And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (paideia) and admonition (nouthesia) of the Lord. Paul, Ephesians 6:4
My philosophy of the role of the mind in the Christian life is to create a Christian culture. In Ephesians 6:4 we find the word nurture which has been translated from the Greek word paideia. Paideia has no true English equivalent. However, the idea of paideia was central to the ancient classical (and Hebrew) mind. Paul’s use of this word is highly instructive to us in the how and why of education. Paideia does encompass formal education, but it goes far beyond that in that it enculturates. The Greeks would have understood that paideia forms an ideal man that creates an ideal culture. Paul was encouraging Christians to train the ideal Christian that creates the ideal Christian culture.
Highly recognized as the foremost authority on Greek philosophy and ancient culture, Dr. Werner Jaeger, formerly the Director of the Harvard Institute for Classical Studies, states regarding his study of paideia, that it is an enormous ideological task:
They were concerned with nothing less than the shaping of the ideal man, who would be able to take his place in the ideal culture. Further, the point of paideia was to bring that culture about.
The role of the mind is in creating a culture. Paideia encompasses science, art, literature, ethics, family life, city life, country life, politics, architecture, et.al. The education of the Greek did not begin Continue reading