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Re-Envisioning Christian HumanismEducation and the Restoration of Humanity$
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Jens Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778783.001.0001

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Patristic Humanism

Patristic Humanism

The Beginning of Christian Paideia

(p.19) 1 Patristic Humanism
Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism

John Behr

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   patristics, Christian humanism, early church, theological anthropology, theology of suffering, reason and faith

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