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Religious Education (Articles on)


The articles in the New Catholic Encyclopedia under the headings religious education, religious education association, and religious education movement use religious education as a generic term descriptive of a range of activities associated with learning about religious beliefs and practices. Related to these entries is a cluster of articles that in some cases overlaps and complements the above, and in some cases describes religious indoctrination that for some is incompatible with true religious education. This latter cluster is grouped under some cognate of catechesis. They include three entries on the history of catechesis, catechesis (early christian); catechesis (medieval) and catechesis (reformation). Important in the history of catechesis are the confraternity of christian doctrine and munich method in catechesis. The article catechisms is complemented by entries describing specific catechisms, catechism of the catholic church, catechism of the council of trent, and catechisms in colonial america. Another genre of catechetical works is described under the headings general directory for catechesis and catechetical directories, national. The general entry describing the role and tasks of the catechist is complemented by biographies of a large number of individuals, some canonized and some beatified, who authored catechisms and worked as catechists. A number of associations to assist catechists in their work include the international council for catechesis and the national conference of catechetical leadership. Another cognate, catechumenate traces the history of that institution and describes the modern form that is closely related to the liturgy, the sacraments of initiation, and sacramental practice in general. This relationship is explored in detail under the heading liturgical catechesis and to some extent first communion and infant baptism.

[b. l. marthaler]

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