Patristic Humanism: The Beginnings of Christian Paideia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter shows that the church fathers conceived of the Christian life as paideia, as an education in humanity based on incarnational Christology. It delineates the main features of Christian paideia, an educational programme in which the best of human learning and culture is harnessed for the transformation into Christlikeness and thus into full humanity. It reveals how patristic humanism is based on the correlation of reason and faith, and therefore was able to absorb and transform the best of ancient culture. Moreover, it shows that early Christian humanism held a realistic view of human existence as suffering without, however, losing the grand vision for which humanity is destined in Christ.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-Envisioning Christian Humanism
Subtitle of host publicationEducation and the Restoration of Humannity
EditorsJens Zimmerman
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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