This small book, the last work of a world-renowned scholar, has established itself as a classic. It provides a superb overview of the vast historical process by which Christianity was Hellenized and Hellenic civilization became Christianized.
Werner Jaeger shows that without the large postclassical expansion of Greek culture the rise of a Christian world religion would have been impossible. He explains why the Hellenization of Christianity was necessary in apostolic and post-apostalic times; points out similarities between Greek philosophy and Christian belief; discuss such key figures as Clement, Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa; and touches on the controversies that led to the ultimate complex synthesis of Greek and Christian thought.More info →
Werner Jaeger's classic three-volume work, originally published in 1939, is now available in paperback. Paideia, the shaping of Greek character through a union of civilization, tradition, literature, and philosophy is the basis for Jaeger's evaluation of Hellenic culture.
Volume I describes the foundation, growth, and crisis of Greek culture during the archaic and classical epochs, ending with the collapse of the Athenian empire. The second and third volumes of the work deal with the intellectual history of ancient Greece in the Age of Plato, the 4th century
B.C.--the age in which Greece lost everything that is valued in this world--state, power, liberty--but still clung to the concept of paideia. As its last great poet, Menander summarized the primary role of this ideal in Greek culture when he said: "The possession which no one can take away from man is paideia."