The Progression of Religious Education Since the Second Vatican Council as Seen Through Some Church Documents

  • Mario O. D’SouzaEmail author


Catholic Religious Education is a relatively new concept. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, religious education was more instructional, catechetical, and apologetic in nature. Since the close of the Council and its document, Gravissimum Educationis: Declaration on Christian Education, the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic Education has published documents on Catholic education and religious education as understood from a universal perspective. In addition, the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Family and the recently established Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization have also provided rich texts that shape the understanding of religious education. Another universal document, of course, is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This chapter will examine the main educational and cultural documents to examine how the concept of religious education has evolved and developed since the close of the Council, particularly how religious education is understood for the Universal Church. Special attention will be paid to culture and first principles and how the Church must maintain an understanding of these concepts, universally understood, and, on the other hand, encourage a local and national understanding, thereby promoting true enculturation.


Human Formation Religious Education Catholic School Integral Education Catholic Education 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Saint Michael’s CollegeUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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