Monday, September 10, 2012

Religion and Schools

I was thinking tonight as I walked my dogs about a 1963 essay by George Grant on religion in schools in Ontario.  At that time Grant noted that the public schools - then known as being openly Protestant - taught religion in a rote and unenthusiastic fashion.  He noted their true religion was progress and something he called technique.  By this latter he meant not the word as commonly understood, but as signifying an attention to producing better things - to an almost worship of material improvement.  He went on to say that only the Catholic schools still took religion seriously and taught it as though God were real.  The article in question is called Religion and the State and is found in the collection of essays Technology and Empire [originally published in Queen's Quarterly, 1963].

A good overview of three critics of modern society and its technological bias can be found in this article:

Context and Content:  Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan and George Grant and the Role of Technology in Modern Society by Philip Massolin in Past Imperfect, Vol. 5, 1996

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