The contemporary educational theory is discussing the relevance of the ideals of enlightenment. Yet, this debate makes no reference to the secularization process and its strong influence on the articulation of such ideals. This text tries to fill this gap. The tendencies towards omnipotence, the mastering of knowledge, or the suppression of personal imperfections are expressions of a "God complex" (H.-E. Richter, 1979) that seems to summon modern men to take the place of a God considered as dead. Following these tracks, the author pleads for a reconsideration of the significance of the central ideals of Enlightenment in the educational area. He emphasizes the pedagogical importance of a new conflict culture, of a self-reflexive stance based on productive irritations of the envolved partners and of an ethic of recognition.
Training; Contemporary education; Enlightenment; Experience; Dialogue