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Exploring Religious Education

ISBN13: 9781847301321

ISBN10: 1847301320

Publisher: Veritas Warehouse - Ballycoolin D 11

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  • With great change comes great challenge. One of the major challenges facing European citizens is living in an intercultural and interreligious society. This book explores how Catholic religious education has developed a discourse of inclusion and respect for otherness while simultaneously recognising the distinctive challenges and identity of the Catholic faith tradition. Post 9/11, many European governments appreciate that religion must be taken seriously at a political and legislative level. Significant developments indicate that religion and religious education are not marginal to social, legislative and educational endeavours in Europe. This book profiles some new initiatives in intercultural and interfaith education that place religious education firmly at the heart of Europe. Religious traditions, with their emphasis on shared values, social responsibility and the common good, contribute to inter-faith cooperation and inter-religious dialogue and have something very positive to offer todays Europe.


    Anne Hession is a lecturer in religious education at St Patricks College, Dublin. Dr Patricia Kieran lectures in religious education at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. They are the authors of Exploring Theology: Making Sense of the Catholic Tradition (Veritas, 2007) and Children, Catholicism and Religious Education (Veritas, 2005).

  • Anne Hession

    Anne Hession is a lecturer in Religious Education at St Patrick’s College, Dublin, a linked college of Dublin City University. Her fields of academic research are in the Religious Education of children and the spirituality of children. She is coauthor with Patricia Kieran of Children, Catholicism and Religious Education (Veritas, 2005). She is co-editor with Patricia Kieran of Exploring Theology: Making Sense of the Catholic Tradition (Veritas, 2007).

    Patricia Kieran

    Patricia Kieran is a British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening Scholar who has taught Theology and Religious Education in the UK. She currently teaches Religious Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. She is co-author with Anne Hession of Children, Catholicism and Religious Education (Veritas, 2005) and co-editor with Anne Hession of Exploring Theology: Making Sense of the Catholic Tradition (Veritas, 2007). She has published chapters and articles on the subject of Catholic Education, Roman Catholic Modernism, gender and inter-Religious Education. She is currently researching her forthcoming book on World Religions in Ireland.

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    The author and former French politician, Andr?® Malraux (1901, 1976), suggested that the twenty-first century would be the century of religion. If the first decade of the new millennium is anything to go by he might have been right. In Europe one can discern a slight shift of focus, a change of mood, a hint of renewed interest in the role played by religion in social institutions. Tony Blair recently suggested that Religious faith will be of the same significance to the twenty-first century as political ideology was to the twentieth century. In an era of globalisation, there is nothing more important than getting people of different faiths and cultures to understand each other better and live in peace and mutual respect, and to give faith itself its proper place in the future. Indeed part of the recent emphasis on religion in Europe involves the perception that religion is no longer a private issue. The marriage of religious and political extremism which
    gave rise to 9/11, the Madrid (2004) and London bombings (2005), as well as other atrocities, has placed religion centre stage, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. These horiffic acts resulted in the rise of Islamophobia allied to the perception of religion as being inextricably linked to violence, intolerance and hatred. Many concluded that religion contributes to social conflict and potentially inhibits adherents from integrating into society. Indeed it is estimated that religion was a contributory cause in more than half of the 115 armed conflicts which occurred between 1989 and 2001.

    In such a climate, European governments began to appreciate that at a political and legislative level they had to take religion seriously. That said, a greater appreciation of religions role in Europe is not simply a knee-jerk reaction to unprecedented acts of violence. Just as a mixture of religious and political fundamentalism has the potential to motivate believers to engage in horrendous evil and unspeakable violence, religious faith is also capable of promoting the values of respect, justice and compassion. Within Europe, one can see the beginnings of an appreciation of religion as a powerful, social, cultural and indeed political force for good. Inter-faith cooperation and inter-religious dialogue have huge potential to contribute to conflict resolution within Europe. Furthermore, shared conversation between secular and religious groups can lead to openmindedness and respect. For religious traditions, with their emphasis on shared values, social responsibility and the common good, have something very positive to offer Europe.

    Many countries have begun to debate the role of religious and secular worldviews in shaping their societies. For instance religious freedom is one of the fundamental principles underlying the Italian Governments Charter of Values for Citizenship (2007). In France, President Sarkozy has shocked many secularists with his repeated emphasis on religion as a significant factor in shaping a societys morals and attitudes. In 2007, in an open letter to all those involved in education, he questioned and some would say undermined, Frances ancient secular tradition by suggesting that it was inappropriate to leave religion at the door of the school. In 2008, Tony Blair, a recent convert to Catholicism, launched a Faith Foundation with the aim of promoting inter-religious collaboration and the advancement of faith as an alternative to conflict, in the modern world. The former prime minister currently designs courses at Yale University which seek to promote religion as a force of good as opposed to conflict in the world. Speaking on the eve of the launch of his Foundation, Blair stated: In the end, this will be what I dedicate a very large part of my life to. It must be remembered that not all current or ex-European leaders have placed such emphasis on religion although countries such as Norway, England, Ireland and Switzerland, have engaged in recent debates about the role of religion in society and in particular in their educational systems.

    Significant developments indicate that religion and Religious Education are not marginal to social, legislative and educational endeavours at a European level. Indeed new initiatives place Religious Education firmly on the European stage. In 2002, the Council of Europe focused on the religious dimension of Intercultural Education (ICE) and posited that inter-Religious Education might help to contribute a solution to intercultural problems. In 2003, European Education Ministers made ICE, including its religious dimension, a priority for further work. At a conference of the Coordinating Group for Religion in Education in Europe (CoGREE) in November 2005, the EU Commission for Education, Culture and Multilingualism, Jan Figel, spoke of the close relationship between education and religious and moral values as being crucial for the future of Europe. In 2007, the Council of Europe published a reference book for teachers on religious diversity in Europe. Furthermore, in a historic move, the European Commission supported research into religion in education. This emphasis on religion and education at a European level has resulted in an increased number of conferences, publications, networks and research activities focusing on the area of Religious Education. Significant networks such as Teaching Religion in a Multicultural European Society (TRES), the European Community project on Religious Education, Dialogue and Conflict, and The European Network for Religious Education through Contextual Approaches (ENRECA), have initiated large scale research into documenting and improving the teaching of religion across Europe. A further indicator of the increasing profile of Religious Education can be seen in the recently established inaugural chair in Religious Education, in Oxford University.

    These are interesting times for religion and, by implication, for everyone involved in education in, for and about religion. This book arises out of an attempt to read the signs of the times, as they impact on Catholic Religious Education and as it, in turn, shapes them. With great change comes great challenge. Religious Education is contextual as it is shaped by a specific history and context. One of the major challenges facing European citizens is the challenge of living in an intercultural and inter-religious situation. Bert Roebben observes that dialogue with other beliefs takes place, not only in the depth of time (intergenerational), but also in the breath of space (intercultural) and in the perspective of hope for the world (global).This book attempts to examine the contours of a contextual Catholic Religious Education that takes this historical time, this specific intercultural European context and these particular challenges seriously. For there is no doubt that the role of religion is being transformed in a society that is characterised by a plurality of religious and non-religious worldviews.

    Within the world of Catholic Religious Education there is a renewed sense of the need to return to basics, to classical sources and foundational themes, in order to address the new challenges posed by a plural and intercultural society. In itself, this is unsurprising. A situation of radical religious pluralism, of competing secular and religious worldviews, challenges people to reposition themselves within their new frame of reference. In such a climate, individuals search for a new direction and are often sustained by the classical sources and texts of their own faith tradition, which are meaningful for every generation of believers. This involves neither a disengagement and retreat from the contemporary intercultural context nor a reactionary rejection of new voices and perspectives. It simply means that new horizons offering challenging new questions result in the need to return to ones own faith tradition as a source of guidance and nourishment. This is part of a dialectical process of engagement with the intercultural world and involves a renewal of self which enables respectful, inclusive dialogue to occur.

    This book attempts to respond to the pressing need for discernment on how Catholic Religious Education has developed a discourse around inclusion and respect for otherness while simultaneously recognising the distinctive challenges and identity of the Catholic faith tradition. Scripture, tradition and Church teaching are foundations to which Catholics return as they re-source their relationships and self-understanding in a world of pluralism. Classical texts and themes in Religious Education, not all of them dealt with in this book, sustain and nourish the religious educator who struggles with issues of identity, direction and method in an exciting new intercultural environment. Texts such as the General Directory for Catechesis (1997), The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), National Catechetical Directories, key Vatican II constitutions as well as official Church documents on Religious Education, to mention but a few, offer support and guidance. It is beyond the remit of this book to deal with all of these texts however Section Two presents selected foundational documents and texts which offer assistance.

    New directions in Catholic Religious Education are manifest in a variety of ways. For example, in Ireland, in the last decade, Catholic Religious Education has witnessed a burst of energy and injection of activity surrounding the definition of what is specifically Catholic about the ethos of a school; the role of all those involved in the school community (the Patron, Trustees, Boards of Management, Teachers, Parents, Children); the generation of a new syllabus for primary schools and guidelines on post-primary syllabi; the establishment of a National Catechetical Office and designated Catechetical Sunday; as well as the generation of a draft national directory for Catechesis. Such a flurry of activity raises the question of whether Irelands new intercultural and plural context has prompted Catholics into desiring redefinition, reconfiguration and renewal. There is a realisation that Catholic education in general and Religious Education in particular, is not something that happens automatically and that it can not be taken for granted.

    In Catholic schools, the encounter with the religious and secular other not only invites recognition and respect for the distinctiveness of the (non-)religious other, it also forces us to re-evaluate and re-appreciate our own religious tradition. Section One of the book acknowledges that issues of origin, tradition and identity are deeply relevant for contemporary Catholic Religious Education in an intercultural context. Indeed a post-modern emphasis on plurality and competing worldviews raises issues of identity and belonging in a striking manner. For Catholic religious educators the plurality of religious and non-religious world views should not be perceived as threats to be avoided, an unknown to be ignored or a context from which they must retreat. On the contrary, the reality of intercultural and inter-religious life in contemporary Europe provides an exciting new context within which Catholic religious educators are invited to engage so that they can reclaim the Catholic faith heritage, witness to the Catholic faith tradition and to relate and translate it anew in this new era. This is a challenging task, as those who are engaged in teaching and learning testify. If Catholic religious educators are unclear about who they are, where they have come from and what their task is, then they are vulnerable to being confused, ineffective and overwhelmed.

    The four chapters in Section One of the book outline key issues involved in understanding Catholic education. Chapter One explores a Catholic philosophy of education while chapter two locates Catholic education as lifelong learning in home, school and other learning environments. Chapter three explores the Catechumenate as a paradigm for all catechesis and in chapter four a distinctive Ignatian spirituality of teaching and learning is outlined. Section Two explores key sources of Catholic theology and Religious Education (scripture, tradition and Church teaching), which provide real insight and help in discerning a pathway through the complicated maze of post-modern life. The first chapter in this section focuses on using the Bible, as a normative and foundational source of Christian faith, in teaching Religious Education (chapter five). Furthermore chapters on The General Directory for Catechesis (chapter six), Nostra Aetate (chapter seven) and Junior and Leaving Certificate Syllabi (chapter eight) help provide direction for contemporary Catholic Education.

    The book raises questions about how particular contexts shape and challenge Catholic Religious Education and about how it translates its tradition in everchanging environments. How can Catholic religious educators educate in a manner which is true to the Catholic tradition while being open to other religious perspectives? There is a tension between continuity and transformation within contemporary Catholic Religious Education which questions the relationship between the Catholic religious tradition, seen as normative and experienced as life-giving for believers, and the many other competing religious and non-religious worldviews. A contextual approach acknowledges that the universal themes and concerns of Catholic Religious Education are shaped, but not entirely defined, by particular contexts. Section three, Catholic Education as Inclusive Education in the Heart of Europe, focuses on issues of inter-religious learning and inter-faith dialogue in State and Catholic European schools. Chapter nine presents an overview of the situation of Religious Education in Europe and focuses in particular on three countries (England/Wales, Norway and Switzerland). The following chapter outlines different types of inter-religious learning as well as factors which impede its occurrence in the classroom (chapter ten). Chapter eleven examines the perspective of six world religions on Religious Education (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity) while chapter twelve explores the treatment of the religious other in the classroom as well as the banning of religious symbols and clothing in many European state schools. Chapters thirteen to sixteen explore the issues and challenges confronting Religious Educators in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. Undoubtedly while this book attempts to profile a broader European situation much focus is placed on the Irish and British context for Catholic Religious Education.

    The book attempts to integrate theoretical frameworks, which underlie different approaches to Catholic Religious Education, with the lived experience of practitioners. Religious educators are faced with the very specific and challenging task of engaging in cradle to grave faith formation in an intercultural world. Section four attempts to profile some practical situations which educators encounter in homes and parishes as well as primary and post-primary schools, by focusing on key selected themes. While many approaches are grounded in similar theological and epistemological assumptions (chapter seventeen), this book takes a closer look at the areas of early childhood (chapter eighteen), creative prayer (chapter nineteen), sacramental preparation (chapter twenty), and the act of judgement in Religious Education (chapter twenty-one). The challenge of nurturing faith in a climate of dissent (chapter twenty-two) and ongoing debates about the kind of assessment desirable in Religious Education complete this section (chapter twenty-three). The focus here is on presenting best practice for Catholic religious educators.

    It is hoped that this book will not just contribute to conversations about Religious Education in an intercultural society but that it will capture something of the energy, commitment and initiatives which characterise Catholic Religious Education in contemporary Europe. The book raises questions about how particular contexts shape and challenge Catholic Religious Education and how it enables its participants to meaningfully communicate and live out the Catholic faith with integrity in ever changing environments. The final section recognizes that Religious Education is a vital aspect of a Catholic school both in terms of curricular content and its role within the curriculum (chapter twenty-four). The last chapters explore the important issue of the management of Catholic schools (chapter twenty-five) by locating them in the overall context of the call to faith formation, sacramental initiation (chapter twenty-six) and service to the world.



    John Sullivan

    Catholic education takes place in many different sites. Apart from the school, there is also the home, the parish, youth ministry, college and university, ministerial formation, adult education and other settings. Wherever it takes place, two principal features should accompany and characterise it. Firstly, it should draw upon and exhibit the four main languages that make up the grammar of Christian faith:

    - the proclamation of and about Jesus the Christ, the message of the Gospel
    - the construction of community or fellowship
    - the celebration of worship or liturgy
    - the offering of service to those in need, which itself is a form of worship, this time of the image of God in the needy person.

    These four languages of faith relate to four aspects of formation for Christians. There is a story and set of concepts to learn; a way of thinking to assimilate and indwell; there is a way of belonging within a community; there is a way of worshipping; and there is a way of behaving. All are necessary. None are complete on their own. Each reinforces the others.

    Secondly, Catholic education will emphasise coherence and interconnectedness, both in the curriculum and in the example given by teachers. As it is Gods world that we are learning about, and because it is the whole person we are teaching, we have a duty in Catholic education to avoid fragmentation and separation; we should show the connections between the different parts of what we are teaching and between those and the parts of our lives, all of this in an awareness of being in Gods presence. Here I limit myself to the school context and to the second of these two essential features. In this chapter I unpack five ways of expressing and understanding the essential interconnectedness of Catholic education:

    (1) the handing on of holy things is very closely linked to the handling of ordinary things
    (2) there is no sharp separation between the sacred and the secular
    (3) we should seek to promote a sacramental perspective on life
    (4) the term sublation usefully brings out aspects of the connection between ordinary and holy
    (5) Catholic schools need a blend of the ministry of witness and the ministry of the Word.

    Holy and Ordinary

    Let me begin with extracts from two conversations; one which occurred in a school staffroom and one I overheard during a coffee break during an in-service session that I was leading. On my first day working in a north of England Catholic secondary school in 1975 I introduced myself to a colleague as the new Head of Religious Education. In reply I was told by this person that she had polished the statues before I arrived. This short phrase encapsulated for her what the role of a religious educator in the mid-1970s entailed: the preservation of holy things. At the time there was a religious song, performed in a popular style, with the refrain keep the rumour going that God is alive. That was how she saw Religious Education: preserving the holy so that it did not slip out from our memory and keeping alive the thought that God is (still) about the place. I think she saw it as a bit of problem that I was a young, married, lay man, father of two, and very soon to be three, children: somehow this did not quite give off the right vibrations about holiness, the kind of impression I might have given if I had been a professed religious, with clothing that set me apart and a lifestyle that separated me from mortgages, sex and children. Needless to say, I saw it as a priority that I disabused her quickly of her view that Religious Education should focus on polishing the statues: this was not how I saw the task at all. Polishing and cleaning is a necessary part of looking after ones home (and other buildings) and is not something to be demeaned as a task; but polishing the statues as a central task for Religious Education conjured up for me something backward-looking , because some of the images being used seemed to me to appeal to a former age , and narrow, because they seemed to treat holiness as removed from everyday life, rather than something that we develop in the midst of it.

    Twenty years later, I was leading another in-service day in London for teachers from many different types of school. The theme being explored was how we could promote the spiritual development of pupils in primary and secondary schools. While tidying up during the mid-morning break and as we all had a cup of coffee I couldnt help overhear one teacher say to another: There seems to be several people here from Catholic schools. I have never worked in one of these schools. Can you tell me what is different about a Catholic school? The answer given made me wince. Well, we probably give more time to Religious Education than other schools do. Plus, we have Masses at various points throughout the year. But otherwise, really we are just the same as other schools. Once again, as in the previous conversation about polishing the statues, there was a lack of connection to a bigger picture about education and a narrow focus on what sets Catholics apart in some way. This left the huge bulk of the educational experience being offered untouched by the worldview and lifestyle offered by Catholic Christianity. It implied that, apart from a few special, holy elements, Catholic education was like any other form of education. One wonders why so much trouble is taken and so many sacrifices are made by so many people to pay for, construct and maintain Catholic schools, if all that they provide is some form of icing on a cake; the same cake that is baked anywhere else. The answer given by that teacher revealed that he saw little connection between the holy bits and the rest of the education offered by the school.

    Ten years further on, I remain convinced that the handing on of holy things is inextricably linked to our handling of ordinary things. That is, the holy is not something cut off from, isolated from, uncontaminated by or opposed by the ordinary ingredients of our lives. Holiness is not about escape, but about a discerning immersion in everyday life. Immersion here means getting stuck into life and accepting its responsibilities; it means being aware of what you are doing, why you are doing it and the effect you are having. At the heart of our faith is the belief that God invites us to respond to the love showered upon us non-stop and to share in the divine life, to be taken-up into the divine set of relationships we call the Trinity. We can say, with Westlife: you raise me up. In the process we will be transformed, not diminished. God wants to embrace all that we are, as special, indeed, unique individuals, with our hopes and drives, our desires, gifts and attachments. Although these might be modified and re-ordered as they are brought together, they are not simply suppressed and left behind. We are to find God above all in the bits and pieces of everyday life, not in remote, specially dedicated, set-apart holy places and events, though these might help us on occasion to be more aware of what God is offering us all the time but less obviously in the normal pattern and practices of our lives. We become holy through the way we see and deal with the ordinary things of life, like hunger, ambition, disappointment, relationships, communication, belonging and decisions, rather than by turning away from them to an other worldly holiness.

    Sacred and Secular

    Education, in any culture, is about the capacities of human nature, such as energy and emotions, intelligence and memory, conscience and will; it is about how these are developed and oriented, ordered and integrated in service of what is conceived to be the good life. At the heart of Catholic education is the belief that there is no sharp separation between the sacred and the secular. God creates, sustains, redeems and renews everything in our experience. Nothing is beyond Gods activity. God is the ultimate environment in which we live and in which we educate. Catholic education is about providing an enriching, relevant, coherent and inviting environment for children and young people to help them to make sense of their whole lives in the light of the Catholic traditional way of understanding, appreciating and communicating Gods presence to us. In the life of Jesus, in the sacraments and in the working of the curriculum, there is no separation we can make between what is holy and what is ordinary; between what we call sacred and what we call secular. They are intimately related. We do not become holy apart from ordinary living. The great Catholic thinker Thomas Aquinas (c.1225, 1274) reminds us that theology is about how all things relate to God (since nothing is outside Gods creation). Therefore Religious Education in a Catholic school is not about polishing the statues; nor is a Catholic education simply about adding to a normal education, a few Masses. This is of course, not to say that the celebration of the Eucharist does not play an important part in clarifying Gods love for us, Gods call to us, individually and as a community, Gods presence and offer of grace to us and Gods way of teaching us.

    Sacramental Perspective

    One very common way of characterising a Catholic approach to education is to say that it aims to promote a sacramental perspective among students. A sacramental perspective views the world as a whole, as the theatre of Gods grace. It does not restrict Gods operation to special moments in church, to holy places or activities. Instead it acknowledges that God can be encountered anywhere, anytime. Thus, God could be experienced, not only in celebrating the Eucharist, in Religious Education, in moments of prayer, in special pilgrimage centres, in the reading of Holy Scripture, but also on mountain tops, in forests, along riversides, in music, poetry, art and literature, in relationships, in times of trouble, pain, stress and illness, as well as in the diverse variety of positive experiences, the high moments of life. Catholic education should strive to invite students to see Gods presence in all these aspects of their experience. It cannot guarantee that students will come to see the world like this, and it certainly cannot force them to do so, but it can witness to them what it is like, the difference it can make to see the world this way. Every subject in the curriculum has the potential, though some more easily than others, to allow us to see some feature of the world as a way into appreciating at least part of Gods nature, purpose, call and presence. Of course, if the teacher does not perceive the world in this way, as a place where God is present and available everywhere and in all circumstances, s/he cannot mediate this capacity to students. This will be evident less in what is said than in how the teacher sees and conveys that seeing.


    One term that hints at how, in the context of Catholic education, the holy is encountered in the ordinary, how the sacred and secular meet and how the sacramental perspective might be understood is sublation.1 To sublate something is to take it up and to include it, integrating it in a higher unity. For example, a painting sublates paint. It uses the raw materials of paint and does something creative with it, so that it becomes something with more meaning than simply acollection of substances with colour. Similarly a symphony sublates instruments: it goes beyond a separate collection of trumpets, violins, cellos, piano and so on and makes of them a unity; it organises them into a larger system. Instead of chaos and noise, we hear a piece of music where the parts are co-ordinated, so that they work together to make something whole. We might say that adolescence sublates childhood. It takes it up to a different stage, goes beyond it, but never completely leaves it behind. Another example is that desire sublates instinct: where instinct is unconscious, automatic and is thus not fully free, desire builds on instinct, rather than contradicts it, but makes it conscious and modifies it into something we can influence and re-direct. We might say that Einstein sublates Newton, in the sense that he takes Newtonian science but deploys it in a more complex and sophisticated system. Thus, although Newton is no longer the last word in science, his findings are still included, though scientists have gone beyond them. For Christians, what has traditionally been called the New Testament sublates the Old Testament, in that the Old Testaments insights into Gods relationship with Gods people remain, but are now included into a new level of appreciation of Gods ways. When something is sublated its normal functioning is not suppressed or interfered with, but it is used in such a way that it serves a higher purpose than could have been thought of at its own level. We speak in a similar way of grace building upon nature, harnessing its capacities for purposes beyond natures own, unaided powers.
    In the context of Catholic education we can claim that vocation sublates professionalism. That is, all the skills and tasks required by any professional teacher will be required by a teacher seeking to offer a Catholic education. There are many aspects to these tasks. They include designing a curriculum, planning a lesson, laying out a classroom, deploying learning resources, setting tasks that promote learning, managing time and keeping good order. They also include ensuring that all students participate, promoting equal opportunities, displaying fair treatment, the use of technology in support of learning, consistent and appropriate assessment of students work, reporting progress to parents and others and collaborating with colleagues. Vocation sublates these professional tasks in the way it views them as a whole and in the way it directs them. It connects them all to a bigger picture of who we are and what we are about. The work is not simply carried out as a way of earning a living, or pursuing an interest; it is also a way of serving the world, of contributing to the common good, of improving the condition of human beings, of developing myself as a teacher and it can be a way of relating to God and exercising our discipleship. To put this in another way, when vocation sublates professionalism, we do not so much do different things as teachers, as tell ourselves a different story about who we are, who our students are, what we are doing and why. Catholic educators are conscious that they teach people who, like them, are made in the image and likeness of God, who belong to the body of Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit, who have an eternal destiny.

    To take a very practical example of how the ordinary can be a vehicle for the holy and of how an everyday capacity can be sublated so that it carries a higher level of significance, let us take the gift of speech. The mission of a Catholic school will be expressed probably most obviously in how we talk to one another. The use of the tongue is double-edged: with it we can encourage, instruct, praise, inspire, enlighten and delight others; however, we must also admit that in speaking we can depress, confuse, deceive, terrify, embarrass and demoralise too. As Plato stated in Gorgias, speec
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Exploring Religious Education

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