Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teaching for Christian wisdom: Towards a holistic approch to education and formation of the Presbetrian Church in Egypt
by Estafanos, Samy A. H., Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2015, 330; 10109764
Abstract (Summary)

In many ways, Christian education of the Presbyterian Church was deeply influenced with the public education in Egypt. One of the negative consequences of such influence is the significant lack of developing and using critical thinking as a basic element of the process. While multiple factors and reasons, educational and theological, contribute forming it, this problem manifests itself in many ways. This research, therefore, deals with the problem of the lack of critical thinking as a central element of the problematic reality of education process in the Presbyterian Church in Egypt. In order to illuminate and address this problematic situation, an American philosopher, psychologist, and educator John Dewey was brought into a dialogue with a reformer and theologian John Calvin within the framework of understanding Christian education as practical theology of Christian educator and practical theologian Richard Osmer.

In the light of this dialogue, not only the lack of critical thinking, but also other multiple dimensions of the problematic situation of Christian education in the Presbyterian Church in Egypt have become apparently distinguished. Lack of democracy, lack of using experience, lack of creative pedagogies, lack of practical reason, and lack of theology from the process are some of these dimensions. Yet, it has become increasingly evident that division and dualistic thinking are fundamental elements, which reflected the deep need for a different approach to the Presbyterian education in Egypt. Adapting Osmer’s comprehensive approach to Christian education as practical theology, I propose a “holistic approach towards Christian education,” which aims at transforming education into a reconciling process. Through the holistic approach, the Presbyterian education process in Egypt will be able to work on reconciling the divine authority with the human agency; creation theology with the redemption theology; faith with reason; and theology with philosophy. It is through this approach that the Christian education process is able, not only to create critical theologians, but also to develop a contextual theology that is Eastern Egyptian Arabic contemporary theology.

Keywords: practical theology, critical thinking, practical reason, democracy, experience, and holistic approach

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mikoski, Gordon
Commitee: Dean, Kenda, Osmer, Richard
School: Princeton Theological Seminary
Department: Practical Theology
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Theology, Religious education, Education philosophy
Keywords: Critical thinking, Democracy, Egypt, Experience, Holistic approach, Practical reason, Practical theology, Presbyterian
Publication Number: 10109764
ISBN: 978-1-339-73033-2
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