At the very centre of the universal Church’s most recent document on catechesis, the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC), issued in 1997, lies the notion of ‘the pedagogy of God’. What does this phrase mean, and why is it so important?[i]
We will see that it provides the key for understanding the specific nature and character of catechesis according to the mind and heart of the Church, and especially for the linking of the content of what is taught to how we teach, and for linking the work of the catechist to the work of the Blessed Trinity in catechesis. The ‘pedagogy of God’ is not so much a theory of education or even a set of principles to guide us. Rather, this central section of the Directory reminds us to focus on the action and work of God who is the Pedagogue, forming and transforming those whom we teach, drawing them to himself through a unique kind of educational discipline.
This article will expound the teaching of the GDC (137-147) on this area so as to draw out the main features of the pedagogy of God.
God is the Pedagogue, and we catechise attentive to his ways.