Thursday, July 9, 2020

Benedikt Egli: "The Faith is Evaporated, Vaporized, Dissipated" Especially in Catholic Schools

Benedikt Egli: “Evaporated, Vaporized, Dissipated. The Change in Religious Formation at Catholic University Preparatory Schools in German-Speaking Switzerland Between 1960 and 1980 ”.

 Book tip by Hans Jakob Bürger

Linz ( Many "Catholic schools" did not survive the Post-Conciliar period. There were various reasons for this: explosively increased costs for schools and University Preparatory, the decline in religious orders and the increase in those leaving religious life, above all the evaporation of the Catholic faith.

The secondary and high school teacher Benedikt Egli, who has several years of experience in school and boarding school, has published a book on the educational history of Catholic boarding schools in German-speaking Switzerland. Under the title "Evaporated, Vaporized, Dissipated,"  he examines the "change in religious imprint" between 1960 and 1980. His observations are likely to be important for the entire German-speaking world.

Egli documents and analyzes in 160 pages an extremely interesting period in the developmental history of Catholic boarding schools. We all know that the Catholic religion changed [sic]  a lot between 1960 and 1980. This is also evident in the area of ​​education. Because the “religious stamp of Catholic boarding schools” has undergone a major change.

Readers can learn themselves of the detailed work and take note of what has happened in known and less well-known boarding schools in Switzerland in the period of just twenty years. To this end, he studied sources intensively and evaluated interviews with eyewitnesses and questionnaires. Information at the end of the book is provided by a comprehensive list of sources and literature as well as an appendix with many tables.

The Faith is "Evaporated, Vaporized, Dissipated". Indicators of Egli's allegations are the signs of dissolution in the Catholic Church, the massive decline in attendance at Sunday Mass with the almost total loss of Mass participants, the disappearance of the confessional, the sharp decline in religious vocations, the increasingly insidious lack of understanding of confessional differences, as well as the loss of the Church's influence in the modern world, especially its loss in terms of sexual morality. All of this is also reflected in the events at University Preparatory Schools. Were educators and teachers witnesses to the faith or were they perhaps not even Catholic? Also admitting the opposite sex, the changes both in religious education and in other areas of school religious education; - Egli tried to fathom all of this and presented it in his book.

Benedikt Egli's conclusion is more than sobering: the religious character has evaporated and dissipated; "The schools went through an internal secularization, a denominationalization and a liberalization".

Trans: Tancred

You can order the book in German online, here.


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