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The New Math: "How to Add and to Subtract Pagan Elements in Christian Education

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Chapter Summary

Communis opinion sees a mitigation of the pagan-Christian cultural divide that appears so sharply drawn, for example, in the Apologetic literature of the fourth and fifth centuries. This chapter concerns with the continuities of pagan and Christian cultural life, and discusses the connections between social infra structures and the operations of paideia. It addresses some questions of cultural authorization, showing that largely this force is a conservative one that permits little in the way of genuine innovation. The chapter focuses on Evagrius Ponticus, a teacher who dropped out of the urban rat-race and eventually lost credibility within the tradition he sought to foster, it is because one need to see the limitations of the now standard equation, power and paideia. Evagrius would ultimately claim that his teaching lies outside the operations of a cultural transmission that is seemingly governed by the requirements of stability, social concord, and identity politics.

Keywords: Apologetic literature; Christian education; Evagrius Ponticus; pagan elements; paideia

10.1163/9789047400134_015
/content/books/b9789047400134s015
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