National Contours for Moral Education: Netherlands
Military Strength + Weapons Exports
COMENIUS, J A
1592 - 1670
John Amos Comenius was associated with the Protestant Christian movement of Moravian Brethren which gave special attention to direct experience. He developed a well tried method of education, beginning in the home in which mothers, fathers and siblings were all involved in mutual learning. They could learn from the natural world around them, and there was a genetically given developmental process. Children would learn more from games with others than from corporal punishment. Girls as much as boys should be taught everything and all should attend a common school.
1466 - 1536
Desiderius Erasmus was a Christian humanist who used his skills as a theologian to engage critically with biblical studies, doctrinal debate with Luther and in partial defence and partial satire of the Catholic church. He studied and taught in university centres such as Basel, Cambridge, Louvain, Oxford, and Paris and became the outstanding scholar of his time. His expertise included those of biblical translator, editor and interpreter of traditional Christian texts and satirist. He drew attention to the principle of reciprocity in medical ethics and to the ‘unnatural wickedness’ of war.
1583 - 1645
A Dutch lawyer, diplomat and Christian theologian – gifted writer and political operator. He wrote extensively regarding claims to truth in religion and set out a coherent basis for national and international law. This he expounded as defensible by natural reasoning which he saw as complementary to special revelation rather than contradictory of it.
1496 - 1561
Initiator of Anabaptist reform movement. He abandoned his Roman Catholic priesthood on political and doctrinal principles – true Christianity entails adult believer’s baptism rather than infant incorporation and the ritual of bread and wine did not involve their ‘magical’ transformation into flesh and blood. To express its purity, his new community deliberately separated itself from the state and all its works, including armed forces and the legal system. Both he and his followers were persecuted by both Catholics and some fellow Protestants, but his teaching led to the creation of Mennonite communities throughout Europe and subsequently in N America.
1632 - 1677
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE
From a background that had experienced religious persecution, Baruch Spinoza applied philosophical reasoning and evidence based research to both ethics and religion. Any truth which they might legitimately claim is properly based in the same reasoned argumentation as is found in mathematics. Goodness and Godness are given in the nature of the universe – a view which led to his being given a lifetime ban by the Jewish community (also placed on the Vatican Index) and his generally being categorised as a pantheist. Moral learning requires recognition of any irrational feelings and influences plus a determination to act differently.
Anne Frank House