Is This Principle of Universal Compulsory Education New?

`Abdu’l-Bahā claims:

“Bahā’u’llāh declares that all mankind should attain knowledge and acquire an education. This is a necessary principle of religious belief and observance, characteristically new in this dispensation.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 455.

Hundreds of years before Bahā’u’llāh was born, the necessity of education and it being compulsory, had been brought up by philosophers like Plato (427–348 BC) and Aristotle (384–322 BC). The first official movements in support of compulsory education were during the reforms of the sixteenth century Christian monk, Martin Luther.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and after the industrial revolution, European countries had come to the conclusion that education was fundamental to development and advancement. The modern schooling system was introduced in Germany during the eighteenth century and was soon adopted in other European countries. In the nineteenth century, non-European countries like Japan and the United States adopted a policy of compulsory primary school education.

Apart from philosophical recommendations and national constitutions, divine religions have been a source of promoting education and the acquirement of knowledge ever since antiquity. Education and seeking knowledge were greatly emphasized in the scripture of many religions. Can we believe that Bahā’u’llāh had not seen these scriptures while he was in Persia?

Courtesy:- Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings

 

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