The Effect of Religion on Education

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The Effect of Religion on Education

Religion has played an important part in the development of education ever since the beginning, even before the creation of schools. The first schools, which were monasteries, started around the Dark Ages, approximately 450 A.D.; Back then, education's only purpose was to people of the religious persuasion, especially Christianity. Christianity is the religion that has most affected education, and so was the case back then, too. Those people I was talking about before were the ones with the power, however. The pope commanded more respect and authority than the king, the church taxed the people, and the church dictated the laws of the land. The church was in charge of the people's souls, so they took responsibility for everything else. Even the king and his court was subject to the church's rule, as no one would really stand up to the church's authority. So of course, certain people in the church became corrupt and used religion as a way to coerce their own fortunes or luxuries. This went on for hundreds of years. Some of the abuses were issues of immorality, such as the practices of celibacy not being followed and indulgences (pardons for your sins) and offices were sold out. Erasmus, a monk and humanist who wrote "In Praise of Folley", was one of the first people who outright condemned the abuses of the church. He believed education should develop piety and morality, and should give the people vocational skills.

Then around the 1300's, around the time of Protestant Reformation, a monk named Martin Luther became the first well-known opposer of the church's abuses. He wrote many books, some of which stirred popular unrest among the people. Around this time, more people started think...

... middle of paper ... other countries in the world where religion plays a part in the educational system, but more and more countries are shying away from it.

In conclusion, Religion (especially Christianity) has played an important part in Education all over the world up to about the 1700's. There are still some lasting reminders, though, such as colleges once built for religious purposes but now the prominent secular education centers. Some examples are Harvard University (1636), College of New Jersey (later named Princeton, founded by Presbyterians in 1746), Kings College (later named Columbia University, founded by Anglicans in 1754), and the College of Rhode Island (later named Brown University, founded by the Baptists in 1764). But needless to say, the contributions given to education by religion can never be replaced or taken back, and maybe it's better that way.