Original Research - Special Collection: The Reformation, Transformation and Change Agency

John Knox and education

Graham A. Duncan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4346 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4346 | © 2017 Graham A. Duncan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 October 2016 | Published: 30 June 2017

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Graham A. Duncan, Department of Church History, Christian Spirituality and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa

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John Knox the 16th century Scottish reformer made a lasting impact on the Scottish nation in the fields of society, politics, church and education. He is remembered mainly for his reform of the church but he also made a significant contribution to the reform of education, which has lasted until the present day and has impacted on other contexts. Although much of his vision was not realised during his lifetime, his mission continued nonetheless. He was a product of the late Medieval age and his transformation was completed by his experience alongside John Calvin in Geneva. This was then contextualised in his own Scottish situation. Here we examine his work in the field of education with particular reference to the First Book of Discipline. The outcome of his labours was a compulsory, universal system of free education, which involved character formation and enabled all to achieve the limit of their potential.


Education; First Book of Discipline; John Calvin; John Knox; Medieval education; Scottish universities; usefulness


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