "the fallen" and "the natural"
man, who have voluntarily removed from God, but they are not really
remove, but their are permitted the choice. In other words the
parable shows to these people will not have answers to questions that
have not been made by them.
However, the true purpose for using of the parables by the
Savior, to communicate fully hidden Evangelist St. Matthew describes
him: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will say those hidden from
the foundation of the world" (Matthew 13: 34-35), and differentiation
of believersis in reality a selective mode to address who matches to
the different levels of spiritual perfection of believer, from the milk
teeth of thebeginner to hard food of perfect man, according to Mark
10, 15. And this is testified by Saviour Himself in St. Matthew's
Gospel when he says: At that time, Jesus answered and said: I praise
You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for thou hast hid these things
from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes. (Matt.
11: 25). We see here that Jesus is the "light of the world" but also
master communication veiled in parables, which realizes it but not
according to His will but according to the ministry which he received
from the Father.
In support Origenist interrogations comes the words of St.
Luke the Evangelist: "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the
kingdom of God; but to others in parables, that seeing they may not
see, and hearing may not understand." (Luke 8: 10), we understand
that there are at least twospeech levels to Saviour: one of those (which
lies) outside (the house Saviour = Kingdom of Heaven) and the next
level of those (which came) into house (the House of Son ie the
kingdom of heaven), and we find that the Saviour speaks accordingly
to these levels, be generally and implicitly, that means in parables,
either in concretely and direct way, ie explicit and detailed.
The difference is that a symbolic communication, default, as it
is parable it provides only clues to work for those willing to
investigate, asking such personal involvement in the discovery effort
by the corresponding operations - observation, interpretation,
theorization, practical application -, while a literal communication,
explicit, even if it is made in the form of analogy - for case some
realities from heaven kingdom, are without a corresponding on earth -,
offers like gift and directly, information, explanations and revelations
20

Ibidem, p. 41.

274

about a topic, eliminating the efforts for their discovery and


verification by the auditor. It makes this distinction even between
credinioi because Christ associated the visible spiritual state in moral
responsibility, with certain knowledge and actions to be committed to
support the divine plan of the Father.
About the difference between the two types of interlocutors :
"outside" and "in house", we find that for those outside, Saviour
offered them the essential, sufficient and effective, in ensuring their
freedom of action, provides them some minimal means (such
knowledge, spiritual gifts, physical, sacraments, counseling,
communion) but also the possibility to ask multiplying those offered
and to require in addition any others means, and shows them the way,
leaving it up to their how to discover and fulfill the Father's plan for
them and thus to determine how they will use it all to gain eternal life.
To believe that there is another better way of speaking crowd than
how did the Savior's is already an impiety, and that we do not
understand why the Saviour speaks in parables, does not mean that we
can makes it better and or there could be a better way. In addition to
this, Saviour making a positive difference because it gives to those "in
house" the means to help others on their way to salvation, and
especially Father's plan who reveal everything to be done for them all.
Accordingly Savior gives to believers - which in terms of
exercising Christian freedom must express moral responsibility -,
certain information and certain means to eternal life, which
specifically using them will be saved and thus serve the Father's plan
while other believers who are appreciated and chosen by the Savior
himself for their moral responsibility, provides them the means to
serve other believers in their efforts to salvation.
Still, the technique to speak in parables is circumstantial, it is
not inevitable, nor remain a permanent communication strategy of
Savior because: "There will come the time when I will no longer speak
in parables, but I will tell you openly about the Father" (John 16: 25)
and not necessarily remain permanently and opaque, so we find that
commonly used parable has a dual function: it states and
simultaneously hide 21, a function who is adequate perfect to the prior
celebration period of Easter and the earthly strategy Christ's, because:
"God speaks to us within our ability to understand. It's why Jesus
speaks in parables. And Paul says, "Now we see through a mirror, as
21

Frank Kermode, The Genesis of Secrecy. On the interpretation of Narrative,


Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1979, p. 47.

275

in riddle; but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know
fully (I Corinthians 13: 12)" where the term "riddle" translate word
"problem = enigma, riddle, question", word very near the end of the
riddle, used by Paul in I Corinthians 13: 12 and translated as
"riddle" 22. And it is possible that the Saviour spoke in parables to
making pogormnt because: "The natural man receiveth not the
things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he can
not understand them." (I Corinthians 2: 14), and actually he use the
parable to hide the roughness and thus protect man from a possible
rejection of the message. (See I Corinthians 3: 2). It is certain,
however, that until to the second coming of the Savior the parable
teaching remains the most appropriate method for a heterogeneous
audience, because the children and adults coexist, the good and the
bad, wise and crazies, pure and contaminants 23.
Looking at the above, we ask whether there is a hidden
message in parables and has been hidden on purpose, for what purpose
this has been done, or can be found by interpreting the parables of
Christ and have at least three attitudes, and so far we expressed only
traditional orthodox position. There are also Gnostic interpretation and
interpretation antialegoric, and we will use them just to emphasize
the truth of the Holy Gospels.
The Gnosticism (, - gnosis = knowledge) 24 defines
today the syncretistic doctrine, composed of elements of the mystery
religions popular in India, Babylonia and Persia, Greek philosophy
and the myths associated with Christian ideas taken from the Gospel
of John ." 25
The word "gnosis" it was applied in the apostolic era to the
authentic teaching of the Church (Romans 15: 14): "And, my brethren,
I myself am convinced about you, that you also are full of goodness,
filled with all knowledge and you can to admonish you one another"
and various falsification of this teaching (as in I Timothy 6: 20: "O
Timothy, guards the treasure that has been entrusted to you, go away
from the useless words and worldly words and by the oppositions of
liar science), but in Gnosticism, is essential emphasis on dualism and
Biblia sau Sfnta Scriptur. The anniversary edition of the Holy Synod, translated
from the Septuagint version, written and annotated by Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania,
Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 2001, p. 669.
23
Andrei Pleu, op. cit., p. 54
24
Ene Branite, Prof. Ecaterina Branite, op. cit., p. 179.
25
Ion Bria, Dicionar de Teologie Ortodox, Ed. IBMBOR, Bucureti, 1994, p. 185.
22

276

salvation by a secret knowledge, the gnosis (gr. ) - from which


comes the name of the Gnostic sects, the two doctrines were together
declared heretical doctrines and convicted by the Church Fathers still
from the first Christian centuries. 26 However it is not a "knowledge"
itself, but rather it is a secret revelation who is taught to the spiritual
men through a mysterious initiation.
It is very difficult to establish by evidence, which is the origin
of the Gnostic doctrine, and the claim of Church Fathers that
Gnosticism is a distortion of Christianity, remained only partially true,
because explains the Christian loans of the Gnostics, investigated by
the Fathers, but does not identify the origin of the doctrine itself,
according to the evidence gathered in the meantime according to
which the "Gnosticism" is a non-Christian creed, but who in some
circles were superimposed over the Christian ideas or used them, and
if a pre-Christian existence of Gnosticism is difficult to be proven, an
alleged origin Gnostic of Christianity is totally unfounded, and
impossible to argued because there are fundamental differences
between the two concepts. It is also unlikely that Gnostic teachings to
have had a single origin, Gnosticism being a syncretistic invoice
thinking, willing to take over at any time and from any source those
religious ideas that would serve its purpose 27.
Gnostic dualism asserts the existence of two eternal principles,
good and evil, who are opposing each other, in history, in an endless
confrontation 28, the good one, the Creator, who lives in the
transcendent, and the wicked, which is actually a created being
inferior who is called Demiurge, because he, along with his helpers,
archons, have created the world (material) as bad 29, and therefore
completely separate and in opposition to the spiritual world against
which they held humanity captive in material existence and blocking
the way individual souls who attempted to ascend after death in the
spiritual world. 30 In this doctrine Word-Saviour is not the same with
God the Creator, but a spiritual emanation, who "passed" through
Mary like water through the pipe and did not die physically and did
not risen. "Since matter is evil, Christ could not be associated with a
***Dicionar biblic, vol. II, p. 511.
Ibidem, p. 513.
28
Ion Bria, Dicionar de Teologie Ortodox..., p. 186.
29
Gnosticul punea semnul de egalitate ntre materie i ru. (Merrill, C.Tenney,
Privire de Ansamblu asupra Noului Testament, Cluj-Napoca: Europontic, 1998, 63).
30
***Dicionar biblic, vol. II, p. 512.
26
27

277

human body, despite the fact that the Bible supports this", is claimed
by Gnostics 31. John the Baptist was the Messiah. And salvation is an
act of revealed knowledge 32, necessary for return in the harmony of
pleroma, but as there is an existential inequality between people, only
the spiritual ones, or Gnostics - not the body ones, nor the mentally
ones - may possess this knowledge and can be saved 33, Unless, of
course, they received an illumination of a secret knowledge (gnosis)
before they can become aware of their own spiritual condition. In
most Gnostic systems described by the Church Fathers a such lighting
is the work of a divine savior who descends from the spiritual world
in disguise and often identified with Jesus of the Christians by the
Gnostics 34. Around this alleged secret knowledge of the Gnostics is
addressed attention that we attach by our article.
Although there is a formal resemblance between Gnosticism
and Orthodoxy, there are many fundamental differences. The only
similarity between the two doctrines is to decode a hidden message
very useful in salvation. The fundamental difference is found in all
other aspects.
According to Gnostic the salvation is not achieved by the death
of Christ, but by gnosis, asceticism, magical formulas and practices.
And Holy Sacraments using matter (bread, wine, etc.) does not help to
salvation. Moral Gnostics were an extreme asceticism (because matter
must be destroyed, as the cause of the evil) or a total libertinism (with
the same purpose to destroying matter); are not necessary for salvation
the good deeds, but only gnosis and there is no resurrection, no
judgment, no heaven, no hell, for the world will be destroyed by fire.
The Holy Scripture must be interpreted or allegorical or removed 35.
However the gnostics had their considered sacred books by them, who
tell the truth only to the initiated 36.
Given even this information, we can see that Christian
teaching about hidden messages in parables, is not the same
Earle E. Cairns, Cretinismul de-a lungul secolelor, Ed. Cartea Cretin, Oradea,
1997, p. 93.
32
Gnostics claimed to know the truth of religious and opportunity to be saved only
through reason, and therefore tried to give an expression of dogmas and practices of
Christian philosophy, ie to explain rationally. See, Ene Branite, Ecaterina Branite,
op. cit., p. 179.
33
Ion Bria, op. cit., p. 185.
34
***Dicionar biblic, vol. II, p. 512.
35
Ene Branite, Ecaterina Branite, op. cit., pp. 179-180.
36
Ibidem, p. 180.
31

278

mysterious doctrine of the Gnostics and there is no reason to


investigate more.
However, to understand where we can reach if we interpret
"free" the Holy Scriptures, we give some examples about of Protestant
theology manner known for its "free" ie genuine, critically, and
against the hermeneutical developments through a continuity of
tradition.
Thus, in counterpoint with some Gnostic interpretations, some
rationalist or Protestant commentators with influence in Western
theology, considers that parables are rational simple exercises, done
on fragments taken from the wild or from real life 37, which the Savior
them used to help understand the message, just like a bridge that
facilitates the connection between the message of Christ and crowds,
realities that generate or occasion the favorable situation to preaching
and thus provides the pretext suitable for speeches, without which the
crowds could not understand, and Savior did not have other means to
speak out, but these used them with great oratorical skill, because the
natural situations provides Saviour opportunity to be familiarly with
the crowds and the opportunity to gain attention for the transmission
in the best condition of His message 38.
Indeed - they say - parables are the most appropriate form of
communication to convey the message of the kingdom toward men,
since they have their purpose is to make people see things in a new
way, and more parables are the most appropriate to enlighten people
and to convince the truth, their mission being to bring the point where
they can take a decision.
On the other hand, continues these commentators and
interpreters, indeed, Jesus speaks using images that are familiar to
listeners to help them understand new things that are unfamiliar, 39 but
in this way they suggests that in fact, Savior had to speak in parables
37

In His parables, Jesus tie divine truth of things and ordinary happenings, as they
are found in the life of the shepherds, builders, farmers, travelers and householders.
Familiar things were associated with beautiful truths about God's loving care for us,
the respect and gratitude that is owed and the care that we should have for one
another. In this way, the truths of divine wisdom and practical lessons became
compelling and deeply impressed. Ellen G. Withe, Parabolele Domnului Hristos,
trad. de Valentin Rusu, Casa de Editur Via i Sntate, Ed. a 6-a, Bucureti, 2009,
Prefa, p. 5.
38
It is generally accepted that the images leave a deeper impression than the
abstractions, J. Jeremias, Parabolele lui Isus, Bucureti, Anastasia, 2000, p. 9.
39
***Dicionar biblic, vol. II, pp. 1034-1035.

279

because of the context in which the discussion began. According to


these interpretations parables are not simple communication methods
but true communication strategies for handling crowds, and once
launched on these pretexts Savior it sees - eh - obliged to use them in
speech and add them to his message. Thus were born in the Savior
speeches double messages that also could tell them directly though his
message in this manner risked to be boring and even uninteresting.
Therefore we should not see the hidden messages in parables
and the parables not must be decipher in the allegorical manner
because it results in error 40. Other Protestants interpreters of Scripture
considers that parables containing analogies or really parables and
similarities in the general sense of the word, but they are not
deliberate but circumstantial and in any case they would not be
allegories who containing a coded message 41, For example Adolf
Jlicher 42 argues that a parable is meant to convey only one basic
truth, therefore we must seek only one truth central in parables, one
idea to the widest possible generality 43, which clearly we can easily
find it if we shall give up clothes of the situation of nature and also to
the allegorical interpretation.
Some commentators pronounce directly against generalizing
so the Lutheran theologian Joachim Jeremias claims that Adolf
Jlicher wrong, because in fact the generalization of the main truth of
parables, imperceptibly, Jesus is transformed into an "apostle of
progress", a teacher wisdom, which exhibits a moral and a simplified
theology, using metaphors and stories appealing 44. That is why by
rejecting the allegorical method of interpretation was considered that
the allegorical interpretation of the parables of the sower, the tares and
the dragnet, in the text of Matthew, would be his just simplest
editorial 45 interventions 46, with the Matt's understanding source or in
the early church tradition 47, However, German Protestant theologian
Gerhard Maier argues that we should give more credence to
40

J. Jeremias, op. cit., p. 16.


Nils A. Dahl, The Parables of Growth, in Studia Theologica. nr. 5, 1952, p. 138.
42
According to J. Jeremias, Protestant theology owes Adolf Jlicher, definitive
removal of method to allegorical interpretation by his History of the Interpretation
of the Parables of Jesus. apud J. Jeremias, op. cit., p. 14.
43
J. Jeremias, op. cit., p. 17.
44
Ibidem.
45
Ibidem, p. 86-89, 94,106-107.
46
Charles Harold Dodd, The Parables of the Kingdom, London, 1952, p. 27.
47
Ivor Harold Jones, The Matthean Parables, Koln, 1995, pp. 298-358.
41

280

suggestions made sinopticilor than critical theology of the


Protestants, 48 because, for example TW Manson, former minister, and
in 1953, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian
Church of England, then, Professor of New Testament Greek and
Exegesis at Yates from Mansfield College, Oxford, in 1932-1936,
make a distinction between the presumed authentic words of Jesusand
those assumed what he calls "Matthew's additions" 49.
Both in the sense of Charles Harold Dodd, an influential
scholar and Protestant theologian of the New Testament, and by
Joachim Jeremias, the rediscovery of historical life of Jesus is the
second step in the interpretation of the parables of Jesus. Thus, J.
Jeremias says that the parables have a double historical context: (a)
original historical context of ministry Saviour, and (b) the context of
the early church. And we do not know the parables than in the form
that they got it from the early church 50. Therefore, suggesting ten
laws 51 in the deformation of the parables, Jeremias proposes restoring
the original historical context by following the road reversely: from
the current form back to the original. Despite these interesting
arguments and logical constructions seems however, rejected all
allegorical method can not be made because, on the one hand,
Galilean Aramaic terminology mathala 52 language in which
Jesus preached, and the Hebrew term do not allow accentuation
Gerhard Maier, Evanghelia dup Matei, Korntal, Lumina Lumii, 2000, p. 446.
According to Presbyterian Thomas Walter Manson, in his book The Sayings of
Jesus, London, 1957, p. 198.
50
Jeremias argues that in fact, in the parables of chapter 13 of the Gospel of
Matthew we have three contributions of tradition: the first is given by the concretehistorical preaching of Jesus, the second is given by the intervention of the early
church through oral tradition and written collections before Matthew and the third
contribution is given by the editorial interventions of the Holy Evangelist Matthew
himself. (Jeremias, op. cit., p. 27.)
51
The 10 laws of transformation suggested by Jeremias to be considered to restore
the original message are: 1. Translation parables in Greek (assumes an inevitable
change their meaning). 2. Changes in presentation, 3. Embellishment, 4. Influence of
the Old Testament themes and folk tales, 5. Changing audience, parables 6. Use the
exhortations of the Church, 7 Church influence the situation by postponing the
missionary aspect parousia 8. allegorizing for recital parenthetically, 9. collection
and compilation of parables, 10. the Church introduced by adding some generalizing
conclusions. (Jeremias, op. cit., pp. 27-118).
52
In speaking of the Jews in the early church period the term mathala is used to
denote all forms of figurative speech: allegory, analogy, resemblance, enigma,
instance, fable, parable, proverb, pseudonymity, apocalyptic revelation and symbol
(Nils A. Dahl, The Parables of Growth, pp. 17-18).
48
49

281

the contrast between "parable" and "allegory" 53, when interpreting a


text that comes from the Hebrew or Aramaic as these languages have
only one word 54 who means simultaneously parable and allegory.
And, on the other hand, Jesus himself could combine some details
allegorical parables when the allegorical interpretation to be authentic.
In conclusion, assuming that the whole allegorizing the
parables is due to the early church, not Jesus, is extremely risky
because it means to challenging the complexity of the teachings of
Jesus.
We know that the Saints Evangelists were direct witnesses of
the presence and work of the Savior, and in that capacity, guided by
the Holy Spirit they have sent the Savior's teaching, they play written
parable of a deep theological significance of rare beauty and literary
and still remain valid and irreplaceable!
It must be emphasized that many of those who obey the Savior
do not understand, even when he spoke directly, ie without parables,
and this because of unbelief that they had in their hearts. To such ones
Saviour says, "Why you do not understand my speech? Because you
can not believe in my word" (John 8: 43). These words spoken by the
Savior to the Jews shows us that speaking in parables do not involve
and not create never a problem linguistic, of expression, due to which
the crowd would not receive Him or would not understand Him, but
rather, intellectual and spiritual attitude of the listeners to the truth.
Also, to Jews, Saviour reveals the real reason for
"misunderstanding": "If you tell the truth you do not believe me? He
that is of God hears my words; therefore I will not listen to me;
because you are not of God" (John 8: 46-47).
Speaking in parables, as well as the whole Christian doctrine,
seeks to bring forth new religious attitudes and practices. From the
Christ to the Savior the teaching force is not necessary, but every
believer is allowed to choose the freedom enjoyed by the path and
how to lead the will to hearsay. So, and crowds, and the disciples had
the gift of freedom, to follow or to leave it, because the Saviour has
not forced anyone. Do not forget that when Jesus speaks of Him as the
bread that comes down from heaven, some of the disciples were
scandalized and abandoned him.

53

In this respect, Dahl argues that the Gospels have sufficient evidence that
intermediate forms exist between parable and allegory. (Ibidem, pp. 136-137).
54
George Eldon Ladd, Prezena viitorului, Oradea, Cartea Cretin, 1997, p. 198.

282

In the same community of "free-thinkers", we can include with


the Protestants and those who are atheists, or more correctly, those
who put their faith in science assumptions, and it is interesting to note
that even these avowed atheists have recognized in full atheistcommunist era that: Christ was a speaker level completely over, and
His parables, even in translation, produce the deepest impression to
an opponent of Christianity... 55, while today, many "commentators"
who practice freedom of thought, focus his energy and resources to
investigate the form and not the content of parables, that "letter" and
"authenticity" of texts, and not to win the "soul" or essence of the
Saviour message.
If Simion Mehedini, the largest geographer and theologian
Romanian, and one of the greatest teachers ever had our country and a
Christian, say with human wisdom: "Because the reality of nature
typical man does not show anywhere, but only groups men in various
stages of coagulation anthropological (races and clades), and
sociological aspects varied, are saying that there can not be a typical
pedagogy, that is the same for all mankind. In other words, there can
be, practically speaking, an universal school, an universal program, or
universal books, but each ethnic unit must tailor its particular
program, according to its special needs" 56, we may add that through
parables, the Savior showed us that it can. Yes, for believers can be an
universal school, and an universal program because there is an
universal book of the Holy Scriptures.
And despite the highest human wisdom, God can speak to any
nation and every man by one and the same speech without becoming a
model by imitation, because not only the art of convincing people
speak of any people and any education, but the power of Holy Spirit,
parables are not divine messages hidden with wisdom to unclean
persons but true sacraments when they employ them a holy man.
For this we try to postulate, that speaking in parables is really
the art of communication through love between Creator and creature,
between Christ and His faithful who receive the gift of eternal life
through the power of the Savior's words.

V. Florescu, Retorica i neoretorica, Ed. Academiei RSR, Bucureti, 1973, p. 91.


Simion Mehedini-Soveja, Alt cretere - coala muncii,ed. a VII-a, Ed.
,,Cugetarea Georgescu Dealfras, Bucureti, 1941, p. 20.

55
56

283

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION N EUROPEAN


CONTEXT.
SEVERAL REMARKS
Fr. PhD Ioan Valentin ISTRATI
Archbishopric of Iai
Abstract:
Rev. Dr. Ioan Valentin Istrati presents the religious education in
Europe as the only way the counter the massive death of values in our
continent and the growth of radical ideologies in the social background. The
dangers humanity faces are too big, and only God made Human, Jesus Christ
is the Way to conquer death and destruction, through Christian values that
are the foundations of European culture.
Keywords: education, values, resurrection, faith, Church, state,
culture, secularisation, technology, animality, death, age.

Europe is the Christian continent par excellence. Here, in 2000


years of Christendom, there are the most important monuments of
faith, spiritual, cultural, theological, artistic or architecture items. The
Christendom succeeded to be not only a Middle East Religion, but
through its universal vocation and through its power given to it by God
incarnated, became the air that humanity breathes in Europe and the
Americas, penetrating in Africa and Asia with a force bigger than the
human being is capable to create.
So, the Mediterranean vocation of the primary Christianity,
developed in the Roman Empire, extended in the north of the
continent, being fulfilled in all the continents of the world. This was
possible do to the grace of God, working in the continuous Pentecost
of the Church and of the power of the Resurrection of Christ, who
wakes and rise the humanity from the death of sufficiency of the
senses and of the illusions of death.
The cathedrals of Europe are a witness of this development, but
the Christian theology is the etalon of the growth together of humanity.
284

In addition, the essential mentality of the West was formed after the
principles taught and lived by Christ. Values as forgiveness, charity,
love for strangers, resurrection, eternity, are evidently and
fundamentally Christian, the other religions having only residually
teachings of the primary religion and revelation.
The social western system, the equality of chances, the rule of
law, the legislation, the medical system, the pension structure, the
children`s education, the notion of carier, all these are inflorescences
of Christian theology applied in the social sphere and then extended at
an universal level.
The first orphanages of the world were created around
Christian monasteries and churches. A cruel world, who threw its weak
babies from the cliffs of ignorance (like in Sparta, but also in the
majority of antique civilisations) experienced a better world, that is the
anticipation of the Kingdom of God, where the physical or intellectual
power is not important, but the goodness of the heart and the source of
light brought by humanity.
The antique schools, being elitist and conservative were
reserved only to the initiated or very wealthy gave place to church
schools, were people could learn the Christian education.
The catechumenate is the seed and source of the European
educational system, and the professors, at the beginning were church
cantors. The idea that the Illuminism brought the school to the masses
is one of the great lies of the history of humanity, the Church being the
ferment that developed the ideas and inventions and the Church
supported the logistics for the bright minds of the Middle Age that
brought a new vision of humanity.
The Renaissance as unique humanity was commanded and
supported by the Church, and in the European East, the Hesychasm
was the renaissance of the real Christianity of the living God, formerly
fossilised in unintelligible dogmatic formulas.
The idea that Illuminism proclaimed the generalisation of
education and the equality of all human beings is an idea extracted
from the Christian theology and the modern ideologies plagiarised
Christian teachings, extracted from the theology of immortality, and
exacerbated in the social field. Thereby, the communism extracted the
equality proclaimed by Christ the Crucified, dead for all and risen for
all, applying it in the social and political structures, raising the low and
mutilating the elites.

285

Few decades in the past, Europe adopted a policy of great


infusion of non-Europeans, exploited at the ground of the social
pyramid, failing to inculcate them the true European values, Christian
par excellence. The harmonic diversity, the multi-cultural structure,
and other pseudo-cultural fetishes were created and used in order to
justify the import of humanity with economic purposes. The total
failure of this policy is today evident in the terrorist attempts that are
not coming from abroad Europe, but incubated in the bosom of
Europe, in the lower classes of society, who never experienced a real
education and equality of chances. This is caused by the extirpation of
religious education in the European value system, eminently Christian,
not admitting this reality.
The persecution of the Church by the Illuminist elites, the
separation between State and Church, the monstrous regime of
communism as radical and reactionary atheism, the massive
secularisation through media, the World Wars, the supremacy of
technology and the destruction of environmental and human space, the
Hollywood and the sexual revolution, all these are only several stages
of a massive dechristianisation of the western humanity, continuing
now in the whole world.
Beside these outer attacks, the Church herself grew thinner
because schisms and heresies, penetrating deep in her body with
political and conventional reasons. The soft Christendom, the easy
faith, is the greatest danger of the real Christendom. The Sunday
Church, superstition, the commercial mentality of the faith, the
superficiality of living, the excessive ideology, the diminishing
vocation of the clergy, the continuous attack of matter against the
spirit, the ossification of the ligaments of grace, the transformation of
the faith in pious tradition, the guilty compromise with the state for
material advantages, the dictatorship of the money, the alienation from
the spirit of the Holy Fathers, the concubinage with the inept
philosophies of the time, all these are spiritual serious viruses that
infected the European ecclesial community.
The pyramidal-imperial mentality of the Roman Christianity
that brought to a multitude of deviations from the religion the God
made Man, replaced with a Vicar, is the expression of this inner
pandemic. Likewise, the rationalist-idealist atomisation of
Protestantism, based on a direct connection with Christ, without
mediators or ecclesial structures, brought a residual Christianity, where

286

the saving dogmas are denied or asserted discretely, but without the
infusion of grace of the Liturgy.
The religious education is the only way for the post-modern
man, suffocated by technology and bionic in the interstices of his
being, can experience the reality of the world of beyond, present in
grace through Church in our life. The religious education can wake the
somnolent spirit of this age, anesthetised with pleasure, illusion and
power, and can say clearly to the world that the essential of the human
being is not the mechanic animality of the ego, but in the God made
Human, Jesus Christ, present in humanity until the ages of ages,
working in His Church, which is His Body. The Christian faith, freed
by temporal trends, is capable, as it was in the old ages, to wake the
interest of youth for the values of immortality, virginity, faithfulness,
pure love, self-giving, spirit of sacrifice, peace and resurrection.
An autonomous world, constructed on robotic bases, offering
debris of values, a dust bin of the reason cannot feed the hunger and
the strive of the immortal soul. A technical world, goggling at the
monitors, manipulated by needs, electrically stimulated with pleasure
and illusion cannot survive this age.

287

EDUCATION IN A PLURI-RELIGIOUS AND


SECULAR CONTEXT: INTERRELIGIOUS
DIALOGUE AS A BASIS FOR A GOOD SOCIAL
COHABITATION
Deacon Dr. Ioan DURA
Ovidius University of Constana
Abstract:
In this article, I intend to present the educational process from a
religious perspective, however, open towards interreligious and intercultural
dialogue. My presentation will try to focus on three problems: 1. The risk of
education becoming a human-perfecting tool in the economic and social
performance; 2. The recovery of youngsters from the social anonymity,
skepticism and existential pessimism through an education that re-settles the
Man in his personal dignity, open towards the eternal values; 3. Religious
education versus religious manipulation: education in the interreligious and
intercultural context.
Keywords: education, secularization, atheism, religious identity,
interreligious dialogue.

Education represents an essential problem of humanity, and,


implicitly, of society in its future. The society of our days, in the
dynamics of the process of secularization, finds itself in front of two
challenges regarding the problem of education: 1) Finding the most
efficient educational methods in order to form the youngsters
religious perspective and maturity, given the fact that todays
youngster lives in a world hustled by secularization, turning his world
into a robotized existence, under the constant pressure of scientific,
technological, and economical development. 2) Intercepting religious
liberty in a country with an orthodox majority, given the fact that
todays society is one inflected by religious pluralism: how can we
address someone who is tributary to a different religious identity so
that we could find the most efficient method of respecting other
288

beliefs and to socially cohabit in the intercultural and inter-religious


environment? 1
In the developing dynamics of science, technology, and
industry, of economy and commerce, education has been transformed
into a means of studying and cultivating the abilities and skills of
performance, limited and exclusively based on valuing social comfort.
The motto of the current consumerism society is You live well only
if you have a high salary. Basically, given ones paycheck, todays
man finds his social and psychological balance. The current society
has become a theatre of competition, the competition to live on the
optimum level of social comfort. The human horizon is sealed to these
socio-economic references, and knowledge has become the instrument
or the technique of learning the methods that can acquire us a steady
life in society. The reference towards the everlasting values of human
as a conscious and responsible of his own existence being has become,
today, an element that belongs to the library shelves. Under these
circumstances, education risks to become an exclusively mechanic
technique of adjusting one to the optimum level of psycho-social
comfort, and not a forming process of the man from the perspective of
an existential finality. Education risks to become a means of
perfecting the human being and his economic and social
performances, rather than a human valorization in his own capacities.
By understanding the complexity of young psychology, and
their situation in a hectic society, one must build a systematic and
complete view of education, which needs to be constantly applied and
take into account the intimate universe of the youngsters, by filling the
existential hole in their affirmation as human beings. Thus, we are
soliciting today a reconsideration of what it means to form up an
education, and of what it means to be educated in a healthy, correct,
and human way.
Come what may, we must accept the fact that civic society
shapes the youngsters in psychological, religious, and social ways. In
order to rearrange education in the youngsters consciousness one
must, firstly, identify the challenges of modern society, yield to
entreaties by relativity and which determines some people
1

See Dzintra Ilishko, Pedagogical Challenges for Education an Authentic Religious


Identity and Responsible Pluralism, in Religious Diversity and Education in Europe
(12). Religious Education in a World of Religious Diversity, Wilna A. J. Meijer,
Siebren Miedema, Alma Lanser-van der Velde (Eds.), Waxmann, Mnster, 2009,
pp. 41-52.

289

youngsters but not only to become skeptical. What is even more


important, it seems that the scientific progress is shaking down the
acumen criterion in terms of the moral like. Individualism and
subjectivism become the main features in the process of reflection, as
well as in the ethical decisions. From the front of this anti-humanism,
young people seek the refuge in supernatural, in pseudo-religious
forms of new religious movements. 2 They live the painful experience
of exclusion in the anonymity of urban culture and they are ready to
accept anything in order to receive an authentic spiritual vision able to
return them the lost harmony and allow them to live a feeling of
physical and spiritual healing.
When we are set to believe that everything that is legal is
moral per se, confusion will rule, especially where the civic law
disobeys the moral demanding. Thus, there will appear new ways of
anxiety that can further lead to an existential pessimism. In what
concerns skepticism, the pessimism of the existential act is
generalized in the actual society in the shape of a complete lack of
sense.
This analysis suggests the ensemble of the postmodern society
in which youngsters lose any milestones, thus canceling their positive
perception upon life. The overwhelmed teens by this skepticism
proclaim themselves the no future generation. Skepticism and
depression arise from the apprehension and the disorientation in the
face of a world apparently undetermined, chaotic, unstable, which
grows as the person inside it has already been attached to a certain set
of ideals or values that he considered, once, eternal and immutable.
The tragedy of un-adapting is visible throughout the world 3, but
especially in the youngsters who become the product of a
consumerism society whose fascination towards them is stronger than
ever. This world makes them prisoners of an individualist, materialist,
and hedonistic interpretation of the human existence. The material
welfare tends to impose itself as the only ideal in ones life, which
must be achieved under any circumstances and at any costs. 4 Or, in
this condition the person is exposed to multiple violations that attempt
to its socio-religious dignity, also being exposed to the social
Nicolae Achimescu, Religie, modernitate i postmodernitate, Ed. Trinitas,
Bucureti, 2013, pp. 207-213.
3
Mircea Crtrescu, Postmodernismul romnesc, Ed. Humanitas, Bucureti, 1999, p. 59.
4
Ioan Paul al II-lea, Pastores dabo vobis, Ed. Presa Bun, trad. de Anton Itoc, Iasi,
2000, p. 22.
2

290

dynamics dictating the most humiliating and abnormal means of


orchestrating.
Thus, the exclusive preoccupation for to have replaces the
primordial to be, along with the consequences arising from the
interpretation and the living of personal values according to the selfish
possessing law and orchestrating the others, leading, inevitably, not to
an harmonious growth of ones self, but to the grave psychological
and ethical involution 5.
Under these circumstances, the process of education must not
be rationalized, but resettled in its human normality.
Last, but not least, one can observe more clearly a high tension
between traditions and modernity, as the traditional is being perceived
in a pejorative meaning, similar to unacceptable and old. Youngsters
who face the consecrated values of Christianity do not understand
them, because it is impossible for them to understand and to make
acquaintance with them in a consumerism society in which everything
is pragmatic, everything is use, money, economy; everything comes
down to purely mundane values against the ancestral, spiritual values.
Today, the world is living a true tragedy. Secularization is the one
breaking the Man apart from God and making him the slave of a
material life by spiritually suffocating him. The tragedy of the
religious indifference atrophies in the young ones the perception upon
religion, deforming the authentic of the religious experience. Thus, the
atheist attitude of many, as well as the proliferation of the occult,
which has gained huge grounds in cinematography. The existential
questions remaining unanswered expose the contemporary man and
the young many especially because of his psychological immaturity
to the depressing disillusion or to the temptation of eliminating the
very human life which questions these problems. Thrilled by the
fascinating and innovative of a scientific and technological
development, as well as through the misuse of an un-bordered
freedom, the man cuts the religious roots lying in his heart; he, thus,
forgets about God, considers Him meaningless towards his personal
existence, denies Him, causing a moral relativity.
The dilution own religious identity, or rather the alienation of
own religious and cultural identity, will make impossible the ability
and maturity to understand the one who belong of other religious and

Ibidem, p. 23.

291

cultural identity 6. This could create a state of social tension, even one
conflictual, given the fact that today the Western countries, the ones
powerful economically developed, are facing with the phenomenon of
migration, generated by the finding an economic stability and social
comfort by the people from countries economic poorly developed. The
first meeting, that takes place between two people who belong to two
different religions, prefaces intercultural and interreligious opening of
one toward other, in the scope of a good social cohabitation.
Defusing of certain exclusivist tendencies displayed by some
followers of a religion is possible by interreligious and intercultural
dialogue 7. To be in dialogue means having the maturity of
cooperation, of understanding the other, but above of all means to be
tolerant in the horizon of religious pluralism, the reality of today`s
globalized society. An efficient dialogue between religions must
verify the authenticity of the experience of living each religion by the
participants in dialogue. 8 In fact, every religion should promote a
message that assert the opening to a social horizon of diversity, to
other, surpassing the exclusivism and fanaticism, which give rise to
social tensions and violence.
In conclusions, it is necessary today the fact that the education
must take into account the problem of religious otherness and provide
solutions in the perspective of a good social cohabitation. This
education should produce a maturity, namely a new culture of
dialogue, by which Orthodox Christian shall be reported with his
own religious identity to those who belong to other religions.

See Carl Sterkens, Intereligious Learning. The Problem of Interreligious Dialogue


in Primary Education, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2001, pp. 75-85.
7
See John L. Elias, Philosophical Reflections on Dialogue, in International
Handbook of Inter-religious Education (Part One), Kath Engebretson, Marian de
Souza, Gloria Durka, Liam Gearson (Eds.), Springer, London, 2010, pp. 57-72;
Nicolae Achimescu, Religie, modernitate i postmodernitate, Ed. Trinitas, Bucureti,
2013, p. 21; Oddbjorn Leirvik, Interreligious Studies. A Relational Approach to
Religious Activism and the Study of Religion, Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2014,
pp. 33-52.
8
See Leonard Swidler, Khalid Duran, Reuven Firestone, Trialog. Evrei, cretini i
musulmani n dialog, trad. de Emilian-Justinian Roman, Geanina-Elena Roman,
Gabriel-Viorel Grdan, Paula Bud, Presa Universitar Clujean, 2013, pp. 21-48.

292

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION - COMPONENT THAT


SHAPES HUMAN PERSONALITY
PhD Candidate Rzvan Constantin CMPULUNGEANU
Ovidius University Constana
Abstract:
Education is generally possible in all periods of ones life. The same
thing is valid for religious education, too. Man can always be subject to a
moulding process by means of instruction and he can be led towards the
good. For this reason, an important aspect, with implications on the pupils
later development and also on the successful implementation of religious
education in schools is taking into account pupils age and individual traits.
Keywords: education, author, religion, shaping.

1. The Evolution of the Educational Ideal. Perspectives


Since the dawn of time, the inquiring mind of man has always
taken an interest in what happens in the surrounding reality, has tried
to penetrate the mysteries of the universe and get to know them. With
society there appeared education, as an ongoing process, with separate
features from one historical moment to another, just as socio-human
existence as a whole is in a state of constant evolution. The notion of
education has led to the advancement of more definitions, taking into
consideration various aspects: the aim of education, the nature of the
process, the subject matter of education, the phases or functions of the
educational act. Etymologically, education derives from the Latin
root educoare which means to rear, educate, train, and pull out.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational


Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the
European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number
POSDRU/159/1.5/133675.

293

We could say that education means bringing out the individual from
his natural state and introducing him in a cultural state 1.
Education is one of the most noble and complex human
activity. It can be accomplished in view of an ideal of human
personality, attached to well-established cultural and historical
landmarks. Education is absolutely necessary for the individual, as he
possesses the desire, inclination and also the ability to pass on the
heritage of his wisdom and scholarship, to perpetuate spiritually
beyond the destined time and space. Through education, mankind lasts
and lives. From this perspective, an important culture must also have
an adequate education. Through education, culture builds the
components of its perpetuation. This happens only if we take into
consideration the two main objectives of education; the first one lies
in providing the child the knowledge which he shall certainly need:
this is tuition. The other objective is to prepare the child of today for
the man of tomorrow, and this is called education. 2 The acquisition
itself is not valuable, but the how, when and what is being updated at
the right time.
Therefore, classical Greeks expressed the essence of education
by the phrase kalokagathia which means acquiring both physical
beauty and goodness of soul. Socrates, one of the great representatives
of the Greek community, considers that in order to reach virtuosity,
man must firstly possess goodness, which is not outside of him, but
dwells inside. He invites us to a constant self-knowledge, as it is
considered the beginning of wisdom and should be the centre of all
preoccupations. 3 Plato another great representative is the first to
frame a theoretical system of education. According to him, education
has two main components: the intellectual part and the physical part.
The intellectual part of education is attained through science, art, craft,
but not all art is accepted, only that which shapes, consolidates and
creates harmony. Physical training is attained through gymnastics,
with the purpose to prevent diseases and strengthen the body.
Moreover, Platos idea of this type of gymnastics is that it firstly
addresses the soul and then the body. Plato also indicates another

Ioan Nicola, Domnica Farcas, General Pedagogy, Didactic and Pedagogical


Publishing House, R.A., Bucharest, 1996, p. 42.
2
Cuco Constantin, Pedagogy, Polirom Publishing House, Iai, 1996, p. 28.
3
Cuco Constantin, Religious Education, Polirom Publishing House, Iai, 1999, p. 39.

294

important element which refers to attaining education out of pleasure


and with pleasure, without being forced 4.
A fundamental guide book for education is the Old Testament,
most advices and pedagogical principles being found in Leviticus,
Numbers, Deuteronomy, Proverbs and Psalms. From these books it
results that the aim of education is acquiring wisdom, after which we
should aspire to the uttermost of our powers. According to the ancient
testamentary point of view, a wise man is not one who has more
knowledge, but one who knows how to live so as to be well-liked by
God. Therefore, acquiring the divine commands sent through Moses
not as pure theory but by putting them into practice in real life
represented the Greek aim of education. As a method of instruction,
the Old Testament recommends in particular the parents example,
who must educate their children and when necessary to scold and beat
them: He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him
chasteneth him betimes (Proverbs 13:24). Family holds the primary
role in education, idea which was maintained until today.
The idea of education is also expressed in the New Testament,
children being subject to a solid Christ-oriented instruction. This also
results from Messiahs own words: Let the little children come to me,
and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of
heaven belongs. (Matthew 19:14). The love of man and of God
represents the the beginning and end o Christian education, for mans
happiness is to be found on earth and in heaven. By atundergoing
instruction on earth, man aims at conquering the Kingdom of Heaven.
New-testamentary education exceeds old-testamentary education in
that it postulates the love of man, including of the enemies, goodness,
sainthood, justness, equality, humbleness. Christian education means
total conversion to Christ 5.
In the patristic era, the ideas on education are comprised in
various discourses on general and special education, homilies,
commentaries, catechisms, philosophical works, poetry, polemics,
actual scientific writings. Church Fathers and writers create a new
form of spirituality involving an original orientation valid for every
individual. They used to employ different methods of education
depending on the situations, circumstances and people, they did not
just talk about education, but were also unsparingly and patiently
4

Ibidem, pp. 41-42.


Ioan G. Coman, The Beauties of the Love of Men in Patristic Spirituality,
Publishing House of Banat Mitropoly, Timioara, 1988, pp. 20-22.

295

concerned with every persons soul, showed a direct and personal


guidance and a permanent control over mans soul. In the patristic
epoch, individual education and mass education were appreciated
alike. The Church was the one providing education in a spirit of
brotherhood and love, a process in which personality was not annuled
but integrated in all the other personalities. 6 We shall briefly describe
how was education seen by the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil the Great,
Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa), by John Chrysostom and
Clement of Alexandria. They lay emphasis on the body and the soul,
attaining education for the body with the help of gymnastic exercises
and a special care for food and clothes, while education for the soul is
attained through educating the senses. For this type of education, they
recommend arts such as: poetry, painting and music. All these uplift
the soul, dress it with the clothing of the love of good, beauty and
truth. The example is the first factor in attaining the education of
volition, whose aim is virtue. The education of volition must be made
in the sense of Gods will and with the help of the Holy Spirit. The
patristic writers offer in their works some role models: patriarchs,
prophets, apostles, missionaries and zealous of good works. They also
paid special attention to reward and punishment in education,
counselling the true educator to combine gentleness with strictness.
The first Christian thinker who wrote a paper on systematic pedagogy
which inspired Christian tradition in what concerns education is
Clement of Alexandria with the Paedagogus (The Pedagogue).
According to his teachings, the ideal of Christian education is to set
man on the course to Christ, to reach the state of virtue by following
the supreme example, Jesus Christ, to redeem the soul through
salvation and systematic education. The life chosen as proposed by
this type of education refers both to the soul and the body. 7 The aim of
education cannot be completed by itself, but by an active cooperation
between the Christian and the divine grace. In fact, this idea appears in
all the writings of the great Church Fathers and writers. In Saint Basil
the Greats view, the process of educating children must be carried out
in discipline and love of God, in order to shape a moral and religious
personality and to live for God. This Holy Father recommends starting
education early, when the soul, as soft as wax, can be easily moulded
and shaped 8.
6

Ibidem, p. 24.
C-tin Cucos, Religious Education, Polirom Publishing House, Iai, 1999, p. 48.
8
Ibidem, p. 51.
7

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The psychological principle has therefore deep roots, in the


Holy Fathers teachings. Just as a doctor does not prescribe the same
medicine to all sick people, so the pedagogue exercises his art of
teaching children according to each ones abilities and traits.
From this point of view, Saint Basil the Great is a sharp
psychologist, a wise connoisseur of the soul of the educated,
recommending all psychologists to have respect to this very important
aspect in their educational endeavour.
The ideas of considering individual features, of imparting
knowledge and the continuity of learning are also present in Saint
Gregory of Nazianzuss works, who considers inappropriate to speak
at random of God, at any time and to anyone, and that there is a
certain moment when we should speak of Him. 9
Saint John Chrysostom too lays emphasis on education,
declaring it of key importance to man, its absence causing all possible
evils. Furthermore, we notice the necessity of starting education from
the earliest youth, because it is then when the soul is mouldable, just
as dough takes any shape it is given. 10 The educational ideal takes a
profound religious dimension, due to the fact that it aims at cultivating
faith and disregarding worldly possessions. Saint John Chrysostom
highlights parents role, particularly that of women and mothers in the
educational endeavour. As a high point of the entire conception on
education belonging to John Chrysostom and implicitly to all Holy
Fathers, we suggest the Saints fine words, a source of wisdom and
guidance in attaining a correct and efficient education: To educate
means to cultivate the child and young mans goodness and decency,
to look to his piety and virtuousness, take care of his soul, mould his
intelligence, raise up an athlete for Christ, in short care for the
redemption of his soul. Education is like an art: there is no greater art
than education, because if all arts serve this world, the art of education
is performed for entering the next world 11.
From one era to another, education has improved its methods
and grew rich in content, but preserved its aim: to shape human
personality. Some great modern pedagogues, most of them profoundly
Christian, rest their principles, methods and means of education on
exclusively moral and Christian criteria.

Ibidem, p. 52.
Ibidem, p. 53.
11
C-tin Cucos, Pedagogy, Polirom Publishing House, Iai, 1996, p. 26.
10

297

Therefore, for the Czech pedagogue Jan Amos Comenius


(1592-1670), education aims at preparing people for the next life.
According to him, teaching man refers to acquiring culture, virtue and
piety. 12 For the German philosopher and pedagogue I. Kant (17141804), the aim of education is to shape the moral personality. Fr.
Herbart (1776-1841), another great German pedagogue to whom
modern pedagogy owes the method entitled formal steps, suggested
then the concentration of all teaching subjects on moral basis. I.
Pestalozzi (1749-1832), Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer,
committed to the Holy Gospel, names faith and love as ideal
pedagogical values. In other words, the educational ideal materializes
in the profoundly Christian man who proves his faith through love 13.
Romanian pedagogues such as G. G. Antonescu and Simion
Mehedini, guided by evangelical precepts, consider the moulding of
ones moral and Christian personality as the ideal educational
purpose 14.
We notice that all the above mentioned pedagogues have
expressed their opinions in favour of a Christian educational ideal,
because they had had in their conscience the Supreme Model, Jesus
Christ, whom Clement of Alexandria calls the Master Teacher. For
this reason, His doctrine and also the ideal and methods of reaching
this doctrine differ essentially from what was until Him. We should
consider that He did not talk only about a theoretical educational ideal,
but also portrayed the Ideal Model, the completeness of divine and
human pedagogy.
2. Religious Education Special Dimension of General
Education
In the light of the above considerations, we can conclude that
in the patristic era, education was conducted for this life, in the sense
and in as far as this life was turning into a tool for winning the other
life. So its orientation was: through this life towards internal life.
Profane education used to prepare and still prepares man for this
existence, for becoming really useful to society through a life of
eminent upbringing and solid intellectual and professional training.
The education in the patristic epoch had in view to acquire virtue and
perfection as steps leading to salvation. The virtue and perfection
12

Ion Gh. Stanciu, A History of Universal and Romanian Pedagogy until 1900,
Didactic and Pedagogical Publishing House, Bucharest, 1977, p. 127.
13
Vasile Gordon, Fundamentals for the Catechesis Course, 3rd year, 2001, p. 83.
14
Ibidem, p. 83.

298

foreseen by the patristic authors were not of unholy nature or


exclusively moral, but were totally religious. Education had as its
ultimate goal salvation. The entire educational effort of the Holy
Fathers intended to redeem the educated. Thus they worked out a
soteriological education. This kind of education had Christ at its basis,
in its centre and at the top. It strived to turn into Christ all those who
conformed to this educational process 15.
This dimension of education preserved until today, enriching
its forms of fulfilment. Christian religious education is a specific
human action, carried out in more contexts: family, church, school,
society. It is an endeavour supported by love, trust, freedom and
Gods grace. Besides man as educator, religious education also
implies the presence of the transcendent dimension of an informant
factor superior to man and the world. The principle of free and active
cooperation between divine grace and Christians effort towards
completion, also called the principle of synergy, is still at the root of
Christian Orthodox religious education 16. Just as redemption in and
through Christ is possible, so Christian education as an action
preceding mans redemption, of permanent development is also
possible. Because it represents the prerequisite of spiritual salvation,
essential for the Christians inwardly guidance to God, for developing
his moral powers in reaching the ultimate goal: achieving the likeness
to God.
For a Christian, religious education holds an important role,
because it provides life with a purpose, a direction and a way of being,
another perspective than the purely material one. This type of
education facilitates mans connection with God, the communion
between the limited and the infinite human being. Man is guided
towards a sinless life, is invited to continuously purify of passions and
increase the virtue which shall allow him to get involved responsibly
in an active and social life.
The fundamental role of religious education is briefly
highlighted by Vasile Bncil, who calls this education the
confirmation of Baptism, some kind of extended Baptism 17. If the
infant is borne to a new life through Baptism, then through religious
education he continues this Baptism, seeing to his spiritual growth.
15

Ioan G. Coman, op. cit., p. 84.


Pastoral Care and Mission in the Orthodox Church, Publishing House of Dunarea
de Jos Episcopacy, Galai, 2001, p. 237.
17
Ibidem, p. 254.
16

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Just as any kind of education in general, religious education


has a double purpose: an informative purpose, meaning that the
subject Religion puts at the students disposal a sum of specific
information of theological, dogmatic and liturgical type, referring to
the history and philosophy of religions, necessary for general culture,
but also a formative purpose, of introspection and translation of
religious rules into facts of life. To the question: what does religious
education aim at? priest Dumitru Clugr suggests the following
answer: the moral-Christian religious personality 18. In a biblical sense,
to educate a soul, mould and convince it in favour of a certain type of
life does not only mean to instruct it with rules to remember, to make
it learn the precepts of the new teachings, but more to form all its
spiritual abilities which could make it reach its final goal, salvation.
Therefore, the primary target of religious education is the shaping of a
perfect character and personality.
We may consider religious education as an occasion for selfanalysis, for getting to know our own ideals, occasion for inner
invigoration, for guiding man towards the world of absolute values
and a way of perfecting our person religiously, intellectually, morally,
aesthetically, civically and physically. Knowing ourselves makes us
know better the people around us, our fellow men, it makes us
understand faith and devotedly open ourselves to lead a life of
Christian communion.
Religious education takes place in the family, Church and
school, and is undertaken by parents, priests and teachers. There is a
strong bond between these educational factors, their cooperation
bringing about the transmission of faith values and the development of
an exemplary conduct. A solid and long-lasting education is the one
begun in the family, from early childhood, continued in school and
consolidated through various activities carried out by Church and
society.
From the beginning, the Church has laid at its foundation the
educational principle based on Jesus Christs command: Go therefore
and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) given to the Holy
Apostles and through them to the Church goers of all times. Even
since the apostolic era and continuing in the patristic epoch, major
importance was given to catechetic education. Instruction undertaken
by the Holy Apostles based on our Saviours practice and methods, it
was carried forward with the same fervour by the Apostolic Fathers
18

Vasile Gordon, op. cit., p. 84.

300

and Holy Fathers, improving it with the introduction of some new


elements proper to the psychological characteristics and to the
catechumens religious and spiritual requirements.
In the Orthodox Church, religious education is one of the
components of the threefold activity carried out by our Saviour Jesus
Christ, along with a consecrated life which leads Christians towards
salvation. Since the instruction process was undertaken from the
beginning by word of mouth, it received the name of catechesis, from
the neo-testamentary term katihein which means to resound, to
speak from a high place, to pass the word, to instruct by word of
mouth (Luke 1:4; Acts 18:25; 21:21; Romans 2:18; Galatians 6:6) 19.
Over time, this instruction was performed in various forms, depending
on the historical and religious context of each period, so that today it
came to take the form of the instruction on classes and lessons. The
attitude of the Orthodox Church in relation to education has always
been a positive one, considering it a fundamental obligation for each
one of its members. Its opinion consists of the pedagogical principle
that nobody can be complete if his mind is not enlightened through
instruction, which gives spiritual insight and makes man accomplish
good deeds. As object of study, religion falls within the curricular area
Man and Society. Together with the other constituent subjects, it
aims to shape personality so as to meet Christian values and develop
moral-Christian characters in the spirit of the right faith. In elementary
school and high school, the study of religion aims at reaching the
following goals:
- know and love God as the foundation for salvation and
completion of man;
- know and properly use of the language specific to religious
values;
- know the teachings of the Holy Bible, of religious traditions and
of Church history;
- mould Christian virtues and reinforce the habits of moral and
religious conduct;
- cultivate the attitudes of acceptance, understanding and respect of
those of other believes and convictions. 20
In order to reach these goals, we need to perform a range of
activities, of which the religion lesson is the most frequently used.
Other such activities include visits to monasteries, taking part in
19
20

Veniamin Micle, Introduction to Catechesis, Rmnic Eparchy, 1988, p. 5.


The Syllabus for 2003, the 9th 12th grades, p. 1.

301

clerical conferences, meetings with young men of other confessions,


race, nationality, participation to charities in orphanages, asylums or
hospitals, together with members of other confessions or religious
beliefs, organisation of religious workshops.
The lesson of religion is formed of a succession of stages
taking place in a certain time interval. The succession of stages
depends on the type of lesson used (mixed lesson, lesson for the
transmission and acquisition of knew information, for skills
development, recapitulation and information systematization lessons,
and verification and evaluation lessons), but it always aims at ensuring
the connection between the transmission of information and its
assimilation.
The steps corresponding to each type of lesson are being
chosen depending on the informational content, objectives, specificity
of each class of pupils, existing hence a multitude of structures and
possible sequences. We would mention the steps of the teaching
scenario for a mixed lesson, because this type of lesson comprises all
the others: 21
- organisational moment;
- knowledge verification;
- catching attention (or apperceptive preparation);
- announcing the title of the new lesson and presenting the
objectives aimed;
- teaching the new information (or processing);
- retention of information;
- association;
- generalisation;
- implementation.
In school, religious activity lies under the coordination of an
educator, a person specially instructed for this purpose, who has a
good intellectual training and knowledge to help him deal completely,
competently and scientifically with the topics proposed. He should
also have knowledge of psychology and logics, so as to know which
subject to use, the amount of information needed and especially how
to make it easily understandable, depending on each pupils age and
individual features. He should also possess knowledge of pedagogy,
which offers him the necessary methods for the catechising activities.
ebu, Sebastian, Religion Teaching Methodology, Reunion Publishing House,
Alba-Iulia, 2000, page. 196; C-tin Cuco, Religious Education, Polirom Publishing
House, 1999, page. 261
21

302

We shall use the word educator to define both the lay teacher,
designating a person who attends special pedagogy and psychology
courses as part of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, where they also
insist on elements of child psychology and religious education, and
the priest teacher.
Both teachers must be awe-stricken, filled by the spirit of the
Master Pedagogue Jesus Christ, to be good-hearted and also able to
warm other peoples hearts and elevate them to Christ. 22 Both the
teacher and the priest have the duty to enkindle within their pupils
hearts that spark of religiousness, to create that religious educational
climate necessary for the lesson, to instruct and enlighten the childrens
souls, to shape moral and religious personalities. Because whoever
keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of
heaven. (Matthew 5:19). The instructor, making use of his theological
and cultural knowledge, through his work, prayer and grace received
from heaven, through his purity of life must become a model worth
following for all those whom he preaches the gospel truth.
Generally, the religious activity carried out in school has
common points with other subjects in what concerns the teaching
principles it goes by, the methods and devices employed. It also
contains specific aspects, which the instructor observes based on a
well-stated plan and methods. Education is generally possible in all
periods of ones life. The same thing is valid for religious education,
too. Man can always be subject to a moulding process by means of
instruction and he can be led towards the good. For this reason, an
important aspect, with implications on the pupils later development
and also on the successful implementation of religious education in
schools is taking into account pupils age and individual traits.

22

Mihail Bulacu, The Principles of Catechesis and Personality of the Catechist, in


ST, no. 7-8, 1949, p. 561.

303

ABBREVIATIONS:

BOR - Revista Biserica Ortodox Romn


cap. - capitolul
can. - canonul, canoanele
cf. - conform
dr. - Doctor n tiine
drd. - doctorand
ed. - ediia
Ed. - Editura
IBMBOR - Institutul Biblic i de Misiune al Bisericii Ortodoxe Romne
. d. Hr. - nainte de Hristos
GB - Revista Glasul Bisericii
MA - Revista Mitropolia Ardealului
MB - Revista Mitropolia Banatului
MM.S - Revista Mitropolia Moldovei i Sucevei
n.a. - nota autorului
nr. - numrul
p. - pagina citat
passim - diferite locuri
pp. - paginile citate
PG - Patrologia greac
PL - Patrologia latin
PSB - Prini i scriitori bisericeti
trad. - traducere
pr. - preot
prof. - profesor
Ort. - Ortodoxia, revista Patriarhiei Romne
Rev. - reverend
ST - Revista Studii teologice
TV - Revista Teologie i via
op. cit. opera citat
vol. volumul