The philosophy of education of Jacques Maritain and religious education

Luz M Ibarra, Fordham University


This dissertation proposes Maritain's philosophy of education as a crucial tool for any attempt by us to recover certain valuable truths and fundamental principles for the solution of the educational dilemmas of the present day, especially those of religious education. This dissertation seeks to make the case for Maritain's thought as a source of light, direction, foundation, and integration in the field of religious education. Maritain's thoughts offer a model for the specific field of religious education, in both theory and practice. This dissertation is an accurate study of the Catholic philosophy of education of Maritain as set forth in his published writings. We attempt to demonstrate that this philosophy of his is still relevant, and that a consideration of the philosophical-religious idea of the human person is an indispensable point of departure for any educational theory. This dissertation proposes the philosophy of education as necessary in religious education. It fosters unity by considering the human person as unity. Maritain's theocentric humanism stresses not only the relation between God and humanity, but that between humanity and the world. His thinking fosters unity in a religious education that becomes a liberating process, and a process that conforms with the goal of religious education: to deliver persons from all that can present an obstacle to their being united to God by fostering the spiritual life of religious educators and society alike. This liberating process helps human beings to become who they really are and can be put into practice through religious educational programs including theology and spirituality in the curriculum. Maritain's philosophy of education applied to religious education fosters community life and active participation within it.

Subject Area

Religious education|Education philosophy

Recommended Citation

Ibarra, Luz M, "The philosophy of education of Jacques Maritain and religious education" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3399511.