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Anthopoulos, Charalambos

Professor, Greece

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Ethnos - Greece | 18/11/2009

Charalambos Anthopoulos on crucifixes as cultural symbols

The European Court of Human Rights ruled recently that crucifixes have no place in Italian classromms. In 1995 the German Federal Constitutional Court came to a similar decision regarding schools in Bavaria. Charalambos Anthopoulos, professor at the Open University of Greece, comments on the two rulings in the liberal daily To Ethnos: "Both decisions overlook the fact that in Italy the crucifix is not only a religious (Christian) symbol, but also a cultural and historic one, deeply rooted in the national consciousness. And neither decision gives convincing arguments for the purportedly 'bad effects' of this religious symbol on the free development of the pupils' opinions. There are also Christian symbols in Greek schoolrooms. ... These symbols are an element of our national and cultural heritage, and do no harm to anyone. If a couple of parents take offence at them, the matter can be sorted out in the school, perhaps even by removing the symbol. ... But this topic should not be used for political, social or legal confrontation."

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