ARCH (Artistic & Religious Culture & Heritage)

ARCH (Artistic & Religious Culture & Heritage) project aims at enhancing the Religious Heritage and its impact on society at local/national/European level. Religious buildings, together with their contents and all the architects, artists and musicians, festivals and other markers of cultural heritage are important for how people publicly define themselves, and identify with a group or a tradition. Acknowledging them therefore helps people to be themselves. On the other hand, good educational practice will always be that which moves beyond the binaries and boundaries of stereotypical, fixed identities. In the constantly changing religious makeup of European societies, religious diversity is one of the gifts of the EU. Since the fear of the other causes barriers between religions/nations and leads to divisions and fall of civilizations we must call for the gift of reconciliation. When this openness is achieved, schools become places where not only any individual may be who they are, but where diverse communities are brought together to flourish. During the project there will be activities that will discover the Religious Heritage of Europe from different points of view. Participants will spot local/regional religious buildings and monuments. Also, activities will be held about religious art and traditions/festivals of each religion. Last, we will examine issues related to religion and society to promote the humanitarian aspect of the project. The methodology applied throughout the project will involve both formal and non-formal/informal and experiential learning. Educational visits to sites of great religious interest combined with seminars and workshops will activate students’ interest and raise their awareness on religious heritage. The results of the project have to do with the engagement of participants and interested parties in raising awareness, protecting and promoting Religious Heritage so as to bring sustainable development of a local/national level. Additionally the inspiring of the young generation, the exchange of good practices, the dialogue between religious communities, cognitive skills and the openness of school to different religious traditions are expected results. The impact of the project involves the participant schools, the local population and other relevant stakeholders and organizations. All together will work in order to save Religious Heritage and harness its power to drive socio-economic development in European cities. Finally, we expect it to be a journey of generations, for our historic resentments and hatreds. It is not agreement on all things, for that is impossible, but the acceptance of diversity, even disagreement and yet love in all things.

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