The conference theme of Eduction, Ethos and Social Transformation has been a fascinating one. We have been able to gain new insights into the different ways in which education and the schools system engage with churches and religions in our different contexts, and also into the slippery but crucial concept of the 'ethos' of a school, and particularly a church school. What is ethos, how can it be shaped, and what impact does it have on a child's spiritual development?
These issues of education have also raised intriguing questions about church ethos and culture. Learning from teachers and educational theorists, how can church ethos as well as the actual content of our liturgy and teaching help and/or hinder faith development?
It was heartening and exciting to meet so many practitioners and theorists from across our region who are motivated and engaged with such questions, and who see the aim of education in radical terms, as being to change the world rather than simply to induct young people into the status quo. This raised important questions for me of the tension between these aims in the churches too (and I wrote this prose poem reflecting on this issue: 'To Change The World').
We intend to hold the next conference in Finland in 2015, on the theme of Public Theology or Faith in the Public Square. Watch this space!