Importance of Religious Education

Importance of Religious Education

Understanding the importance of religious education from an early age opens doors of stability and emotional balance for children. Read the following article to understand the depth of its significance.
People receive their religious education usually within the family framework, or at school, from priests and teachers. All these sources work together for transmitting these values to the next generations and for generating proper and civilized behavior.
The classic example is the one that is acquired in the family, from a very early age, and then continued during school years and strengthened by activities organized by Church and society. During such classes, kids get educated in the spirit of honesty, of promoting moral values, and of loving God.
There are vivid echoes planted in the minds and souls of the young children who start acquiring moral values such as kindness, obedience, diligence, patience, and love for the truth and justice. The connection with God is an irreplaceable and indissoluble thing, and no one can underestimate the significance of religious knowledge. Maybe the reason why teenagers and youth today feel so disoriented and misplaced is that they lack any root or connection with their ancestors, which could have been made through passing on the truths and values onto the next generations. If we say that without religion we can be free and democratic, we are only fooling ourselves, for there are other things that take up our minds and souls: consumerism, television, the illusionary world created by the movie industry, the so-called spirit of the age, etc.
Unfortunately, we tend to overestimate ourselves and our spiritual resources, when claiming to be free-spirited and outside the religious realm. We cannot even survive when being isolated from each other, much less without any spiritual support whatsoever. And we need to be given moral and religious directions starting from a very early age. This should start from pre-school and primary school age. Education in general is an evolving, complex process developed in several stages and have precise objectives for the purpose of forming and developing intellectual, moral, and physical skills of kids, youth, and the people in our society.
Throughout the centuries, general education has been closely related to religious education. Thus, in ancient times, in the East, most schools were located close to temples. In Western countries, monasteries were cultural centers, around which there were schools both for future clerics (internal schools), and for ordinary people (external schools). In Romania, for instance, even from the 11th century, there were schools for preparing priests, which were located close to monasteries and bishop centers, where they were taught in Latin, Greek, and Slavonian.
There are many universal thinkers that stressed its importance. In the Romanian context, for instance, the cultural philosopher and aesthetician named Tudor Vianu wrote about the interaction of values, and stated that, where other fields may have an integrative value, religion is, in fact, a value that gives an integrating meaning to the other fields of knowledge.
By its education, we have to try to cultivate the spirit and the mind. It helps us to build a system of spiritual, ethical, and aesthetic values depending on each individual's personality, and materializes this system in integrating behavior, in the life of the community we belong to, and of the society, in general. While we are aspiring for perfection, we compare ourselves with the divine being, with God because He is the only existential educational model. In the process of spiritual growth, religious education is not unilateral; it can be enhanced by strengthening premises from civic, aesthetic, and moral knowledge. Researches in the field of child psychology have revealed the fact that moral-religious education is possible from the earliest age, and pre-school kids with their will and characters' features in full development are very receptive to grown-ups' influences.
If moral education stands for that part of the kid's preparation for life process that has, as a purpose, the knowledge, understanding, and practicing of good in social life and adjusting to community life, religious education should be regarded as being closely related to it. In fact, it should start from the very first life years of the child. Then, it should be continued depending on the child's development level, in order to form certain impressions, behavior skills, and feelings into the kid's soul and mind, and help him become a person who is open to communion with God and his fellow beings.
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