Germany's ambassador to the Holy See, Annette Schavan, has spoken out in favor of denominational religious instruction in German schools. At a panel discussion, however, she also received contra for her statement.
"The social responsibility toward religious education is also a responsibility against radicalization," Schavan said in Constance. Religious education is about discovering one's own identity and getting to know one's own and other religions. "I am firmly convinced that it is wrong to keep religion out of schools and universities," former Baden-Wurttemberg education minister said.
Schavan receives Contra
The chairman of the atheist Giordano Bruno Foundation, Michael Schmidt-Salomon, contradicted Schavan. Students should not be "religiously ghettoized" and should instead "consider together how it is possible to live together in society". Religion, on the other hand, strengthens the individual and weakens coexistence. "Love of neighbor can also quickly turn into xenophobia if the neighbor is only the one who belongs to one's own group," the philosopher said. Nevertheless, religion is also part of education. "You can't understand the world without the history of religion," Schmidt-Salomon said. The confessional instruction is however the wrong way.
Schmidt-Salamon went on to warn against the misuse of religion. "We live in the most peaceful time and region that has ever existed. And this is at the same time the most secularized region."Religion, on the other hand, threatens open society, as attacks by radical Muslims and Christian fundamentalists show. "I would have an easier time if I believed in God, then I would no longer receive death threats," Schmidt-Salomon said.
Discussion at "Constance Controversies
aut Schavan, on the other hand, it is not faith that is the cause of radicalization, but cultural and political currents. The Christian faith does not promote violence, but human freedom, Schavan said. "I would feel constricted if I believed that everything is over after death."Not believing in God is a self-limitation that deals only with what is obvious.
Schavan and Schmidt-Salomon discussed at the "Constance Controversies," a series of events commemorating the 600th anniversary of the Constance Council. The meeting in 1414-1418 was one of the most important political and religious gatherings of the Middle Ages.