A lamp to our feet and a light to our path: Christiane Brusselmans and narrative in religious education

Margaret Myrtle Power, Fordham University


This study marks the place of Christiane Brusselmans, one of the great influential women pioneers of catechetics and religious education in the twentieth century. More specifically, the study seeks to investigate and shed light on Brusselmans' life, work, and contribution to the field of religious education. The purpose of the study is twofold. First, the primary purpose of this inquiry is to probe Christiane Brusselmans' sacramental vision so as to highlight her prophetic message as 'a lamp to our feet and a light to our path' in sacramental initiation, liturgical catechesis, and the implementation of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (including adaptation for children). The secondary purpose of the inquiry is to investigate the significance of Brusselmans' pedagogy of faith for the employment of narrative method as relational teaching in the curriculum of religious education. Through the lens of narrative inquiry, and, more specifically, through the lens of a philosophical inquiry into narrative method as relational teaching, including the appeal to narrative form in contemporary scholarship, the pedagogical underpinnings of Christiane Brusselmans are given a fresh new focus and light. In the study's exploration of narrative as relational teaching, the insights of Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore serve as another lens. The narrative hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur serve to guide the study's investigation of narrative form. To demonstrate the revelatory potential of narrative form, examples are drawn from the novels of two prominent Canadian authors: Margaret Laurence and Margaret Atwood. Six considerations frame the significance of this study and demonstrate its unique value for religious education: participation, biography as theology, hermeneutics, bridging of disciplines, catechetics, and aesthetics.

Subject Area

Religious education|Biographies|Education history

Recommended Citation

Power, Margaret Myrtle, "A lamp to our feet and a light to our path: Christiane Brusselmans and narrative in religious education" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3221897.