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Document Details :
Title: The Call to Teach
Subtitle: An Exploration within the Christian Tradition on the Spirituality of the Teacher's Vocation as 'Contemplative Practitioner'
Author(s): VAN CROMBRUGGE, Hans
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 23 Date: 2013
In this contribution we explore – in the context of Christian tradition(s) – the meaning of ‘calling’ as a concept to say something about the spirituality of the teacher and the teaching profession. Speaking about the calling of the teacher also raises questions about the possible added value of the concept of ‘calling’ to talk about education as a spiritual activity. We start from two more or less recent discussions, or rather differences in opinion among educationalists, concerning the meaningfulness of referring to the teaching profession as a calling. Then we try to understand the different appreciations of the word ‘calling’ against a historical background. There are several traditions that stress different connotations of the concept of ‘calling’. Since there have been recent shifts within these traditions, we do not choose from one of them but rather attempt to show that ‘calling’ is an ambivalent – different from ambiguous – notion with necessarily two aspects that include each other. We point to the necessity to make a distinction between vocation (Beruf) and calling (Berufung) as two sides of the same coin. In view of this spiritual perspective, we situate the teacher’s job, vocation and profession.