A History Of Sunday School And Religious Instruction

Religion is largely based on personal experiences of the metaphysical realm. An individual originally becomes concerned with a Higher Power because of some kind of event or occurrence that simply cannot be explained by logic or reasoning. When one begins asking questions concerning the Higher Power and the spirit realm, one quickly begins seeking the answers to those particular questions.

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Thus, although religion could be based on the person and his or her personal experiences, it is actually largely propagated through knowledge and education. One of the key methods of religious education, in particular within the Christian faith, is through Sunday school.

The concept began in England during the 1700s and was the result of religious revivals happening all around the world. Some claim it was Roman Catholicism that started the first school even while others claim Protestantism began the custom. Although the beginnings of the institution may be somewhat uncertain, it is universally recognized that this tradition started with Christianity.

Before the days of public schooling when schooling was for the wealthy upper class, crime and poverty permeated the poorer areas of society. A journalist named Robert Raikes observed this urgent situation and opened a public school that operated on Sundays, which was the only real day that many children had off of work in the factories as well as other such employers. Their only textbook was the Bible, but it was used to teach secular subjects together with religious ones. Over the next century, comparable schools started to spring up around Europe and throughout America, with millions of children in regular attendance worldwide.

Today these kinds of schools are almost exclusively for the function of teaching religious doctrine. Other religions, for example Judaism, have come to use the term Sunday school to refer to their religious instruction, while Catholicism mostly describes it as being Catechism class. Religion has remained a strong force in the world largely because of the institution.

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As the characteristics of society continue to change and evolve all around the world, religion will transform and evolve, as will its techniques of instructing and handing down tradition and doctrine to generations to come. Presently, Sunday school remains a firm pillar of religion; it continues as a long-standing tradition and a beacon of hope for many people, offering a safe haven in a world of crime, poverty, negativity, and violence. Much like the world in which the institution began, Sunday remains for a lot of people the one day to devote to religious study and fellowship with like-minded believers. For these reasons and more, this institution will most likely be around for a long time to come.

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