Of Stories & Cities – Chrysostom on learning & the soul

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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 in the early church – Chrysostom on education

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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

Why Classical? Why Pagan Philosophy?

Over the years I’ve had conversations with several people who just can’t seem to get beyond the term “classical” in education. “What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?!” they exclaim – generally with more words and less pithily. This is a question that has already been asked and answered, if we will listen and learn. Part of the spirit of classical education is respecting and seeking the knowledge and wisdom of the past. The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What … Read More

Christ leads us to virtue.

And now, at long last, we enter the period of the early church fathers in The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being. Clement of Alexandria was one of the first to start writing out a defense of the traditional education in Greek philosophy, even for Christians. He was not the last, and I’m excited to delve into this era. CH073: All God’s Truth: Clement on Classical Christian Education Next week I’ll highlight … Read More

Knowledge bears fruit

I’m getting excited. In my very slow reading through The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being, I’m approaching the end of the classical period and entering the early church phase. Philo straddles the gap in a particular way. He is not Roman, though he lives in Alexandria as a contemporary to Jesus. He is, rather, an educated and politically-influential Jew – a scribe, we might call him. Perhaps he was a Pharisee, … Read More

A liberal education starts at home

Tacitus is the next selection in our slow plod through The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being. He was a first-century Roman and historian, who desperately wanted Rome to return to “the good old days.” Make Rome great again would have been his cry, but he was informed and eloquent. He was not one of the ones who would have had to give up power or position in order to return to … Read More

The tone of the teacher – Quintilian on the art of teaching

What synchronicity! As I was recording the Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own Series for season two of the audio blog, the Quintilian section in The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being was admonitions to teachers. CH070: Duties & Delights: Quintilian on Teachers & Students Guess what? People have known what’s important in teachers and the student-teacher relationship for a very long time. We should listen. The teacher’s talk & temper must … Read More

What would classical preschool look like? – Quintilian on books & twaddle

Quintilian, an education philosopher of the first century AD, has much to say about the bringing up of children. His education philosophy does not begin when they enter school, but when they first start forming their first words and their first thoughts. Today’s excerpt from The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being summarizes what Quintilian had to say about what we would call preschool and kindergarten, and it will probably rub you … Read More

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