Posted by Evanthia on April 17, 2002 at 17:36:15:
In Reply to: Re: Christianity and Ancient Greek Culture a contradiction? posted by Panos on April 17, 2002 at 11:18:49:
I agree it is a great shame that over the last 40 years the Greek educational system has failed its students badly by not emphasising history, including ancient history, in its curriculum. However I doubt you gained detailed knowledge of ancient Greek studies in the normal course of your high school studies, I'm guessing you would have to specialise in selecting courses beginning in the seniour years of high school or later in college or university. You're entitled to your view of the Orthodox Church's role in history and in contemporary events. I think you're also correct in your opinion that many Greeks care little for their past and that's just as true of learning about the ancients as it is about learning about events in the past 100 years. But there is hope for Greeks. I have been on many educational weekends hosted by academics and amateur historians that take people to sites of ancient and modern events, and discuss with the group what happened etc. The tour leaders are of mixed opinions and greatly educational conversations result with the groups. And do you know who makes up these groups? NOT tourists, but ordinary Athenians from all walks of life from all age groups from teenagers to the elderly. That's what gives me hope and is another element of why I love Greeks, their curiosity, their energy to take time out from their everyday lives to find out, to enquire, to assess and to discuss, to weigh and to learn, just like you're doing right now.
I may add that I too received most of my education outside of Greece, and one thing that struck me is that the west's view of Greece is still somewhat colored by a form of western romaniticism coloured by the age of the romantics (early industrial revolution, late 18th and early 19th century) view of Hellas. We should be thankful of this because this view helped Greece survive, and it was such a strongly held view that it even inspired Byron to put his life on the line for the ideal of Hellas. Now modern Greece has to be accepted on a different basis, never forgetting that it is a Balkan country. Of course the romantic view (and please don't think I feel that is wrong)and the modern experience of Greece are very different things. Think of ancient Rome under the caesars and the modern city of Rome and a clash of impressions is inevitable. And one of the modern realities of Greece is that the church's influence is indeed waning for good or for ill depending on your opinion. Another modern reality is that the education system in the primary and secondary school levels has to be definitely improved to include ALL of Greece's history as mandatory to ALL students.
You may feel that ancient Greece only lives in the west (and it does as a romantic ideal), but I know the reality of modern Greece and it INCLUDES modern Greeks seeking out and learning it.
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