18th c. Hasidic Thought and Contemporary Approachesto Language and Education. Hanna Komorowska
18th c. Hasidic Thought and Contemporary Approaches to Language and Education Hanna Komorowska 1. Introduction Specializing in language education issues and not being a historian or an expert in Jewish studies, I have long been interested in Hasidic thought and have al- ways felt a great deal of sympathy for the beginnings of this movement, its per- ception of the world and approach to people. I believe the role of language and communication in those – quite distant – times had enormous, though indirect, consequences for the future of education and culture. We are often unaware of these aftereffects and tend to seek causes of modern tendencies merely in the development of thought at the turn of the 20th and 21st c, not always realizing the richness and diversity of its roots. In order to understand the origins and trace some indirect influences I shall attempt to look at contemporary educational tendencies via the perspective of language teaching and search for at least part of its roots not only where they are most often sought – i.e. in the writings of Komensky (Comenius) and Rousseau – but also in the cradle of early Hasidic thought, that is in the territory of 18th c. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It should be stressed that no direct impact of early Hasidic thought on contemporary educational policy is postulated here. What this text looks into is no more than a parallelism of con- cepts and ideas. Yet, parallels and synergies...
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