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Les cours de religion dans l’enseignement public roumain contemporain

During the last sixteen years, religious education in Romanian public schools created a controversy and hot debates at both the societal level and the governmental level. Abusive and deficient implementation of the legal systems with regard to religious education in schools has been reported. Some minority denominations have complained about problems teachers encounter in the preparation of the lesson according to their different beliefs.
Inexperienced teachers could be overly tactless or zealous in their profession, thus, running the risk of transforming a religious class into a proselytising and indoctrination tool.
Other secular public and intellectual protagonists believe that the class must be limited to giving general knowledge about religion. They hold that it should be unrelated to any denomination and not resemble a catechesis and indoctrinating session. They believe, however, that religious education in public schools is a necessary means of preserving and affirming national identity, variable synthesis of Latin culture and orthodox faith (Mihai St.Ene, Statutul Învatamantului teologic si al educatiei religioase din România, dupa 1989, Universitatea din Bucuresti, 2002, p. 65).
Apart from these diverse attitudes, the positive and practical impacts of religious education in schools, especially with regard to encouraging morality, deepening pupil’s religious knowledge and arousing their interest for religious services begin to show even on a social level. The presence of religion is judged necessary in the syllabus as it is supported and justified by solid arguments as they have a cultural, theological, psychological, pedagogical, ethical, historical and ecumenical basis. (Constantin Cucos, Educatia religioasa, repere teoretice si metodologice, Iasi, Editura Polirom, 1999, p. 13-15). Consequently, looking beyond the problems inherent to the implementation of the legislation on religious education in public schools, after 1990, the presence of religion in the Romanian syllabus (either taken as an optional or a compulsory subject) is generally appreciated and considered a necessary and safe source of education based on social and spiritual love, tolerance, human kindness and true values even when unrelated to identity. (Conf. Univ. Dr. Constantin Cucos, "Problemele educatiei religioase", in Biserica si problemele vremii, An I, No.I, January 1998, p. 10).

For more information on historical and legal aspects of religious education, see the article under the heading "legal status of religions".

D 2 octobre 2012    ALucreţia Vasilescu AManuela Gheorghe

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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