Edited By Stephen G. Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis
13 To Love and to Work: Foundations of a Theology-based Theory of Bildung
Bildung is a most common phrase in our daily discussions about the aim of education. Every way of understanding Bildung lays out a particular perspective on how an individual can and should develop. Any portrayal of theological perspectives for understanding Bildung must also account for the contours of its specific views about human nature. This is the only way we can imagine a constructive engagement with other points of view. Four fundamental principles in biblical scripture that serve to characterize humanity in terms of its relation to God are represented: In the beginning was liberation; Creation is a relational event; Humanity can fail; Healing is possible. A human being has inviolable dignity. He/she has a fundamental right to freely develop his/her personality. Together with the work of Dorothee Sölle, the understanding of human nature stemming from the biblical liberation tradition has led us to the designation of love and work as the cornerstones for a humane life. These cornerstones would make a reasonable foundation for a person-oriented educational theory. ← 291 | 292 →
Education is one of the most contested issues of our time. It is around this subject that society negotiates its sense of past, present and future. Bildung means deciding which aspects of the past we wish to retain in our collective memory and pass along to our children. Bildung means deciding which competencies and mental attitudes we regard as essential for the future of our society. For every...
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