Thursday, 25 September 2008

Don Bosco and Reason

Don Bosco was brought up in the age of the Italian Restoration which was attempting to do away with the excesses of the French Revolution and get back to simple, more orderly, hierarchical and religious times. He was, therefore, deeply conservative in upbringing. That is why it is all the more surprising that he chose to enshrine 'reason' as one of the three pillars of his Preventive System of Education. We Salesians here in India have perhaps still to unpack the full meaning of this choice, by setting it back into its context, and perhaps into the widening circle of contexts that places the Restoration within the context of the French Revolution as well as the ideals of the European Enlightenment.

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