The Educational Mission of the Church in the Migration Period of the 5th and the 6th Century

Authors

  • Ivan Bodrožić, Ph.D. Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb

Keywords:

Christianity, education, Boethius, Cassiodorus

Abstract

The author of this paper provides a brief overview of the Roman Empire at the time of great turmoil in the 5th and 6th centuries that led to the collapse of its western part. The fall of the Empire triggered the decline of the culture and consequently collapse of the educational system. In such difficult times, the Church sought to protect the values of the Roman society (romanitas) including the education in Latin which was considered one of its most important values. The author clarified the historical circumstances and presented two great Christian intellectuals who were aware of the values and benefits of the culture they wanted to protect from oblivion and preserve for future generations. They were Boethius and Cassiodorus who encouraged the project of the whole education and culture, and as believers, they could also count on the Church’s support, in areas of its influence, though the process was long-lasting and slow. In that context, Cassiodorus even founded the monastery Vivarium, in Calabria where the main task of the monks was rewriting of works of the holy Fathers and Greek and Roman classics. The author concluded that Christianity i.e. the Church did not neglect the culture of the Old World and time, but participated in the process of its preservation, and used it in order to reach the people who lived in the territories of the Western Empire, offering them the proclamation of the Gospel and literacy.

Published

2017-06-12

Issue

Section

Religious education challenged by a plurality of religions and migrations