In a period of intense theological ferment, where social and political changes have shaped a transitional period for the teaching of the RE in the Greek school, the present study, part of which is republished here with a focus on the levels of secularization of Greek parents, is part of my doctoral thesis, which is yet unpublished. It seeks to shed light on, the unknown, until recently, attitudes and positions of parents on Religious Education. The sample of the study consisted of parents and guardians of children of any age (N = 1032). According to the results of the selected analyzes presented here, Religious Education and the Orthodox Christian religion appear without losing its cultural and social value. We therefore conclude that secularization has not eroded the cohesive social fabric of modern Greek society, which continues to be a collective culture.
Aims: The main aim of this article is to investigate the attitudes and perceptions of parents and guardians about the teaching of religious education of their children. In this article are presented specific variables from my doctoral dissertation related to secularization levels of the sample of the research.
Study Design: The design of the research was based on the assumption that parents and guardians have a special interest in the Religious Education of their children, which is shaped by a variety of factors.
Place and Duration of Study: The sample of the research were parents from various regions of Greece. The specific administrations were selected based on "convenience sample". The final application of the research was introduced by distributing printed questionnaires during the period 29/03/2017- 14/12/2017, where 453 questionnaires were completed. During the same period, the questionnaire was formed and sent in electronic form via Google forms, from where 578 completed questionnaires were collected. For this purpose, an e-mail was sent to the country's primary and secondary schools, requesting that it be forwarded to the parents and guardians of the pupils.
Methodology: The sample consisted of 1032 parents and quardians of children in any age; about 85% of the subjects of the survey have children at school age (5-18 y); 15% of survey subjects stated that their children are either adults or children in pre-school. Νot any statistically significant difference was found between parents with children of different age.All parents/ guardians were selected in a statistically random way. Regarding the research methodology, the research instrument used was a structured questionnaire.
Results: The analysis of the research variables showed that parents and quardians as to their interest and attitude to the Religious Education (hereinafter the RE): they consider important the right to decide on the RE (67%), have a personal interest in the RE (69%), are aware of the parental right to choose their children's RE (74%). and they claim that one's attitude to the RE may be influenced by their parents' attitude towards the Orthodox Christian faith (86%).
As to the character of the RE: They do not reject the purely Orthodox lesson (51% positive and 14% neutral, that means 65% do not reject it). They are not negative in the teaching of other religions, but this is being done distinctly, in separate sections (65%).They agree that Orthodox pupils are treated unequally when they are not taught their faith compared to other religions’ pupils who are taught their faith (65%).
As to the value of the RE: They are in favour of the view that the RE in the Greek school is beneficial (82%) and that it is beneficial because it teaches to the student the message of life of Orthodox Christianity (78%). and that it is important to bring together the student with the parish life of the Church (70%).They are positive supported by the statement that the teaching of Orthodox Christian tradition affects the formation of the child's personality (77%).
Conclusion: Secularism has not eroded the cohesive social fabric of modern Greek society and still dominates a collective culture with fairly solid levels of religiousity. However, it is notable to see cultural variation, as a specific analysis has shown that residents from "Rural Area (up to 2,000 inhabitants)" seem less secular, closer to traditional cultural elements.