(CZ) Jana Amose Komenského pokrokovost a aktuálnost
(EN) Progressivism and Topicality of J. A.Comenius
Autor / Author: Polišenský, J.
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The vitality of Comenius’ heritage is proved by the fact that today, 300 years after his death, his work is still a subject of a scientific discussion and even struggle. Voices can be heard abroad, and sometimes in our country, too, expressing doubts, embarrassment and showing misunderstanding. Our task 'is to take up a position vis-a-vis these voices. Comenius and the class-divided society of his times: It is not easy to study Comenius’ life and work, and we have no reliable biography conceived in a modem way. Really, it is not a sign of modern interpretation if isolated quotations are picked out of Comenius’ work, if he is interpreted from a single work, however representative. On the contrary, we can understand Comenius better if we study him in the context of the contemporary society — that is a class-divided society. Comenius’ the Unity and the Czech society before the White Mount ain: The relationship of Comenius to the Unity of Brethren was in no way simple and was continually developing. It’s social composition has not yet been analysed, although sources for at least some of its communities are available. Comenius passed from the “Little” Unity to the “Great” Unity, within whose framework it no longer mattered whether it would keep its name, whether it would jealously guard its teaching of faith against other Protestants or even the whole of Christendom. Comenius inclined towards the rationalization of faith, even though he never managed to resolve the relationship of reason and faith. But it was the same with other great men of the 17th and even the 18th century. They, too, believed in revelations, but hardly anyone tried to rationalize the revelations as honestly as Comenius did. Comenius cannot be compressed into the formula of one particular faith or a single artistic or literature style. He was a good representative of pre-White-Mountain culture, but he was also capable of a critical approach to it, which can rarely be said of others. Comenius as a socio-political thinker: Comenius was a conscious follower of the Dutch model of socio-political thinking. The Spanish “universal monarchy” was regarded by him as the arch-enemy of the development of European peoples. His attitude to the English Revolution was contradictory: while accepting its programme of school and educational reform, he rejected its Independent ideology. We cannot use today’s yardstick in assessing Comenius. However, he was a modern and political man by nature and the struggle for his heritage is part of our constant struggle for the progressive traditions of our culture.
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