The slightly mysterious abbreviation means spirituality, rituals and texts related to sacred spaces of contemporary Europe. And between 21-25th May 2018, the project launching conference took place in Belgium. František Štěch was invited to join this project as fundamental theologian with overlaps to practical theology and religious education [RE]. The SpiRiTex project is designed for professors and their graduate students pursuing the future career of RE teachers. It is based at the University of Bonn and managed by prof. Hubertus Roebben who serves also as a member of the international advisory board of the cTPM.
The SpiRiTex-project aims at exploring sacred spaces, rituals and texts as resources for RE with future RE teachers. Through specific field work experiences, students learn to perceive, understand and communicate the importance of sacred spaces, texts and rituals for their own spiritual development and for the spiritual well-being of children and young people in schools in Europe tomorrow. The basic assumption of the project is that these three spiritual sources can become vital re-sources, when they are re-created, re-defined and re-appropriated in the very act of learning. Learning happens on the road – in encounter and contemplation, in dialogue and reflection. The pedagogy evolving out of this project is a “pedagogy of pilgrimage”, and if it shall be a proper religious pedagogy it needs to be well rooted in an up to date theology. The cTPM is proud to serve this project by František Štěch’s involvement and expertise. It is good example of practical impact of our theoretical research.
The format of the pilgrimage conference proved to be inspiring are relevant already during the launching event. Students and their professors pilgriming during days together, visiting (sacred) places, reading texts, talking to fellow pilgrims, keeping silence with them, learning in the presence of the other, listening to the expert inputs from religious educators, theologians, as well as architects and from those who shape public life… this was the first SpiRiTex-pilgrimage conference which took place in Flanders, Belgium (Drongen, Brugge, Groot-Bijgaarden, Leuven and Borgloon) from 21 until 25 May 2018, with participants from Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Latvia and the Czech Republic. In future it will move around other European countries, and it is important to note that the cTPM is a hot candidate for hosting SpiRiTex 2019.