Questions for you all

| | Comments (3)

How would you feel if your child's High School religion teacher quoted from Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons in an effort to make a point using "contemporary culture"?

What do you all think should be the overarching and underlying goal of young adult religious education?

Do you think that "christian" versions of contemporary music are more helpful than not in reaching teens and young adults?

Do you think that it would be more helpful or harmful to expose teens to JP2's "Theology of the Body" in religious ed?

Do you think that these young adults would be interested in the early church fathers? In the historical reasons for Catholicism? In philosophy, art, and culture?

Inquiring minds want to know.

We are losing many of our best young folks. I am trying to figure out why, and if there is any way to reverse the trend from within High School religious ed, even among those kids who are only there because of parental pressure. I recognize that many of these parents were also not well catechized and may, in fact, be among the large group of cafeteria catholics.


In order, more or less:

quoting Dan Brown: I need a more detailed context before I can offer an opinion.

goal: to lead young adults to a deep relationship with Jesus Christ in His Body (the Church, of course) through the sacraments.

music: I don't know, but a mixture of old and new seems Biblical (Matt. 13:52).

Theology of the Body: I tend to think it would be a good idea. Challenging ideas need to be introduced at each phase of education to keep it worthwhile.

History, Church Fathers: They should be integrated into the material so that a broad familiarity ("I heard about him") is achieved.


My wife and I are teaching CCD to high school students this year. I have taught CCD before, but it has been several years, and never to high school youth.

1. I wouldn't want to legitimize Dan Brown (as above, I don't know the context, but I would think a better source could be found)

2. Fundamentally, high school students should know what the Church teaches on doctrine and morality and be developing their interior prayer life. Also, the youth should be familiar and comfortable with the Bible.Usually the focus of the first two must be basic because their education is lacking - however in an ideal world, the doctrine and morality could be deeper, more complex, and draw on readings from Church Fathers, papal writings etc. Unfortunately, most are not ready for the in depth studies.

3. Christian contemporary music? I am not sure I see the long-term value. It is true that St. Paul would listen to see where he could gain a foothold in preaching by understanding the audience's culture and beliefs. At the same time, people must be willing to pull themselves out of the pagan culture to see the Truth. I have heard arguments on both sides. I tend to the side stated above.

4. Most teens are not ready for such a mature subject - but they should be prepared so that they can receive this message later. In some senses, JPII's Theology of the Body is something, ideally, that is taught starting at a young age - not explicitly, but by attitudes and how modesty etc is taught. (This is a worthy of a post by itself). Most of today's youth don't have those building blocks or maturity. These must be given first.

5. Yes to all - of course depending on presentation.

The problem with HS religous ed - even in the best programs- is that it stands entirely alone (for the most part). It is not supplementing the religious education at home-because usually there is none. Unless there is religious ed at home, CCD is doomed to failure (30 hours a year). You hit it on the head. The parents were not well-catechized.

But that which is impossible for man...with God's grace....

I would only want Dan Brown mentioned with a disclaimer....a very strong and definite disclaimer. I wouldn't want his name/reputation to be given any credibility. Something like "This is one of the many places where Dan Brown gets it wrong."

HS kids should be learning apologetics. Kids this age love to be right and as they are heading out to "the world", it would be good for them to know how Scripture can be misinterpreted. Even if they don't remember the exact Scripture and Catholic explanation of it, they will remember that it is very easy to take it out of context and misrepresent it.

Hmmmm...overarching goal...I think they should be Catholic because *they* want to be, not because MOm and Dad said so. In order to do this, they need good catechisis and a good prayer life. Really tough to do!

I'm not sure what this music is. Does Marie Bellet count? How does a group sing about sex and drugs from a Christian perspective??

Theology of the Body....toughie. Kids who have grown up in a family supporting/living it should be able to handle it. Most of the others probably really need it. I guess if the kids have already been sexualized, they should learn about Theology of the Body.

Early Church Fathers....I know precious little about them. I'm not all that interested in them, either. I think that someday I will delve into them, but right now, that stuff is too deep and too much like "history class" for me. It would be great to give the kids a taste so that they don't wind up like me!

In short, if the kids have teachers who love the faith and have a bit of 'coolness' to them, the kids will respond.

I think it's really important for them to be immunized against Protestantism. Really important.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by alicia published on September 25, 2005 6:44 PM.

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