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Catholicism, Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century France$
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Kay Chadwick

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239741

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312779

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Yeast in the dough? Catholic schooling in France, 1981–95

Yeast in the dough? Catholic schooling in France, 1981–95

(p.197) 9 Yeast in the dough? Catholic schooling in France, 1981–95
Catholicism, Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century France

Nicholas Beattie

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines Catholic education in France between 1981 and 1995, with emphasis on how Catholic schools have evolved in the secular context in order to survive. It considers the financial benefits afforded by the loi Debré of December 1959 in which schools had to comply with certain state requirements concerning curriculum content, educational standards, and pupils' individual freedom of conscience. The chapter also discusses the issue of whether Catholic schools in France exist in order to promote or extend a Catholic presence in French society; whether they are supposed to be the light on the lamp-stand, the salt in the food, the yeast in the dough. In addition, it assesses the existence of the Catholic system in relation to freedom of choice as well as the ‘separateness’ of Catholic schooling. Finally, the chapter shows how the Church accommodated the demands of secularism in the educational context of the Fifth Republic.

Keywords:   secularism, Catholic education, France, Catholic schools, loi Debré, freedom of choice, Fifth Republic

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