An Education in Beauty & Truth
THE IDEA OF EDUCATION AMONGST THE ANCIENTS
"Education is not the cultivation of certain branches of knowledge…the real essence of education is that it enables men to reach the true aim of their lives."
Werners Jaegaer’s summary of Socrates’ teaching.
That “true aim” requires turning around toward the unseen realm of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Education is properly understood as the care and perfection of the soul. Excellence (arete) is not primarily excellence of skill but excellence of virtue.
What does the Church say about Education?
According to St. Paul, God's Fatherhood is the primordial model of all fatherhood and motherhood in the universe (cf. Eph 3:14-15), and of human motherhood and fatherhood in particular. We have been completely instructed in God's own way of teaching by the eternal Word of the Father who, by becoming man, revealed to man the authentic and integral greatness of his humanity, that is, being a child of God. In this way he also revealed the true meaning of human education. Through Christ all education, within the family and outside of it, becomes part of God's own saving pedagogy, which is addressed to individuals and families and culminates in the paschal mystery of the Lord's death and resurrection. The "heart" of our redemption is the starting point of every process of Christian education, which is likewise always an education to full humanity.
Letter to Families from Pope John Paul ll
"A society that lacks an interest in history, is one that can easily be manipulated by ideologies," says Pope Benedict XVl.
The Pope said, this in turn leads to a "society which, heedless of its own past and hence lacking in criterion acquired through experience, is no longer capable of harmonious coexistence or joint commitment in realizing future aims. Such a society is particularly vulnerable to ideological manipulation."
"This danger is becoming ever greater because of an excessive emphasis given to modern history," he added, "especially when research in this field is conditioned by methodology which draws inspiration from positivism and sociology, 'ignoring' other important aspects of historical reality, even entire epochs."
Vatican City, March 7, 2008, Zenit News