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."
Paul requires Christian fathers to provide their children with a "paideia of the Lord." To the ancient world, the boundaries of paideia were much wider than the boundaries of what we understand as education. Far more is involved in paideia than taking the kids to church, having an occasional time of devotions in the home, or even providing the kids with a Christian curriculum. In the ancient world, the paideia was all-encompassing and involved nothing less than the enculturation of the future citizen. He was enculturated when he was instructed in the classroom, but the process was also occurring when he walked along the streets of his city to and from school.
The idea of paideia was central to the ancient classical mind, and Paul's instruction here consequently had profound ramifications for how we in turn educate our children. In this collection of essays, Douglas Wilson discusses this and other education-related issues.More info →