Monday, August 29, 2005

Education in Times of Trouble


How thankful I am that I live in a country that’s basically at peace and has been throughout my lifetime, a country where violence is mostly individual rather than general. I’m also thankful that I live in a time when, for the most part, life doesn’t consist of one political or civil disruption after another.

Certainly in the wider world there has been huge unrest and lack of peace during my lifetime. For some reason I’ve been privileged to be sheltered from this. Whether this has been good for my character or not, I can’t say, but my preference is for peace rather than war.

What made me think about this was in reading a brief history of the life of Comenius, the ‘Father of modern education,’ but more importantly, a wonderful Christian man whose life was spent in times of almost constant distress and turmoil. His first and second wife both died, along with two of their children, and, even then he married again. He wrote prolifically, much of his work was destroyed and had to be rewritten (no great joy in a time without typewriters or word processors), and he strove to maintain a sensible and not extreme form of Christianity.

I only came across his name when I was sorting out some old secondhand books, amongst which is a volume of sermons in German by Comenius. Unfortunately it’s printed in the old German font, but I think in English it’s something along the lines of Sermons for Passiontide, Easter and the Ascension. (The German title is: Passions-, Oster-, und himmelfahrts- Predigten).
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