The "Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba and its contribution to the socializing process among the preteen and teen population"

Members of the Emmanuel College community gathered with others from the Toronto School of Theology and the Church to hear the lecture presented by Anne Duncan Gray visiting scholar, Nelson Alejo Davila-Rodriguez on November 24, 2010 at Emmanuel College.

Nelson's Lecture,  "The Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, and its Contribution to the Socializing Process among the Pre-teen and Teen Population" is based on his Doctoral Thesis in Education which he has been writing while in residence at Emmanuel College.  Beginning with Paulo Freire's assertion that all participate in the educational process of everyone, Nelson reminded us that "to educate" means that we are transformed from objects to subjects.  UNESCO's four pillars of knowledge were a powerful framework for his topic: learn to know, learn to do, learn to live together, learn to be.   Contrasting the ways in which many, both in Cuban and western society generally consider knowledge something to be acquired for individual benefit, Nelson affirmed a pedagogy which expects individual knowledge and skills to be used for the benefit of communities as a whole.

Challenging his own church and the churches in other places to push back against the "having culture" and emphasize the role of education in learning to live together and to be, Nelson talked about the ways in which the church through its education programs can contribute to the socialization and humanization of its children, members and communities.  This involves an approach that sees a connection between Christian discipleship and civic duty and is best done in partnership with home and school.

Those in attendance found many similarities in Nelson's descriptions of the particular challenges faced by the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba and our own context.   Following his Lecture, lively questions and discussion ensued, facilitated by the Spanish-English interpreting of Nestor Medina.  Thanks to all for coming and to Nelson Alejo Davila-Rodriguez for sharing his scholarship and time as a member of the Emmanuel Community in this fall term.

Nelson Alejo Davila-Rodriguez lecturerevised

Continuing Education