D G Lawrie


Although the Old Testament offers neither a theory of nor a curriculum for religious education, it is possible to undercover the presuppositions about religion, society, and their interrelatedness that formed the horizon for such education in Israel. In the first place religious education was part of the process of integrating children into the life of a society which was more or less co-extensive with the religious community. This being the case, parents and other members of the extended family played a primary role in the transmission of the tradition. The primary vehicle was the story, which in a variety of ways served to link the religious and the ethical teaching of the tradition to the everyday life of the community.

Secondly, participation in culture celebrations set the scene for invigoration and purification of the parental teaching. The rituals not only promoted a sense of sharing, but also provided an intermediate level between the narrative world and the world of imaginative living. Lastly, education took place in the context of structures of authority. These structures were seen as embedded in a cosmic order clothed in mystery and grandeur. To challenge legitimate authority was both to be lacking in the “fear of Yahweh” and to ally oneself with the destructive forces of primal chaos. It is likely that Israel’s views on traditions, ritual celebration, and legitimate authority, far from being unique, would find numerous echoes in other traditional societies, including African societies. In fact, these views continue to pose questions that cannot be ignored by any theory of religious education.


Religious education

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/43-0-1660


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2013.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help