Shared by Brother John Samaha, S.M.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATORS CHALLENGED
The rapid progress of technology poses serious problems to the Christian educator. On the doctrinal level there is nothing to worry about because there cannot be any contradiction between the laws of the physical world and those of the supernatural world, granted that God is the author of both. We recognize the grandeur of technology since by it divine creation harvests new accomplishments which permit us to attain and use created goods more easily, and this sense of effectiveness also reaches into the domain of spirituality and of the apostolate. Yet we must recognize that the type of person which technology is increasingly producing has not arrived at a balanced faith. There exists the danger of indifference to real human problems and insensibility toward the contradiction between that may arise between faith and personal attitudes. The passion for organization, a necessary consequence of technology and a good in itself, raises the serious danger of creating a world in which we see ourselves as similar to bees in a hive. The bees instinctively obey the super organization of their hive. In societies where everything is organized down to the last detail humans are increasingly more specialized by detailed tasks and begin blindly to obey minute regulations and repeat automatic gestures without even asking themselves why they are working. We run the risk of becoming like the insects. Transposed to the moral and religious level, a technological mentality engenders legalism and pharisaism.
Evidently the Christian educator must react against such a dangerous deviation. We need to teach the sciences with competence and harbor the conviction that Christianity is as capable of spiritualizing technology as it was to incorporate Greek civilization into its synthesis. There is need of rejecting the tendency to eliminate gradually the humanities from the school program. Rather strive to center teaching on the formation of the person instead of on the acquisition of knowledge, on culture rather than on technology, on the unity of knowledge instead of the quantity of information. Following the current trend would risk allowing science to become a boomerang that kills its own possessor.
One of the influential members of the American Atomic Energy Commission, Thomas E. Murphy, rightly affirmed that, “whatever be our actual needs in the scientific and technical sector, our need of wisdom is still more urgent.” Science and technology “… have created in our contemporary civilization problems which they themselves are unable to solve.”
The Christian educator knows that in protecting students from the lack of balance which the technological mentality threatens can contribute to growth in Christ.
-- Gleaned from
The Pastoral Role of the Christian School
by Father Paul Joseph Hoffer, S.M.