Educating young children is never beneath great minds
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Jerome was an adult convert, receiving an excellent classical education early in life and using that later in life for the good of the church. His best patron was a wealthy widow, Paula, with whom he kept up a correspondence. Because of her support, he was able to devote must time and energy into literary endeavors, writing books, translating the Bible into Latin, maintaining correspondence, and more. The letter excerpted here is to Paula about a granddaughter who had been … Read More

What must we then read?
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Jerome is a fascinating character. He is the one who gave the Church the Vulgate, and his own classical learning and love of Latin poets & philosophers gave him the skill to do so. Amid a near-death experience, Jerome vowed never again to read a secular author. So, at first it seems that Jerome must be in the anti-classical camp. Yet, although this is his vow, it is not his advice to others. Just as the Nazarites vow not to … Read More

Of Stories & Cities
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And we’re back with more from The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being! Chrysostom was an early church father nicknamed “Golden Mouthed” for his eloquence. He received a Greek liberal arts education from a pagan, then went on to study theology under a respected teacher. He taught the Bible with a plain understanding instead of interpreting with elaborate allegories, which was the common at that time. He spent two years of his … Read More

Early Childhood Education in Early Christianity
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And we’re back with more from The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being! Arranged chronologically, the book is a source of what true education has been known to be – and ideas for how to impart it – since Ancient Greeks started philosophizing about it. True education, noble and worthy training of the heart and mind, has been known by various names throughout the ages: liberal, humanist, classical. However, the aim has … Read More

All virtue is God’s virtue
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Of course this title is a play on the saying (often applied in similar discussions) that all truth is God’s truth. Therefore, we say, as Christians we can study truth no matter where we find it. In the same way, Basil the Great of Cappadocia (bishop, scholar, and teacher in the 4th century) says we can study and apply virtue wherever we find it. After all, he concurs with the ages before and after himself, the point of education is … Read More

Virtue is generous.
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A classical education is an education in the liberal arts tradition; it is a liberal education. A liberal education is for a free man, yes, and helps to make a man free – it is a liberating education – but what is a liberal education? Here’s Webster’s dictionary: a liberal education: wide-ranging, broad-based, general. and other definitions of liberal include generous and broad-minded. So how you But we, believing that the normal child has powers of mind which fit him … Read More

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