21 June 2022

When is Education "Pure Evil"?

At the end of World War II, a brilliant young English classicist ... a Wykehamist and a scholar of his College to boot ... who was in his twenties, was charged with interrogating members of the Hitler Youth. As John Dancy's Times obituary put it, "The sight of boys who had succumbed to [Nazi indoctrination] shocked him deeply. They were without fear or any idea of right and wrong ... They were, he realised, the victims of a 'perversion of education carried so far as to be be almost satanic.'"

These young fellows were also, he noticed, defective in the sphere of mirth.

Dancy then returned to Oxford, and scooped up the Craven and the Hertford and the Gaisford Prize for Greek Prose. But the career of a don no longer appealed to him; he was to devote the rest of his life (November 13, 1920 - December 28, 2019) to schoolmastering. 

Indeed, he became head master of Lancing College. Lancing's Founder, Nathanael Woodard, had come to the conclusion, a century before, that "Education without Religion is pure Evil." At a time when the old schools of Catholic England had been turned into institutions ("Public Schools") to perpetuate the 'Enlightenment' assumptions of an arrogant Protestant governing class, Woodard founded a new set of collegiate schools designed to provide the Christian education in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England. Such Catholicism, he fervently believed, had ceased to be the purpose of the Large School Near Slough, and of schools like it. At the heart of Woodard's method were 'auricular Confession' and the Patronage of the Great Mother of God.

In my own most decidedly unhumble view, the theory and practise of Education which have taken control during the decades of my own life in Education have demonstrated the complete truth of Woodard's conviction that "Education without [the Catholic] Religion is Pure Evil." 

I have little doubt that our masters will soon turn to the extirpation of Home Schooling.

As for Dancy's analysis, I would dispute only his word almost

I wonder if it was the influence of those Hitler Youths that led Dancy, in 1954, to publish an elegant Commentary on Maccabees. 


Oliver Nicholson said...

Your final speculation is correct. I recall a paper given ca. 1967 to the Theological Society at Marlborough (where J. Dancy went on to be Master) making an analogy between 1 Maccabees and contemporary discontents.

coradcorloquitur said...

Yes, Father, the "extirpation" of homeschooling cannot be far behind in the luciferian agenda of those whose anguished souls can only be soothed (momentarily, for it would seem that agony is their permanent condition) by total, iron-fisted control---and they do know, as Catholics have long known, the great importance of the education (indoctrination in their case) of youth. Could I suggest that as a provision for draconian times ahead at the hands of "the open-minded, tolerant, compassionate, sensitive Left" (chuckle, chuckle), Catholic homes be equipped with solid books in all sorts of disciplines, especially philosophy, theology, and literature? I don't think it is utopic to hope that at least a modest but classical, orthodox library can be established in most homes---perhaps close to a private oratory in a quiet part of the house. This is possible, I think, even in small dwellings, with some imagination and tasteful creativity. It is not too early to prepare for what looks increasingly like an ominous future for true Christians.

John Vasc said...

I can certainly imagine that any interest in Maccabees might be inspired by an understanding of the need to vehemently resist a cruel anti-religious tyranny whose aim is to extirpate a godly tradition.
Waugh's 'Sword of Honour' trilogy begins with the grim sense of relief Guy has at being able (following the German-USSR pact) to confront the two great totalitarian tyrannies at once. Later, we meet his bitter scorn at being forced to regard one of the two monsters as an 'ally'.

Deimater said...

Many Catholic school boards in Ontario, including Toronto, now fly the pride flag throughout the month of June. I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions.

Thomas said...

Yes! Thank you.