Faith and Knowledge

Nov 11, 2014, 10:57 PM

In this photograph we see the Cathedral of the Orthodox Communion in Novi Sad, Serbia, a temple dedicated to the Greatmartyr, Victory-bearer and Wonderworker George and, right next to it, the oldest elementary school in town, Gimnazija Jovan Jovanović Zmaj. They are located in the heart of the oldest part of Novi Sad, and it makes me think of the fact that in my home country, Denmark, the schools that later became secondary schools were originally called cathedral schools, also always located next to the medieval cathedrals, as they served to provide basic education for young boys, in order to prepare them for service as singers and altar boys in the churches. . In many ways it's quite a symbolic, or iconic, architectural arrangement, significant for European culture as such, as faith and knowledge lies at the heart of our Pan-european village. It is what has brought us thus far. . In recent years, though, a tendency of neglecting one side of this coin in favor of the other, or perhaps even rejecting it, has increased. Most likely because some rather rigid ideas about what connotations should be ascribed to faith, have prevailed. The two have undergone a dichotomy based on a perceived discrepancy. . Interestingly enough, though, the founders of the Faith, on which European civilization once saw itself embedded, never perceived such discrepancy to exist. Rather, they understood faith as hope—something that grows out of, lives in spite of, and is actually nourished by knowledge, which in turn is pursued and becomes firm within the structure and atmosphere of hope—or faith. . We need faith and knowledge—at the heart of our European civilization, as Novi Sad needs it—at the heart of its never ending buzz of good people coming and going. . It's what makes us human.