Debrey Regis, Teaching religion in the neuter-religious school, Introduction by Jacques Lang, translated by George Karampelas, Hestia, Athens, 2004, pp. 101.
The book, as it is explained in the preface by Jacques Lang, Minister of National Education of France, constitutes a Memorandum to the French Ministry of Education and concerns the sober treatment of religion, in an inter-thematic way, in the public neuter-religiousschool, recognizing it as a structural element of the history of humanity.
In the first chapter, unfolding his thought, Debrey argues on the necessity of the completion of the missing link of religious information by school education. In the second chapter, examining the objections to the above-mentioned attempt, he argues that the teaching of religion is not religious teaching. In the third chapter, the obstacles that such an effort faces are reported briefly, while in the fourth one the transition from the neuter-religion of incompetence (sacred does not differ from religious by definition), to the neuter-religion of comprehension (that wants and must comprehend and explore anything related to the religious phenomenon) is recorded. In the fifth chapter, the proposals for the actualization of this attempt, which does not concern the establishment of a separate course, but the inter-thematic and multifaceted approach of the religious phenomenon, are developed analytically.
Following in the annex is Jacques Lang’s letter of invitation to Debrey Regis to undertake the Memorandum. Next is the addendum, in the Greek translation of the book by Pantelis Kalaitzidis whose subject is the teaching of religion in France and Greece. Starting from Debrey’s views, Kalaitzidis examines the cases of Greece and France regarding the course of religion at school (absence in the first case, obligatory and confessional course in second one). He introduces an alternative proposal of obligatory teaching of religions in Greece, and particularly the teaching of Orthodoxy, whose criterion and legitimizing base is not confession, but culture and the intercultural approach of religions.