Catholic Educators

Picture of John Elias

Dr. John L. Elias (1933). A Roman Catholic, his interest in the religious education of adults arose from his exposure to intellectual giants in theology and education such as Freire, Horton, Illich, Hofinger and Jungmann. Building on this rich intellectual heritage and his considerable teaching and administrative experiences, Elias became one of the most significant writers in adult religious education of the 20th century.

The development of this essay involved searching the standard bibliographic databases: ERIC, EBSCO, ProQuest, ATLA, and the Catholic Periodical Index. As well, Dr. Elias provided extensive helpful information through email and telephone conversations.

Biography

John Lawrence Elias was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on December 23, 1933. He went to Roman Catholic primary and high schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Arts in 1955 and a Master of Divinity in 1959 from St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia. During his time at the seminary he received his first introduction to religious education through a series of optional lectures on catechetics by Fr. Charles Mynaugh, director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Elias was inspired by Fr. Mynaugh's enthusiasm for the work of the Confraternity; not surprisingly the Confraternity played a continuing and important role in Elias' life and work.

After his ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1959, Elias served for 4 years as Assistant Pastor at St. Jane Francis de Chantal Church in Easton, Pennsylvania. During this time he did extensive reading of Johannes Hofinger and Joseph Jungmann's kerygmatic approach to teaching religion. After studying the rather arid scholastic philosophy and theology Elias was enthusiastic about their ideas and was inspired to introduce the kerygmatic approach into his own preaching and later his teaching.

Around 1961 Elias started the first CCD program in the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, at the Church of St. Jane Francis de Chantal. He trained five men and one woman who took over the teaching of religion for grades 7 through 12. Previously, Elias and a fellow priest alternated giving religious instructions to the entire group, a rather impossible task. Other parishes heard of the new approach and invited Elias to set up programs for them, which he did, always accompanied by members of his CCD. He used the ideas of Hofinger and Jungmann in his training of these lay teachers.

In 1963 Elias began teaching religion to high school students at Notre Dame High School in Easton, Pennsylvania. For one of the classes he used the experimental Lord and King Series which Jesuit priests were using at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, New York. These men, Frs. Vincent Novak, Joseph Novak, John Nelson, and James DiGiacomo had all studied at the Lumen Vitae Catechetical Center in Belgium and were introducing the kerygmatic approach into their school. Elias convinced Vincent Novak over the phone that he was competent to experiment with the approach without having to go through their required training program. The kerygmatic approach incorporated modern scriptural, liturgical and theological studies into the curriculum. The mystery of Christ was central to the approach, to be investigated and taught through four signs: (1) Scripture (salvation history) - freshman year, (2) Liturgy - sophomore year, (3) Doctrine - junior year, and (4) Witness - senior year.

From 1964 to 1966 Elias was first a teacher of religion and then principal of Bethlehem Catholic High School, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In his teaching, he continued to use the kerygmatic approach and the Lord and King Series for the freshmen and sophomores. When some parents made complaints about the modern approach to the scriptures Elias offered a course in the evenings, teaching the same material he taught on the Scriptures during the day. The course was a huge success, culminating in a standing ovation and dinner given in his honor. It was at this point that Elias decided that he would eventually become an adult educator.

Elias spent the summer of 1965 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with two priests and two sisters writing volume two of a new high school religion series, Roots of Faith , published by Harcourt and World. By this time through his experience in teaching and through reading the criticisms of the kerygmatic approach by Gabriel Moran, he recognized the limitations of this approach. Consequently, Elias and his writing team introduced in their texts what came to be called the experiential approach. They began with situations in the lives of students and related the scriptures and theology to them rather than starting with the scriptures and applying them to the students'lives. While in Pittsburgh that summer Elias taught his first course in catechetics at LaRoche College. He was able to do such a course because of his practical experience and the vast amount of private study that he had engaged in. He read extensively in theology, liturgy, theology, and catechetics.

In 1966 Elias was named the first Assistant Superintendent of Religious Education for the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Being the first person to hold this position, he had to organize the office in its entirety. He trained catechists and supervised the teaching of religion both in elementary and high schools and in parish religious education programs. He spent three days a week in classrooms observing the teaching of religion and then met with the religion faculty after school hours to discuss their teaching. Elias established advisory councils of religion teachers at both elementary and secondary levels. With fellow priests and sisters he inaugurated in-service education for primary school teachers in the form of weekend workshops at various retreat houses from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon, about 15 hours of instruction. Lectures were given on catechetics, scripture, theology, and liturgy. Skilled teachers gave demonstrations on Sunday morning. Appropriate liturgies and socials were also held. The theology of Vatican II which had recently ended comprised the curriculum. In this position he also helped parishes establish CCD programs. Perhaps the most innovative thing that he did during those years was to establish adult education classes at each high school in the diocese. With the aid of a local priest chaplain and a lay board, courses were taught in the spirit of Vatican II. Elias taught the course in catechetics and hundreds of people attended these courses each semester.

Greatly disturbed by the Vatican's failure to deal adequately with the issue of birth control Elias resigned from this religious education post and in 1968 became the administrator of St. Bartholomew's Church in Brockton, Pennsylvania. In 1969 Elias was invited to teach in the Graduate Program in Religious Education at LaSalle College in Philadelphia, an exhilarating experience which involved teaching priests, sisters, and lay persons about the theology of Vatican II. At this time he made the decision to prepare himself for teaching at the college or university level. He resigned from the parish and from the ordained priesthood in 1970.

In 1970 Elias began studies for a Doctorate in Education (Foundations of Education) at Temple University, Philadelphia. He did courses in philosophy, history, psychology, and sociology of education. In 1971 he was hired by Temple as a teaching fellow and taught courses in philosophy of education. He also taught courses in theology as well as religious education at LaSalle College.

As part of his dissertation work, in 1971 and 1972 Elias traveled twice to Ivan Illich's Center for Intercultural Documentation (CIDOC) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, to do research on the documents the Center was producing. By any measure, this Center was a hotbed of radical social and educational thought at the time, and it attracted many scholars from throughout the world. While at CIDOC Elias attended talks by Illich and discussed with him his burgeoning dissertation ideas. Elias also taught courses there on the educational philosophy of Paulo Freire. Elias was honored and humbled that two of his students were Myles Horton and his wife, from the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, USA, one of the most significant social action and education centers at that time.

In 1972, while still working on his doctorate, Elias took a position at Trenton State College, Trenton, New Jersey, where he taught courses in the development of education thought as well as introduction to research. During the summers Elias taught courses in religious education at LaSalle College. His first book Psychology and Religious Education (1975) came out of a seminar he offered there in psychology and religious education. Though first published by a small publisher in Pennsylvania this book had a wide readership among teachers and practitioners.

When it came time to write a dissertation Elias chose to write on the radical educator Paulo Freire. Being greatly taken by Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) he first did a paper on him in a course on comparative education. Then, he attended a workshop that Freire gave at Fordham University in 1971 and was impressed by his dynamic personality. As luck would have it, Elias' mentor at Temple at the time, Dr. James E. McClellan, Jr. was more interested in another radical educator by the name of Ivan Illich. He also wanted Elias to include Illich in his study as well as Everett Reimer. McClellan and Elias compromised on Freire and Illich, and in 1974 Elias defended his dissertation, a comparative and critical study of Freire and Illich, using their religious ideas as the point of comparison. On the recommendation of Dr. Campbell Wyckoff of Princeton Theological Seminary, the dissertation was published in 1976 by Westminster Press as Conscientization and Deschooling: Freire's and Illich's Proposals for Reshaping Society . It wasn't until almost 20 years later, in 1994, that Elias finally published the book that he had wanted to do as his dissertation, Paulo Freire: Pedagogue of Liberation .

While teaching foundations of education at Trenton State College from 1972 to 1976, Elias taught the first course in adult education. One of his students was Dr. Sharan Merriam, perhaps the most prolific and significant author in adult education in North America in the late 20th century. When Merriam went on to Rutgers University to pursue a doctorate in adult education, she found that there was little written in the field of philosophy of adult education. She and Elias collaborated in writing Philosophical Foundations of Adult Education (1980), a widely used book in the field. A second edition was published in 1993, which merely included a bibliographical essay to bring the book up to date. In 2005 they published the third edition which is a revision of the book with an additional chapter on postmodern adult education and an extended treatment of radical/critical adult education. The book's widespread use has been enhanced by Zinn's (1999) Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory , which uses the book as its theoretical basis.

Fordham University's Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education offered Elias a visiting teaching position in spring 1977. He taught courses in educational theory, psychology of religious education, and adult religious education. He then accepted a full time position in the school in the fall of 1977 when he became director of the concentration in adult religious education. In 1981 he introduced the concentration in peace and justice studies, which he headed until 2001. In this capacity he worked with the South Bronx Churches in establishing an interfaith training program for community development. Elias became Professor of Religion and Education in 1983, and is now professor both in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education and the Graduate School of Education.

In 1979 Dr. Eleanor Ford of Fordham's Graduate School of Education and Elias established a PhD program in Non-Public School Educational Leadership, which was later renamed the Church Leadership Program. This was a joint program with the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. A number of books have come out of these dissertations as well as many articles. Graduates of this program have become college presidents, school principals, professors in higher education, superintendents of school, and directors of religious education. This joint venture in religion and education inspired a number of Elias' books during these years: Studies in Theology and Education (1986), Moral Education: Secular and Religious (1989), Philosophy of Education: Classical and Contemporary (1995), and History of Christian Education: Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Perspectives (2002).

With his family Elias spent the years 1983-5 on sabbatical in England. The Saltley Trust of the Selly Oaks College funded him to work for the Anglican Churches of the West Midlands as a special consultant for adult religious education. This position was arranged by Dr. John Hull of the University of Birmingham, with whom Elias taught a course in theology and education at the university. While in Great Britain he gave many talks, conferences, and workshops for clergy and laity about adult religious education. He also taught short courses in the Republic of Ireland. When some Roman Catholics heard of his work in England they invited him to come to London for a second sabbatical year. While teaching at St. Mary's College in Strawberry Hill, Elias inaugurated a Graduate Diploma in Adult Religious Education at the University of Sussex, the first such diploma in Great Britain. During his stay in England he lectured at Oxford University, Edinburgh University, the University of Warrick, the London School of Education, and Heythrop College. He also published articles in British journals in adult education and religious education. Elias returned to Fordham University after this two year stint abroad.

From his earliest days at Fordham he wanted to establish a PhD program in Religious Education in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. It was only in 2000 that the program got underway under the leadership of Drs. Gloria Durka, Kieran Scott and Elias. This program has attracted a large number of students. Ten students have received their doctorates from the program, five of whom were mentored by Elias: Dr. Anta Filipsone of Latvia, Fr. Nestor Abog of the Philippine Islands, Fr. Bartholomew Chidili of Nigeria, Dr. Lucinda Nolan of Lewis University, and Dr. Linda Baratte, Director of the Center for Theological and Spiritual Development, College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey.

John Elias is a Roman Catholic, who on March 18, 1972 married Eleanor Flanigan, now a Professor of Information Systems and Decision Sciences at Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey. They have two grown children, Rachel and Rebecca. He and his wife live in Madison, New Jersey.

Education

(1974). Doctor of Education, Temple University (philosophy of education); also completed studies in history, psychology, and sociology of education (Drs. Leonard Waks, James E. McClellan Jr., B. Paul Komisar, William Cutler, advisors)

(1959). Master of Divinity, St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia

(1955). Bachelor of Arts, St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia (Philosophy and Classics)

Teaching

Is Professor of Religion and Education in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Fordham University. Has taught courses in theology, psychology, religious education, religion and society, adult religious education, and education for peace and justice.

Is Professor of Religion and Education in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Fordham University. Has taught courses in theology, psychology, religious education, religion and society, adult religious education, and education for peace and justice.

Has been visiting lecturer at the following institutions: Union Theological Seminary, New York; St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, England; University of Birmingham, England; LaSalle University, Philadelphia; Temple University, Philadelphia: St. Michael's College, Winooski, Vermont; Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California; Alvernia College, Reading, Pennsylvania; LaRoche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Administration

  • Doctoral Studies Committee for the Ph.D. Program in Religious Education. (2000-)
  • Director of the Concentrations in Adult Religious Education and Church and Society/Peace and Justice Studies, School of Religion and Religious Education, Fordham University (1982-2000)
  • Founder and Director of Center for Adult Religious Education, St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, England (1984-1985)
  • Director of special project on adult Christian education, Saltley Trust, Selly Oak College, England, 1983-1984
  • Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Allentown, PA (1966-1968)
  • Principal of Bethlehem Catholic High School, Bethlehem PA (1965-1966)

Contributions to Christian Education

John Elias has made a significant intellectual and scholarly contribution to the field of adult religious education over a 40-year period. He is distinguished by his successful efforts to bridge the fields of adult education and religious education by ably bringing the literature of religious and philosophical education to bear on the largely secular field of adult education, and vice versa. He has accomplished this through his writing and through the teaching of graduate students in education, and religion and education at Fordham University. In total he has mentored 51 dissertations and served on over 100 doctoral committees.

Conversations between Adult and Religious Education

The seeds of cross-disciplinary conversations and interchanges can be seen in Elias' early publications such as his Doctor of Education dissertation: "A Critical Evaluation of the Social and Educational Thought of Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich, with a Particular Emphasis on the Religious Dimension of Their Thought" (Temple University, 1974). In this graduate work he established the linkages among the fields of adult and religious education by highlighting the religious basis and motivation for the work of two great 20th century agents of educational reform: Freire and Illich. Elias' ability to discern the secular and the sacred underpinnngs of their work laid the groundwork for much of his later writing, in which he continued to connect secular and sacred, theory and practice, and religion and education in a logical and mutually informed way.

Elias' bridge building between adult and religious education can be seen most clearly in two of his major works. In Philosophical Foundations of Adult Education , now in its third edition, Elias (1980, 1995, 2005) drew on his extensive background in theology and philosophy to build a philosophical foundation for adult education, a field that was (and is) basically practical and historical. At the time of the publication of the first edition of this book, few if any significant religious or philosophical works had been completed in adult education for quite some time (one thinks back to Basil Yeaxlee’s 1925 Spiritual Dimensions of Adult Education ; and to Moses Coady’s 1939 Masters of Their Own Destiny ). Philosophical Foundations was very well received as a major contribution to thinking and writing in the field of adult education. It is hard to conceive of an adult education program that does not employ Elias' work in some way. The secular field of adult education benefited greatly from the contribution of Elias and the religious and philosophical literature. The contribution was especially significant in that usually it is often religious education that borrows from secular educational work.

As well, Elias brought the scholarly resources of the field of adult education as a separate and distinct body of knowledge to bear on the largely theologically based religious education field. The Foundations and Practice of Adult Religious Education (1982/1993) is his most important work in this regard. Although early adult educators such as Basil Yeaxlee had concentrated on the religious education of adults, by and large, interest in religious education by adult educators had waned all through the 20th century with the notable exception of Leon McKenzie. In Foundations , Elias brought his considerable insight from adult education theory into conversation with religious and philosophical texts. This book came out of Elias' lectures in three courses at Fordham University: Adult Developmental Psychology, Adults as Learners, and the Seminar in Adult Religious Education. His volunteer work as director of adult religious education in St. Vincent’s Church, Madison, New Jersey, was also valuable in the writing of the book as were the many courses and lectures he had given on the subject. Foundations enriched adult education greatly and helped to build the field of adult religious education that struggled to separate itself from child and youth education, as well as from congregational or pastoral ministry.

Webs of ideas and relationships continued to be the hallmarks of Elias' work. He persisted throughout his career to work in both adult and religious education, as a member of both the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education and the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education. Elias continues to publish religious, philosophical and theological work in adult education presses such as Krieger. He is singular in his successful attempts to work among and between the fields without becoming marginalized in either.

Bridging the Theory-Practice Divide

Like many educators before him, Elias advocated the healing of the division between theory and practice; his efforts are distinguished by the concrete and theoretical ways that he linked them. Not surprisingly, closing the gap between theory and practice in adult religious education continues to be an issue that goes to the heart of what it means to be an adult religious educator. Elias' understanding of the gap between the two prefigures in many ways Schon's reflective practitioner model. Elias was committed as he says in Studies in Theology and Education (1986) to "constantly work for the integration of these at both theoretical and practical levels" (p. 15) and to maintain "the dialectical tension between theory and practice" (p. 15).

Elias' work to bridge the boundaries is writ large as early as his 1976 dissertation study of Freire and Illich, individuals who actually bridged the divide in their adult religious education practice (see Conscientization and Deschooling: Freire's and Illich's Proposals for Reshaping Society . Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1976). Wesley Fallaw (1977), writing in Christian Century about this text, hailed Elias as "an impressive interpreter of those reformers" (p. 1073).

In examining the emancipatory dimension of Freire and Illich, as well as their Christian roots, Elias was able to explore the theory-practice links that were bound up in education for justice. He knew better than any religious educator of his time that in order to understand Freire and Illich, it was crucial to delve into their Christian background and to show how this affected their life and work. Peter Mayo (1996), an expert on Freire and Gramsci, comments on Elias' study of Freire ( Paulo Freire: Pedagogue of Liberation , 1994) noting that the strongest part of the work is Elias' explication of the philosophical and religious influences, including Marxist humanism and liberation theology, on Freire. Yet, Elias' intent never seems to be to elevate them to sainthood but rather to point to how they enacted their theology and their convictions, merging the silos of theory and practice.

Further evidence of his deep understanding of theory and practice is shown in his landmark article in the prestigious journal Adult Education (1979). In this article he challenged both the practical and theoretical flaws in the andragogical understandings of Malcolm Knowles (1968). In particular, he challenged the notion that pedagogy (teaching of children) and andragogy (teaching of adults) were indeed separate practices. The article originated in a debate over andragogy at Rutgers University in which Elias took the negative, arguing that andragogy was more of a slogan than a theory of adult teaching and learning in opposition to pedagogy. When the debate ended, the moderator took a vote and the audience was split evenly. In relating the events of the debate, Elias noted, "My opponent’s wife was in the audience and no doubt voted for him, while my wife was not present. That argument prevailed and I was given the bottle of whiskey which was the prize for the winner of the debate!" (personal communication with author, February, 2005). The article that Elias subsequently wrote was published together with a rejoinder by Leon McKenzie and others. Eventually Malcolm Knowles, the man who brought andragogy to North America, entered the debate and admitted that the contrast he drew between pedagogy and andragogy was exaggerated and that these are best considered as points on a continuum rather than dialectic opposites. In the next edition of his book, The Modern Practice of Adult Education Knowles (1980) changed the subtitle Andragogy Versus Pedagogy to From Pedagogy to Andragogy . Elias' article has been referenced many times in scholarly books and articles.

Engaging the Foundational Disciplines

True to the theme of theory and practice, Elias understood that education needs a foundation, as well as a practical thrust. He understood that educational practice was inextricably linked to its past, and that someone had to make an effort to make philosophy matter by asking questions of philosophy to a practice-driven field like education. In his books Philosophical Foundations of Adult Education (1980, 1995, 2005) and Philosophy of Education (1995) Elias addressed this concern. He kept his emphasis on the foundations of education, specifically philosophy, theology, and history, when all too many had abandoned them. The History of Christian Education (2002) is a superb example of his emphasis on the historical roots of Christian education. This book grew out of years of teaching graduate courses in this topic at Fordham University. Of his commitment to the foundational discipline of history, he says in the preface to this book, "No other topic has so engaged my mind and heart as the history of Christian education" (p. xi). This book will become a standard text for Master of Religious Education and Master of Divinity courses. Intended as it is to help students gain a "greater appreciation for the ministry of teaching in the church" (p. xi) this will challenge readers to think about the origins of Christian education and the historical antecedents to today’s ministry.

Interdisciplinary and Comprehensive Approaches

Another way in which Elias works to establish bridges and webs of relationships is to have extended interdisciplinary conversations, in which he brings together in a systematic and comprehensive ways the various bodies of knowledge that contribute to areas of religious education. For instance, he ably brings psychological theory and moral philosophy into conversation with religious education in his 1991 Psychology and Religious Education and his 1989 Moral Education: Secular and Religious , respectively. The former text is widely read and cited in religious education circles.

Elias' breadth of interests and scholarship engages the moral, philosophical and psychological dimensions of religious and adult religious education. As evidence of his success in interdisciplinary ventures, a wide breadth of journals have reviewed his work and shown considerable interest in the interdisciplinary approach. A not untypical review would be Trenton Ferro’s (1994) comment that in The Foundation and Practice of Adult Religious Education (1982/1983) Elias draws on innumerable religious, psychological, sociological, educational, historical, and other sources. Reviewing the same work, Gallagher (1983) notes that Elias "documents and analyzes all the significant research in adult education and adult religious education" (p. 44). Similarly, reviewer Thom Thrasher (1988) points to the comprehensive nature of Elias' work, and to the interdisciplinary weaving that is an Elias hallmark, and Wilkie (1990) commends Elias' broad and comprehensive command of the literature, as well as his ability to keep the reader ever in mind. Lee Barratt (1989) notes the "breadth of erudition and vision" (p. 634) as does DeVitis (1989) who draws attention to Elias' ability to build relationships among historical, philosophical, psychological [sources]" (p. 674).

This ability to see the big picture, to understand how the various disciplines connect, is a definite hallmark of Elias' work. Rather than concentrate on disparate entities and separate fields, Elias works hard to establish common ground, and for that he has been widely hailed. When adult educator Kenneth Stokes (1981) reviewed the first edition of Philosophical Foundations of Adult Education (1980 ed.) he noted that the book provides adult educators "with a systematization of the field of adult education that most of us could not have been able to do on our own" (p. 17) Leon McKenzie (1980) was equally generous with his praise: the book is "a balanced, insightful, fluent and comprehensive basic text in the philosophy of adult education" (p. 246).

Not only was Elias looking for connections among disciplines but also among religious traditions. In his History of Christian Education (2002) text he brought Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox religious figures into conversation with each other, pointing to the places where they shared a common history and to how they have worked across time to build a ministry of Christian education. This ecumenical approach is all too rare in the field of religious education where separate publishing house and journals concentrate on "their own." Elias avoided being slotted into one perspective by using a non-sectarian publisher, Krieger.

Elias' contributions to the field of adult religious education are legion. They speak to Elias' openness to the world, to new perspectives, and his vision of a religious education that is lifelong, and which honors not only the future but the past, not only the theoretical but the practical, not only the secular but the sacred. These are the major motifs in his writing and are seemingly part of a larger project to increase interconnections and to heal the divisions among us.

Works Cited

  • Barrett, L. C. (1989). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Religious Education, 84(4), 633-635.
  • Coady, M. (1939). Masters of their own destiny . New York: Harper and Row.
  • DeVitis, J. L. (1989). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Choice , 27(4), 674.
  • Elias, J. (1974). A critical evaluation of the social and educational thought of Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich, with a particular emphasis on the religious dimension of their thought . Doctoral dissertation, Temple University.
  • Elias, J. (1976). Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia, PA: Westminster.
  • Elias, J. (1979). Andragogy revisited: Elias challenges Knowles and McKenzie. Adult Education (US) , 29(4), 252-256.
  • Elias, J. (1982/1993). Foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982. (Rev. ed., 1993).
  • Elias, J. (1985). Religion and adult education in Britai n [Monograph]. Department of Adult Education, University of Surrey, England.
  • Elias, J. (1986). Studies in theology and education . Malabar, FL: Krieger.
  • Elias, J. (1991). Psychology and religious education (3rd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger.
  • Elias, J. (1989). Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger.
  • Elias, J. (1995). Philosophy of education: Classical and contemporary . Malabar, FL: Krieger.
  • Elias, J. (2002). A history of Christian education: Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox perspectives . Malabar, FL: Krieger.
  • Elias, J., & Merriam, S. (1980/1995/2005). Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger. (2nd ed., 1995; 3rd ed., 2005). Principal Author.
  • Fallaw, W. (1977). [Review of the book Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society , Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976]. Christian Century, 94(37), 1072-1073.
  • Ferro, T. (1984). [Review of the book Foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982, Rev. ed.]. Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory, 34(3), 179-182.
  • Freire, P. (1970. Pedagogy of the oppressed . New York: Continuum.
  • Gallagher, M. (1983). [Review of the book Foundations and practice of adult religious education , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982]. New Catholic World, 226(1351), 226.
  • Knowles, M. S. (1968).Andragogy, not pedagogy. Adult Leadership , 16(10), 350-352, 386.
  • Knowles, M. S. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy . (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge Books.
  • Mayo, P. (1996). [Review of the book Paulo Freire: Pedagogue of liberation , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1994]. Convergence 29(1), 63-68.
  • McKenzie, L. (1980). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. Adult Education, 30(4), 246-248.
  • Stokes, K. (1981). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. Lifelong Learning, 4(10), 17.
  • Thrasher, W. (1988). [Review of the book Psychology and religious education , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1983]. Lifelong Learning, 12(2), 27.
  • Wilkie, R. (1990). [Review of the book Moral Education: Secular and religious , Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Educational Studies, 21(4), 489-497.
  • Yeaxlee, B. (1925). Spiritual values in adult education (2 Vols.). London: Oxford University Press.
  • Zinn, L. M. (1999). Philosophy of adult education inventory (Rev. ed.). Boulder, CO: Lifelong Learning Options.
  • Zinn, L. M. (1982). The theory-practice split. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), Linking philosophy and practice. New Directions for Continuing Education (No. 15, pp. 3-12). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Zinn, L. M. (1980). The family as moral educator: Possibilities and limitations. In G. Durka, & J. Smith (Eds.), Family ministry (pp. 34-55). Minneapolis: Winston Press.

Bibliography

Articles and Proceedings

  • Elias, J. (2004, November). Thomas Edward Shields: Catholic Religious Education . Proceedings of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education. Denver, CO.
  • Elias, J. (2004). Catholics in the REA, 1903-1953. Religious Education , 99(3), 225-246. Also included in the Proceedings of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education (pp. 7-25). Chicago, IL. November, 2003.
  • Elias, J. (2003). Reflections on the vocation of a religious educator. Religious Education , 98(3), 297-310. Also included in the Proceedings of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education (pp. 363-372). Philadelphia. November, 2002.
  • Mulqueen, J., & Elias, J. L. (2000). Understanding spiritual development through cognitive development. Journal of Pastoral Counseling , 35, 99-112. Available online also at [http://www.iona.edu/academic/arts_sci/orgs/pastoral/UNDERSTANDING_SPIRITUAL_DEVELOPMENT.html]
  • Hoffman, H., & Elias, J. (1999).Technical nontraditional students’ college attrition: The student’s perspective. Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Adult and Continuing Education Research , Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 115-125.
  • Elias, J. (1999). Whatever happened to Catholic philosophy of education. Religious Education , 94(1), 92-110.
  • Elias, J. (1998, March 21). Freire and the philosophy of adult education. Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Adult and Continuing Education Research Conference , Widener College.
  • Elias, J. (1996). Freire. In B. Tenenbaum (Ed.), The encyclopedia of Latin American history and culture (Vol. 2, pp. 613-614). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  • Elias, J. (1993). The ethics of religious education. Religious Education , 88(2), 282-293.
  • Elias, J. (1992). Introducing professor John Hull: Theologian of education. The Living Light , 28(4), 325-330.
  • Elias, J. (1991). The return of spirituality: Contrasting interpretations. Religious Education , 86(3), 455-466.
  • Elias, J. (1991). Preferential option for adult catechesis. The Living Light , 27(4), 339-344.
  • Elias, J. (1990). Deschooling. In I. & K. Cully (Eds.), Harper's encyclopedia of religious education (p. 185). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Elias, J. (1990). Values. In I. & K. Cully (Eds.), Harper's encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 678-680). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Elias, J. (1990). Vatican II. In I. & K. Cully (Eds.), Harper's encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 680-681). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Elias, J. (1990). Teaching as care and cure: A therapeutic metaphor. Religious Education , 85(3), 436-444.
  • Elias, J. (1990). Book roundup: Religious education. Church , 6(4), 52-53.
  • Elias, J. (1989). Hungers in church and world. The Living Light , 26(1), 17-23.
  • Elias, J. (1989). Adult religious education: An analysis of Roman Catholic documents published in Australia, Canada, England and Wales, and the United States. Religious Education , 84(1), 90-102.
  • Elias, J. (1988, October 1). Books on the Catholic faith for adults: Once the introductions are over. Commonweal , 115(918), 566-568.
  • as, J. (1988). Adult education: History and opportunities. Church , 4(3), 35-38
  • Elias, J. (1988). Religious education of older adults: Historical perspectives. Educational Gerontology , 14(4), 269-278.
  • Elias, J. (1986). On reading religious education books in Britain. Religious Education , 81(2), 322-326.
  • Elias, J. (1986). Adult religious education: An academic sub-discipline. Studies in the Education of Adults , 18(1), 11-17.
  • Elias, J. (1985). Gabriel Moran and religious education. New Review , 3(3).
  • Elias, J. (1985). Basil Yeaxlee: Educator of adult spirituality. British Journal of Religious Education , 7(3), 104-111.
  • Elias, J. (1985, October 5). A mature faith for adults. The Tablet , 239(7578), 1037-1039.
  • Elias, J., Schuette, D. (1983). What will parents say about teaching the pastoral? Momentum , 14(4), 34-36.
  • Elias, J. (1982). The three publics of religious education. Religious Education , 77(6), 615-627.
  • Elias, J. (1982). The theory-practice split. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), Linking philosophy and practice. New directions for continuing education (No. 15, pp. 3-12). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Elias, J. (1982). Ideology and religious education. Lumen Vitae , 37(4), 383-395.
  • Elias, J. (1982). Parish adult religious education: From rhetoric to reality. The Living Light , 19(1), 28-34
  • Elias, J. (1981). Religious education in a television culture. Religious Education , 76(2), 195-203.
  • Elias, J. (1981). Religious education and media: Adult education. Catholic Library World , 52(10), 419-421.
  • Elias, J. (1979). Evaluation and the future of religious education. Religious Education , 74(6), 656-667.
  • Elias, J. (1979). Andragogy revisited: Elias challenges Knowles and McKenzie. Adult Education (US) , 29(4), 252-256.
  • Elias, J. (1978). Research in adult developmental psychology: Implications for religious ministry. The Living Light , 15(3), 348-357.
  • Elias, J. (1977). Competency based teacher education: Promise or panacea for religious education. Religious Education , 72(6), 635-641.
  • Elias, J. (1976). Paulo Freire: Adult religious educator. Religious Education , 7(1), 40-56.
  • Elias, J. (1976). Religious education for power and liberation. The Living Light , 13(1), 56-69.
  • Elias, J., & E. Flanigan. (1975-1976, Fall-Winter). Values clarification in business education. New Jersey Business Education Observer , 48(1), 3-21.
  • Elias, J. (1975). The Paulo Freire literacy method: A critical evaluation. McGill Journal of Education , 10(1), 207-217.
  • Elias, J. (1975). A critique of Paulo Freire's revolutionary pedagogy. Cutting Edge , 6(3), 12-21.
  • Elias, J. (1974). Social learning and Paulo Freire. The Journal of Educational Thought , 8(1), 5-14.
  • Elias, J. (1974). Ivan Illich: Religious prophet and revolutionary. International Foundations of Education Quarterly , 1(2), 64-84.
  • Elias, J. (1974). B. F. Skinner and religious education. Religious Education , 69(5), 558-567.
  • Elias, J. (1973). Adult literacy in Brazil, 1961-1964: Método Paulo Freire. Canadian and International Education , 2(1), 67-84.
  • Elias, J. (1966). A diocesan program of religious education. Bulletin of the Catholic Educational Association of Pennsylvania .
  • Elias, J. (1964). The teaching of doctrine in schools. Bulletin of the Catholic Educational Association of Pennsylvania .

Book Reviews

  • Elias, J. (1991). [Review of the book Religious education as a second language , by Gabriel Moran]. The Living Light , 27(3), 266-268.
  • Elias, J. (1991). [Review of the book Education for Christian maturity , edited by Neil Parent]. The Living Light , 27(4), 364-365.
  • Elias, J. (1988, July). [Review of the book The psychology of moral development , by Lawrence Kohlberg]. Heythrop Journal , 29, 383.
  • Elias, J. (1987). [Review of the book Growing beyond prejudices: Overcoming hierarchical dualisms , by David Shields]. Religious Education , 82(1), 155-157.
  • Elias, J. (1986, November 22). [Review of the book Education, values and mind: Essays for R.S. Peters , edited by David Cooper]. The Tablet .
  • Elias, J. (1986). [Review of the book What prevents Christian adults from learning , by John Hull]. The Tablet , 240(7626), 934-935.
  • Elias, J. (1984). [Review of the book Religious education of adults by Leon McKenzie]. Religious Education , 79(1), 145-148.
  • Elias, J. (1984). [Review of the book Problems and possibilities for religious education , by Edwin Cox]. British Journal of Religious Education , 6(3), 157-159.
  • Elias, J. (1984). [Review of the book Education and faith in an open society , by A.R. Rodger]. British Journal of Religious Education , 7(1), 37-38.
  • Elias, J. (1982). [Review of the book Learning to work with groups: A practical guide for members and trainers (2nd ed). by Matthew Miles]. Religious Education , 77(6), 679-680.
  • Elias, J. (1982). [Review of the book The analogical imagination , by David Tracy]. Catholic Library World , 54(4), pp. 11-12.
  • Elias, J. (1982). [Review of the book Teaching faith and morals , by Susan De Benedittis]. Religious Education , 77(4), 462-463.
  • Elias, J. (1981). [Review of the book Official Catholic teachings: Social justice , edited by Vincent Mainelli]. Catholic Library World , 52(10), p. 3.
  • Elias, J. (1981). [Review of the book Justice church: The new function of the church in North American Christianity , by Frederick Herzog]. Catholic Library World , 52 (9), 3-4.
  • Elias, J. (1981). [Review of the book Beyond the new morality: The responsibilities of freedom , by Germain Grisez and Russell Shaw]. Catholic Library World , 52(10), p. 3.
  • Elias, J. (1980). [Review of the book Freud and the problem of God , by Hans Kung]. Catholic Library World , 52(3), p. 3.
  • Elias, J. (1980). [Review of the book Introduction to Christianity , by Joseph Ratzinger]. Catholic Library World , 52(5), p. 4.
  • Elias, J. (1980). [Review of the book Education toward adulthood: Religion and lifelong learning , by Gabriel Moran]. Catholic Library World , 51(9), p. 4.
  • Elias, J. (1980). [Review of the book A world of grace: An introduction to the themes and foundations of Karl Rahner's theology , by Leo O'Donovan]. Catholic Library World , 52(5), p. 4.
  • Elias, J. (1980). [Review of the book Message and existence: An introduction to Christian theology , by Langdon Gilkey]. Catholic Library World , 51(9),p. 3.
  • Elias, J. (1979). [Review of the book Theology of the Christian Word by Frederick Crowe]. Catholic Library World , 51(4), pp. 2-3.
  • Elias, J. (1979). [Review of the book The new libertarian gospel: Pitfalls of the theology of liberation , by Juan Guttierez Gonzalez]. Catholic Library World , 51(4), p. 3.
  • Elias, J. (1979). [Review of the book The literature of theology: Guide for students and pastors , by John Bollier]. Catholic Library World , 51(5), pp. 1-2.
  • Elias, J. (1979). [Review of the book The American Catholic: A social portrait , by Andrew Greeley]. Catholic Library World , 50(10), 452.
  • Elias, J. (1979). [Review of the book Justice and economic distribution , edited by John Arthur and William Shaw]. Catholic Library World , 51(4), p. 1.
  • Elias, J. (1979). [Review of the book Jesus Christ liberator , by Leonardo Boff]. Catholic Library World , 51(4), p. 2.
  • Elias, J. (1979). [Review of the book Adulthood , edited by Erik Erickson]. Religious Education , 74(6), 673-674.
  • Elias, J. (1978). [Review of the book Paulo Freire: His life, work and thought , by Dennis Collins]. Religious Education , 73(6), 723.
  • Elias, J. (1978). [Review of the book Philosophical concepts and values in adult education , by K. H. Lawson]. Adult Education (US), 28(3), 193-195.
  • Elias, J. (1978). [Review of the book Christian education for liberation and other upsetting ideas by J. C. Lynn]. The Living Light , 15(1), 157.
  • Elias, J. (1978). [Review of the book Adult learning and development , by Alan Knox]. The Living Light , 15(2), 307-309.
  • Elias, J. (1977). [Review of the book Lifelong education, schools, and currica in developing countries , by W. R. Hawes]. Adult Education (US), 27(4), 235-236.
  • Elias, J. (1975). [Review of the book Religion and public education , edited by David Engel]. Cross Currents , 25(Fall), 337-339.
  • Elias, J. (1974). [Review of the book Tools for conviviality , by Ivan Illich]. Cross Currents , 23(Winter), 481-483.
  • Elias, J. (1974/1975). [Review of the book Tools for Conviviality , by Ivan Illich]. Educational Studies , 5(4), 254.
  • Elias, J. (1974). [Review of the book Education for critical consciousness , by Paulo Freire]. Adult Education , 24(4), 313-314.
  • Elias, J. (1973). [Review of the book Paulo Freire: A revolutionary dilemma for the adult educator , edited by Stanley Grabowski]. Educational Studies , 4(2), 106.

Reviews of the work of J. Elias

  • Bower, T. (2003). [Review of the book A history of Christian education: Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox perspectives . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 2002]. Interpretation , 57(1), 106.
  • Landry, T. M. (2002). [Review of the book A history of Christian education: Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Perspectives . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 2002.]. Theological Studies , 63(4), 884.
  • Heiser, W. C. (2002). [Review of the book A history of Christian education: Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox perspectives . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 2002]. Theology Digest , 49(3), 267.
  • Zinn, L. (1998). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 2nd ed. 1995]. Adult Learning , 9(3), 6.
  • Sherman, R.R. (1996). [Review of the book Philosophy of education: Classical and contemporary . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1995]. Choice , 33(7), 1187.
  • Mayo, P. (1996). [Review of the book Paulo Freire: Pedagogue of liberation . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1994]. Convergence 29(1), 63-68.
  • Rembert, R. B. (1995). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. International Review of Education , 41(1/2), 97.
  • Zahms, J. R. (1994). [Review of the book The foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1993]. Living Light , 31(Autumn), 86-87.
  • Cunningham, J. R. (1994). [Review of the book The foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1993]. Review & Expositor , 91(Spring), 286-287.
  • Bottery, M. (1991). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. British Journal of Religious Education , 13(Spring), 124-125.
  • Wilkie, R. (1990). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Educational Studies , 21(4), 489-497.
  • Crysdale, C.(1990). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Living Light , 26(Spring), 270.
  • Barrett, L. C. (1989). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Religious Education , 84(4), 633-635.
  • DeVitis, J. L. (1989). [Review of the book Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Choice , 27(4), 674.
  • Shelton, C. M. (1989). [Review of Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1989]. Theological Studies , 50(4), 830-831.
  • Pulley, K. J. (1989). [Review of the book Studies in theology and education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1986.]. Religion & Public Education , 16(Spring-Summer), 204.
  • Pohlhaus, G. M. (1988). [Review of the book Studies in theology and education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1986.]. Horizons: Journal of the College Theology Society , 15(Spring), 215-216.
  • Thrasher, W. (1988). [Review of the book Psychology and religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1983]. Lifelong Learning , 12(2), 27.
  • Benson, W. S. (1987). [Review of the book Studies in theology and education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1986.]. Religious Education , 82(4), 638-640.
  • Parent, N. (1987). [Review of the book Studies in theology and education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1986.]. Momentum , 18(Fall), 74.
  • Miller, A. (1986). [Review of the book Psychology and religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1983]. Today’s Parish , 18(April-May), 29.
  • [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. (1985). Current Sociology , 33(3), 133.
  • Ferro, T. (1984). [Review of the book Foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982, Rev. ed.]. Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory , 34(3), 179-182.
  • DeBoy, J. J. (1983). [Review of the book Foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982.]. Religious Education , 78(Spring), 299-300.
  • Toton, S. C. (1983). [Review of the book Foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982.]. Horizons: Journal of the College Theology Society , 10 (Fall), 419-421.
  • Gallagher, M. (1983). [Review of the book Foundations and practice of adult religious education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982]. New Catholic World , 226(1351), 226.
  • Harton, R. M. (1982). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. Review and Expositor , 79(Winter), 184.
  • Lebeau, P. (1982). [Review of the book Foundations and practice of adult religious education . Revised Ed. Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1982]. Lumen Vitae , 37(4), 466.
  • Jeria, J. (1981). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. Educational Studies , 12(4), 478.
  • Stokes, K. (1981). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. Lifelong Learning , 4(10), 17.
  • Jessen, D C. (1981). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. Religious Education , 76(January-February), 106-107.
  • Conway, B. (1981). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger]. American Reference Books Annual , 290.
  • McKenzie, L. (1980). [Review of the book Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1980]. Adult Education , 30(4), 246-248.
  • Brinkman, M. (1979). [Review of the book Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976.]. Christian Scholar's Review , 8(4), 355.
  • Krych, M. A. (1979). [Review of the book Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976.]. Dialog , 18(Autumn), 318-319.
  • [Review of the book Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976.]. (1977). Choice , 14(5/6), 726.
  • Fallaw, W. (1977). [Review of the book Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976]. Christian Century , 94(37), 1072-1073.
  • Donnellan, M. (1977). [Review of the book Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976.]. Horizons: Journal of the College Theology Societys , 4(Fall), 267-268.
  • A guide to new books and book reviews in higher education. (1975). Journal of Academic Librarianship , 75(1), p. 47.

Scholarly Addresses, Lectures, and Conferences

  • Elias J. (Speaker). (2004, November). Thomas Edward Shields: Catholic religious educator . Meeting of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Denver, CO.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (2003, November). Catholics in the REA . Meeting of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago, IL.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (2003, March). Christian morality: What we want others to teach . Ecumenical Conference for Christian, Jewish, and Moslem Educators, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (2002, November). Vocation of the religious education . Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (2002, Summer). Catholic intellectual tradition . Conference for Educators. Manhattan College, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (2002, June). Catholic education in the 19th and 20th Centuries . Bede Circle, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (2001, April). The life of Thomas More . St. Thomas More Alumni Association, Philadelphia.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1998, March). Trends in adult Catholic religious education . Foundation for Jewish Studies, Washington, DC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1998, September). The practice of adult religious education . Institute for New Pastors, National Pastoral Center, Washington, DC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1998, March). Paulo Freire: Philosopher of adult education . Meeting of Adult Educators of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1998, January). Historical foundations of youth ministry . Winter Institute, Fordham University, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1997, January). Trends in multicultural education . Winter Institute, Fordham University, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1996, January). Religion and public education . Winter Institute, Fordham University, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1995, Fall). Faith development in adulthood . St. Theresa's Church, Summit, New Jersey.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1995, May). Education for emancipation . Conference for the Faculty of Iona College, Iona, NY, New Rochelle, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1995, January). Education for cultural liberation . Winter Institute, FordhamUniversity, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1994, Summer). Paulo Freire: Educator for liberation . Summer Institute, Fordham University, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, September). Religion: Help or hindrance . St. Mary's Church, Rochester, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, September). Religion: Help or hindrance . St. Mary's Church, Rochester, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, Fall). Moral development and education . Teachers Conference, Faculty of St. Elizabeth's School, Manhattan, NY.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, Fall). Moral development and education . Teachers Conference, Faculty of St. Elizabeth's School, Manhattan, NY.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, August). Education for peace and justice . Convention of Teachers, Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, August). Education for peace and justice . Convention of Teachers, Diocese of Norwich, CT
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, March). Catholic philosophy of education . Sesquicentennial Conference: Center for Non Public Education, New York City.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1991, September). Adult education: Who needs it and how do we get them to come ? St. Mary's Church, Rochester, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1990, June). Learning of social values . Institute on Social Values, Fordham University, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1990, November). Ethics of Religious Education . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1990, October). Ethics of care and justice . Catechetical Conference, Archdiocese of New York, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1990). Education for social justice . Diocese of Rockville Center, March, Doughlaston, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1989, November). Ethics of care and justice . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, New York.
  • Elias J. (Keynote Speaker). (1989, June). Education for church and world . 25th Anniversary of Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1989, October). Adult journey in faith . Conference on Adult Development, St. Christopher's Church, Lafayette, New Jersey.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1988, October). Whatever happened to Catholic philosophy of education ? Conference on Adult Development. Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1988, November). Theory and practice of adult religious education . National Pastoral Life Conference, Orlando, Florida.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1988, October). Theory and practice in adult religious education . National Pastoral Life Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1988, July). The moral school . Institute on Moral Education, Fordham University, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Keynote Speaker). (1988, June). The challenge of adult religious education . Conference on Adult Education, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1988, January). A theology of adult learning . Meeting of Directors of Adult Education, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1987). Teaching as care and cure: A therapeutic metaphor . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1986). The return of the sacred . College Theology Society, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1986). An analysis of recent documents on adult education . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Toronto, Canada.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1986, January). Adult education in the churches . Conference for Directors of Religious Education, Diocese of Hartford, Connecticut.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1985). The practice of adult education in the churches . Three Day Institute for Catholic Dioceses in Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Elias J. (Keynote Speaker). (1985). The future of adult education . Catholic Education Committee, Roman Catholic Church of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1985). The future of adult education . Association of Adult Educators for the Republic of Ireland, Dublin.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1985, March). The church's role in adult education . Conference at Catechetical Center in Dundalk, Ireland.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1985). Educating the Christian adult . Conference for Catholic Lecturers at Teachers Colleges, Oxford, England.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1985). Does the church really want adult religious education . Conference for Alumni of Heythrop College, London.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1985). Basil Yeaxlee: Adult religious educator . Adult Education Commission of England and Wales, London.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1984). Trends in American religious education . London Institute of Education, London, UK.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1984). The religious dimension of adult education . Open University, Milton Keynes, England.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1984). Directions in USA religious education . University of Warwick, UK.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1984). Approaches to religious education . University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1984). Adult religious education in Britain . University of Surrey, England.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1983). The adult's journey in faith. Parish Adult Religious Education . Religious Education Convention, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1983). Political imagination in the ministry of the director of religious education . Conference for Directors of Religious Education, Fordham University, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1983). Philosophies and practice for adult educators . Conference for Adult Educators, New York City Board of Education.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1983). Imaging religious education: Sociological imagination . National Catholic Education Association National Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1982). The three publics of religious educators . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1982). The theory and practice of adult religious education . Coordinators Association of Diocese of Odgensburg. New Paltz, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1982). The adult's journey in faith . Religious Education Congress, Diocese of Rockville Center. Doughlaston, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1982). Adult education and the Catechumenate . Symposium at St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1981). Philosophy and adult religious education . Diocesan Directors of Religious Education of New Jersey, Convent Station, New Jersey.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1981). Philosophies of adult education . Forum of Adult Division of National Council of Churches, Stony Point, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1981). Ideology and religious education . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, East Lansing, MI.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1981). Faith journey and adult religious education . Religious Education Convention, Diocese of Burlington, VT.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1981). Doing philosophical research in adult education . Adult Education Research Conference, DeKalb, IL.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1981). Adult developmental psychology and religious faith . Religious Education Convention, Diocese of Patterson, New Jersey.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1980). Technology and adult education: The future of an illusion . New Jersey Adult Education Association, Cape May, New Jersey.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1980). Religious education in a telecommunications society . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1980). Parish adult religious education: Promise and fulfillment . St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1980). Faith development in adulthood . Religious Education Convention, Archdiocese of Newark, NJ.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1980). Conceptual analysis and adult education . Conference on Lifelong Learning, University of Maryland, MD.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1979). Toward a liberation spirituality . College Theology Society, Manhattan College, NY.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1979). Beyond moral reasoning: A cultural approach to moral education . Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Toronto, Canada.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1979). Adult faith development . Religious Education Conference, Diocese of Madison, WI
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1978). Models for adult religious education . Symposium on Family Life, Maryknoll Seminary, NY.
  • Elias J. (Keynote Speaker). (1978). Models for a liberation spirituality . NCEA Conference on Peace and Justice, Marymount College, Tarrytown, New York.
  • Elias J. (Keynote Speaker). (1978). Evaluation in religious education . Religious Education Convention, Diocese of Rockville Center. Rockeville Center, New York.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1978). Adult religious education in the church . Religious Education Convention, Archdiocese of New York, NYC
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1978). A critique of andragogy . New Jersey Adult Education Association, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1977). Psychology of religious education . Religious Education Convention, Diocese of Richmond, VA.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1977). Programming for adult religious education . Religious Education Convention, Archdiocese of New York, NYC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1977). Adult learning and programming . Religious Education Convention, Diocese of Erie, PA
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1976). Religious education and the adolescent . Religious Education Convention, Diocese of Trenton, NJ.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1975). Religious education for power and liberation . Religious Education Symposium, LaSalle College, Philadelphia.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1975). Religion and the golden years . Residential Seminar for Older Americans, Trenton State College, NJ.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1975). Humanizing business education through values education . Eastern Business Teachers Association, Washington, DC.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1975). Ecological crisis and democratic socialism . Society for Educational Reconstruction, City University, New York City.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1974). Values clarification in business education . Eastern Business Teachers Association, Boston.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1971). Social and educational thought of Paulo Freire . Center for Intercultural Documentation (CIDOC), Cuernavaca, Mexico.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1966). Changes in Roman Catholicism . Newman Association of West Chester State College, West Chester, Pennsylvania.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1966). Trends in religious education . Catholic Teachers of Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Elias, J. (Speaker). (1966). Contemporary Catholic theology . Newman Association of Kutztown College. Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
  • Elias J. (Speaker). (1966). A Christian theory of moral values . Philosophy Club, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA.

Consultancies

  • Weeklong Meeting of Catechetical Leaders of Britain . (1987). London.
  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Assessment of Programs in Adult Education . (1997, January).
  • State Department of Higher Education, New York. Examination of external degree program of Loyola University, New Orleans . (1990).
  • Quinquennial review of Religious Studies Department of Iona College . (1996).

Dissertation Committees

Has served on about 100 doctoral dissertation committees from 1980 to the present; the vast majority of these have been at Fordham University; have also served on committees at Union Theological Seminary, New York, Temple University, and the University of Birmingham, England. He has been a mentor for 51 doctoral dissertations, a number of which have appeared as published books and articles. His students have come from all over the world and include Ireland’s Oliver Brennan; Australia’s John Nicholson and Anthony Densley; Africa’s Bartholomew Chidili; and Latvia’s Anta Filipsone.


Excerpts from Publications

Elias, J. (2002, November). Proceedings of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education . Philadelphia, p. 304.

In my mind's memory there are many other scenarios from four decades of educating in religion. However, these may serve as the basis for reflections on the various aspects of my vocation as a religious educator. These are to be sure successes and highpoints. In these events, and in many others, I believe that I came close to achieving the sense of vocation of the religious educator that my better self has aspired to. I know that there were also failures: classes poorly taught, students not reached, and students turned off and disappointed. Honest evaluation of these failures led to changes in approaches to teaching and more careful assessment of student opinions and progress. But in the end one teaches in the hope that the grace of God will supply one's weaknesses and limitations.

Elias, J. (2002). A history of Christian education: Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox perspectives . Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Christian educators need to be rooted in a knowledge of the Christian tradition found in the biblical writings and the thought of myriad witnesses to the Christian tradition. But a rootedness in the past should not prevent an openness to a transformation of or improvement on this tradition. A knowledge of past developments in Christian education shows convincingly that there is always the possibility for new approaches for dealing with the tradition. Among those in previous centuries who transformed Christian education one can point out Origin, Augustine, Basil, Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Erasmus, and Ignatius. Closer to our own times we have the example of Newman, Coe, Fahs, Miller, Moran, Groome, and Vrame. The contemporary scene is replete with the thought of Christian educators who explore the implications for religious education of ecumenism, multiculturalism, feminism, and postmodernism. (pp. 258-259)

Elias, J. (1995). Philosophy of education: Classical and contemporary . Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Experience has taught me that educators find value in what might be called a history of philosophical ideas in education. There is much to be learned from what the greatest minds have thought about education. Present issues and concerns in education often repeat past arguments. Present debates are often repetitions of past debates among philosophers. It is also valuable to view present debates in the light of these historic interchanges. (p. 8)

Elias, J. (1993). Foundations and practice of adult religious education (Rev. ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger.

It is my aim…to present an interdisciplinary approach to the field of adult religious education. I intend to do this by drawing on the various disciplines that have made significant contributions to our understanding of adulthood. An approach to adult religious education from the vantage point of one discipline, be it psychology, educational theory, or any other discipline, will necessarily omit many essential viewpoints that need to be considered. (p. 1)

Elias, J. (1991). Psychology and religious education (3rd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger.

The teacher should be aware that his own interpretation is only that - an interpretation, and it should not be imposed upon the students or presented as the ideal or best interpretation of religious experience. Freedom should be allowed in this area as in other areas of religious education. What one ultimately asks about any religious experience or interpretation is what action, behavior, or attitude does it lead to. One can judge the value of a religious experience by its fruits, as William James so often reiterated. (p. 10)

Elias, J. (1989). Moral education: Secular and religious . Malabar, FL: Krieger.

The moral person is an artist and has artistry in conduct because what he or she fashions is a beautiful thing to behold. Human lives are to be ultimately judged as works of art, by their power to express what is deepest within them. All cultures hold before their young certain heroes who are to be imitated for the expressiveness of their moral traits and actions…. The gift of the artist is to be able to grasp what is essential, appropriate, and fitting and to present it in such a way that we are attracted to it, admire it, embrace it and imitate it in our actions. (p. 190)

Elias, J. (1986). Studies in theology and education . Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Closing the gap between theory and practice in religious education is an urgent issue. The issue goes beyond the theoretical and social problem. At issue is the very nature of the profession of religious education. Because religious education is by its very nature a practice, the profession of religious education must develop both sound theories and sound practices, and it must constantly work for the integration of these at both theoretical and practical levels…. In education, theory without practice can become irrelevant and practice without theory can become mindless." (p. 15)All religious educators have a relationship to the three publics of the academy, church, and society, though usually they have a particular connection with one or two of these publics. They have been formed within academic institutions and are often situated within some institution of the academy; many address their writings to members of academic institutions. Professional religious educators have received religious formation within religious bodies and often maintain close relationships with such bodies; many, in their writings, address primarily issues that are essential in the life of religious bodies. Religious educators are shaped by the particular socioeconomic, political, and cultural worlds in which they live; some religious educators make the broader public a major focus of their professional writings." (p.18)

Elias, J. (1994). Paulo Freire: Pedagogue of liberation . Malabar, FL: Krieger.

The most fruitful interpretation of Freire comes from understanding him as a Catholic thinker. Because of his eclecticism, Freire can rightly be interpreted from a number of perspectives. My own view is that it is Freire's religious or theological views on persons, the world, society, and political change that shape many elements of his thought. Freire makes use of many religious concepts and images: Exodus, dialogue, Passover, prophecy, the Word of God, creation, and redemption. (p. viii)

Elias, J. (1980). Philosophical foundations of adult education . Malabar, FL: Krieger.

The educator is generally more interested in skills than in principles, in means than in ends, in details than in the whole picture. The philosophy of adult education does not equip a person with knowledge about what to teach, how to teach, or how to organize a program. It is more concerned with the why of education and with the logical analysis of the various elements of the educational process. Philosophies of education are interpretative theories, not applicatory theories. (p. 8)

Elias, J. (1976). Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia, PA: Westminster.

My analysis of Freire and Illich has led me to an inescapable conclusion: these men can be best understood from the perspective of the religious tradition in which they are situated. Both men are Catholic humanistic thinkers….Though there are differences in the approaches that these men take to certain problems and issues, the many similarities in their views can be traced, at least in part, to the common religious views that they hold. (pp. 9-10)


Recommended Readings

Books

Elias, J. L., & Merriam, S. B. (2005). Philosophical foundations of adult education (3rd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger.

This book presents the major philosophical positions including humanism, progressivism, liberalism, and behaviorism and brings these into conversation with adult education literature. As the principal author, Elias draws on his extensive background in theology and philosophy to build a philosophical foundation for adult education, a field that was (and is) basically practical and ahistorical. This is Elias' best known work and his most lasting contribution to adult education.

Elias, J. L. (1993). Foundations and practice of adult religious education (2nd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger.

This book is Elias' major contribution to the field of adult religious education. Elias drew on his teaching at Fordham University in the areas of adult developmental psychology and adults as learners to build a substantive theory and practice of adult religious education. His ability to work across the fields of adult education and religious education shows clearly in this discussion, as does his ability to write simultaneously for academics and practitioners.

Elias, J. L. (1976). Conscientization and deschooling: Freire's and Illich's proposals for reshaping society . Philadelphia, PA: Westminster.

This book provides is a sample of the deeply political and reformative nature of Elias' thinking. He engages with the most radical Christian thinkers of his time - Freire and Illich - and offers a stimulating and thoroughgoing account of their educational proposals, as well as a strong critique.

Articles

Elias, J. L. (2003). Reflections on the vocation of a religious educator. Religious Education , 98 (3), 297-310.
Elias, J. L. (2002, November). Proceedings of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education (pp. 363-372).

In this article, Elias provides a personal reflexive account of a life well lived. He explores his own vocation in religious education, providing case studies of significant mentoring relationships with doctoral advisees and others. This is the article to read if you want to understand Elias as a teacher, writer, and person of faith. From his discussion of his various life phases and interests one can easily trace major trends in Roman Catholic religious education from the 1960’s to present.

Elias, J. L. (1979). Andragogy revisited: Elias challenges Knowles and McKenzie. Adult Education (US), 29 (4), 252-256.

This article marks a watershed moment in adult education in North America. Elias challenges Knowles’s ideas on andragogy, the art of science of adult learning, starting a debate that helps to change Knowles’s ideas and the hegemony of andragogy in adult education circles. Elias challenge forces Knowles to rethink whether adults and children are totally separate in how they learn. This contributes to a revised understanding of adult learning as being on a continuum from childhood to adulthood rather than totally separate from it.


Author Information

Leona M. English

Leona M English, EdD (Columbia, 1994) is an associate professor of adult education at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Her interests are also in religious education, spirituality of adult education, and women’s ways of knowing.

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