This article intends to answer a question concerning the specific contribution given by the Christians to the development of the concept of paideia. In particular, it examines how believers accepted the challenge of attending the old school, that was a place where pagan values were affirmed; in fact, they were fully aware that they were bringing a radically new conception of the world, accepting the classical disciplines as an introduction to faith. The work develops into three stages. Firstly a general survey is made on the problem of the legitimation of the ancient school by the Christians; then it is verified how faith urged the need of a new figure of teacher and a new epistemological model, as witnessed by Justin. Finally the experience of Clement of Alexandria, Origenes and Augustine show how the new educational purposes of the Christians actually affected the pedagogical models and teaching syllabuses.

(Author:  Guido Bendinelli)

Summary ed.28 (II/2010)