Introducing Teenagers to a Dialogue with Judaism as the Task of School Catechesis
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This analysis proves that introducing teenagers to a dialogue with Judaism is one of catechesis’s tasks. This task has been outlined in the post-conciliar documents of the Catholic Church. It underlines the spiritual ties between Catholic people and the Jews and promotes forming an attitude of openness towards followers of the Mosaic religion. It also contributes to mitigating anti-Semitism among Catholic teenagers. At the same time, it raises interest in Jewish traditions and culture. In the religion syllabus in lower and post-secondary schools we can come across numerous references (mainly indirect) to Judaism. The focus on passing honest knowledge about Judaism can be also clearly visible. In this way, formation of the cognitive element of inter-religious dialogue takes place. On the other hand, less attention is devoted to other components of this attitude such as the emotional and behavioural elements. That is why there is a demand to complete the lacking elements by watching films and having discussions. The above mentioned multimedia materials called “The religion lesson” have been prepared to satisfy this need.Great importance is also attached to creating situations that allow Christian teenagers to participate in meetings with the Jews. It can be organized in the form of Days of Judaism and panel discussions with Jews and distinguished contemporary theologians and philosophers. Open meetings with representatives of Judaism are a great opportunity to perceive the Jews as “older brethren in the faith”. They let young people discover the cultural wealth and vision of Judaism and teach teenagers respect for the religious beliefs of the Jews. Thereby, they can contribute to the change of mentality of young participants of catechesis in their approach to Judaism. It is worth referring to the works of Jewish culture in these activities. It is the cultural heritage that comprises a great reference point to showing the strong Judaic roots of Christian culture. Thus, it is necessary, for the topics in Judaism proposed for religious syllabuses and catechetical material to be closely connected with organizing meetings of young Catholics with followers of the Mosaic religion. Only this kind of experience can contribute to an authentic inter-religious dialogue.
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