Friday, 13 October 2017


András Pető

Falling angel

TEST TEST   As has been remarked before in Conductive World, Károly Ákos has been an unduly ignored figure in the story of Conductive Education during the period of the latter years of András Pető's life and into the early years of Mária Hári's directorship – say the end of the 1950s through to the mid -seventies. For an example, see:

After that, however, the relationship between Károly and Mária cooled and his name has been largely struck from the history of Conductive, and largely forgotten. Why this happened I do not know.

There is little known about this acquaintanceship, other than the bare facts that Károly and his wife Magda would often visit András Pető's flat in Stollar Béla u. for dinner and conversation, often stated as once a week, and that Károly would visit the Institute to see the work. Károly would later tell that he was nagging András Pető to commit the ideas and the practice of conductive pedagogy to paper, and that he was willing to act as a co-author to get things under way (all perhaps at ministerial behest) but... but that's about it.

Károly was a physician, a psychologist, a bit of a philosopher, a populariser of science, and an active atheist.

I have recently stumbled across an unexpected little item on line, published by Károly in Hungary, in 1962 in the first volume of Egyetemi Könyvtár Évkönyvei ('Yearbook of the University Library'). This small-circulation but extensive publication deals as would be expected largely with library matters but tucked away at the end is a small section of general articles, the first of which is this little essay by Károly Ákos:


In English this reads something like –

Additions to the modern use of the concept of 'devil'

What it was doing there is not explained.

What has this to do with anything?

Not a lot now – except perhaps in the largely unborn field of Pető studies in which one of the mysterious oddities about András Pető is that he had a bit of a thing about angels For example:

There is even (surprisingly?) an angel on his memorial plaque outside the apartment in which he lived for much of his years in Budapest after the war and up to his death. And, as Károlytreminds in this short piece, in Christian theology the Devil was an angel too, albeit a fallen one.

Károly also told how he had disapproved of András Pető 's thing about angels...

Just what did they talk about and (pure speculation this, of course) how much might the content of Károly's little article here echo something of these conversations...? And if it does, might one track back from Károly's views stated here to sense at least the flavour of some of their discussion?

Pure speculation of course...

And as for judging what András Pető writes here about Satan it would be all Greek to me in whatever language it were written, and I am happy to leave it at that. I leave any judgement on its content to others.


Ákos, K. (1962) Apologetika és filológia. (Adalékok az "ördög" fogalmának "modern" használatára) in Az Egyetemi Könyvtár Évkönyvei I., Budapest, Tankönyvkiadó, pp. 175-178

Akos, K., Akos, M. (2012) The enigmatic Dr Pető, in G. Maguire and A. Sutton (eds.) András Pető, Birmingham, Ctive Education Press

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Anonymous Andrew said...

APOLOGIES. I did not include the URL for reading the original article on line. It is there now!

Friday, 13 October 2017 at 18:51:00 BST  

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