Perth Archdiocesan Guidelines for Religious Educators in the light of conciliar and postconciliar Catholic Church documents

Eileen Philomena Lenihan, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine how the Perth Archdiocesan Guidelines for Religious Educators (1987) compare and contrast with Catholic Church teaching as enunciated in conciliar and postconciliar documents from Gravissimum Educationis (1965) to The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992). Textual analysis was used to examine the teacher's manual, parent booklet, and the four documents that constitute the guidelines for religious educators of primary school students in Western Australia.^ In a preliminary reading of church documents three categories emerged, the nature of the human person, community, and society, the nature of religious education, aims, content, and processes, and the role of the religious educator. For each of these categories, five components were identified, and with these as investigative tools, the texts of the selected documents were analysed.^ The study found that in the presentation of each of the three categories there is major congruity between conciliar and postconciliar documents and the Perth Archdiocesan Guidelines for Religious Educators (1987). However, there are also significant discrepancies. The freedom of the human person is presented in a way that may not be readily understood, and the weakness of the individual and humanity is given inadequate attention. The aims of religious education supported by the guidelines, are perceived in the light of the postconciliar document, The Catholic School (1977) and tend more towards catechesis than religious education as seen in the light of The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School (1988). Peace and Justice have not been addressed and the documents do not provide material specifically for the formation and information of the religious educator other than what he or she teaches the students. As guidelines for religious educators these documents could contribute significantly to the holistic and permanent formation necessary for religious educators in today's Catholic primary schools.^ The significance of this study rests partly on its being an analysis of guidelines which have not been examined previously, and on insight and information it may provide at an opportune time for those persons engaged in the current review of the Perth Archdiocesan Guidelines for Religious Educators (1987). The study also recommends areas of further research in religious education for students in primary schools, as well as permanent formation for religious educators and other members of staff in Catholic schools. ^

Subject Area

Religion|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Lenihan, Eileen Philomena, "Perth Archdiocesan Guidelines for Religious Educators in the light of conciliar and postconciliar Catholic Church documents" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9511221.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9511221

Share

COinS