Peter Crawford

Peter Crawford

Posted on 01/24/2014

Photo taken on January 24, 2014

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German Bildung

German Bildung
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

The German word 'Bildung' is usually translated into English as 'education', but this is incorrect - the term Bildung has a far wider and more subtle meaning, although it cannot be satisfactorily translated.
The term 'Bildung' dates to 16th century Pietistic theology, according to which, the devout Christian should seek to cultivate (Bildung) his talents and dispositions according to the image of God, which was innate in his soul.
In addition to this theological usage, Paracelsus (1493-1591), Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), and Leibniz (1646-1716) also used the term in natural philosophy to refer to “the development or unfolding of certain potentialities within an organism.”