Last October CARFLEO posted a rationale for studying Religious Education. This produced a number of responses. One observation was that we need more accessible language to express these ideas. This is an attempt to address this concern. Please comment by emailing CARFLEO. Suggestions for improvements will be gratefully received.
Why Study Religious Education?
- Religious Education helps us to understand our Catholic faith. We know Jesus and the Bible more deeply. We learn from the wisdom of the saints and other good people. We understand how to celebrate our faith. We grow in our understanding of Church teachings.
- Religious Education explores and celebrates God’s truth, goodness and beauty.
- Religious education helps us to pray and worship with more understanding, depth and love.
- Religious Education improves our quality of life. Catholic beliefs help us find meaning and purpose. Moral principles give direction. Prayer and liturgy bring us closer to God.
- Religious Education helps us to make good choices. It helps us to develop our consciences and how to answer important questions. How can I help to heal the earth? What does it mean to be sexually healthy? How can I help those who have little?
- Religious Education helps us to explore life’s deep questions. Why do good people suffer? What is love? Why be just? What happens after we die? How do know God exists? What is my purpose in life? Why should I care about other people?
- Religious Education gives us ways of understanding our world. It gives us tools to figure out what harms us and what helps us.
- Religious Education helps us to understand other religions. In North America, many of our family and friends belong to other faiths. It helps us to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to hatred.
- Religious Education gives us practical skills for living. Reflection helps us to learn from our actions. Discernment helps us to choose between difficult choices. Critical thinking helps us to understand our own thinking patterns. Conscience formation helps us to find God’s will for our lives.
- Religious Education gives us tools to follow a path of life that leads to happiness and intimacy with God.
See also this podcast: What is the Public Benefit of the Study of Religion? Bettina Schmidt, Nicholas Campion, J. Gordon Melton, Tim Jensen, Kim Knott, Marion Bowman, Wouter Hanegraaff, Naomi Goldenberg and Suzanne Owen