In this paper I aim to present perspectives upon continuities between Church and School. From a theological point of view, I will argue for the fruitfulness of analyzing the Classroom as a form of sacred Space in analogy with the Church as a room for worship, and for analyzing the ... (Show more)
In this paper I aim to present perspectives upon continuities between Church and School. From a theological point of view, I will argue for the fruitfulness of analyzing the Classroom as a form of sacred Space in analogy with the Church as a room for worship, and for analyzing the Teachers as performing holy practices in line with a priest or a pastor.
The Schoolhouse, the Church building and the Prayer house were all crucial buildings in the Nordic society during late 19th and early 20th centuries. The school hall with its spatial conditions and furnishings inhabited many similarities with both the Church of the Parish and the Prayer houses. The rows of benches were in both church and school placed in straight rows and those sitting by these benches turned their attention to the pulpit in church or the so-called cathedra (kateder) in school. In several places, the rows of benches were divided by gender, with boys on one side of the aisle and girls on the other, reminiscent of a Post-Reformation church room. Furthermore, both the Church room and Prayer house, as well as the School hall, housed an organ.
The practices that were expressed in the different environments mentioned above also had similarities. In all three, the Word was at the center through reading Bible texts and through preaching or teaching. Hymn singing was also a central practice in all these different contexts and environments.
In these environments and at the center of the practitioners, there were actors in the form of Priests, Cantors, Preachers and Teachers as well as the congregation and the students with the roles of giving and receiving teaching in various forms.
The purpose of this paper is to track and compare how different practices, spatial expressions and role of actors were moved from one environment to another. How were ecclesiastical (and non-ecclesiastical) practices expressed in school? Which practices, spatial expressions and actors were inherited from one context to another and which were transformed and acquired (partly) and given new expressions or meanings?
The historical continuities between Church and School in the Nordic realm are still waiting to be investigated in a more systematic way. This paper aims at pointing at some possible roads ahead for further research. (Show less)