Oleh Kindiy Transformation of Education as the Precondition of the Establishment of Episcopal See in Alexandria in Second and Third Century icon

Oleh Kindiy Transformation of Education as the Precondition of the Establishment of Episcopal See in Alexandria in Second and Third Century

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Oleh Kindiy

Transformation of Education as the Precondition of the Establishment of Episcopal See in Alexandria in Second and Third Century

The most natural environment for a religious experience, kerygma, and doctrine of primitive Christians was undoubtedly grounded in the Jewish synagogue, bet knesset, which has been a central communal institution of Judaism. In fact, it had been the native educational milieu for Jesus himself, who must have been enrolled in a synagogal school in his childhood and later used it for preaching in his adult life. Even though until 70 CE Jerusalem Temple was the center of the Jewish cult, the synagogue clearly had its own particular function, serving as a local meetinghouse for study and, also, prayer. In effect, its administrators were none other than teachers, rabbis. When Jerusalem Temple was destroyed, the synagogue became its surrogate. Consequently much of the liturgy and instruction of rabbinic Judaism and newly emerging Judeo-Christianity – even the times of statutory prayer and the number of services held on holidays and festivals – was framed to correspond with the rituals and rhythms of the defunct Temple cult.1

It is in the light of Jewish school (synagogue) that the emergence of the institutionalized Christian communities in Alexandria needs to be looked at, since being perhaps more radical in his theological and ethical demands than his contemporaneous Jewish milieu,2 Jesus Christ and his immediate disciples were Palestinian rabbis (teachers), for whom their rabbinic vocation was of the immediate and decisive importance.3 Consequently, the fact that they were teachers had a crucial impact on early Christianity to a degree that early Christians had to become teachers in order to transmit the teaching of Christ.4

A transition from the Jewish synagogue to the early Christian church/school was never a straightforward process. At the same time, the difference between school and church in early Christianity has never been clearly contoured.5 Today it is agreed that under Hellenistic influence the institution of the early Christian school and thus the status of teacher took on an entirely new form. Adolf Harnack looked at the process through the prism of his thesis of the Hellenization of primitive Christianity, which by the end of the third century completely lost its genuinely “charismatic” character and succumbed to an institutionalized schooling formed in accordance with the customs, methods, and structure of Hellenistic education.6 Henrich Rengstorf and recently Alfred Zimmermann examined the striking discontinuity between the first century Christian school that was still part of Jewish synagogal infrastructure and the second century Christian schools that confidently and actively embraced Hellenistically fostered instruction (Tertullian and Tatian being false exceptions, since undoubtedly they were also legitimate heirs to Greco-Roman upbringing).7 Rengstorf and Zimmermann concluded that the distance and indeed the fracture between the two communities, Jewish and Christian, originally took place not so much in the realm of theological discourse as on the level of educational organization and technique.8 However, Werner Jaeger and Hans von Campenhausen demonstrated that there actually was a historical continuity between the first and following centuries of Christian schools, despite the drastic change that came into effect after early Christians opened the doors of their schools to non-Christians. As arguments in defense of this thesis, they demonstrated, first of all, that Christian schools of the second, third and fourth centuries remained part of the communal undertaking; and, second of all, the revelatory texts, scriptural learning and interpretation continuously played a central role for both the old and new churches, even though the methods and approaches to Christian education of the later periods were borrowed from the larger socially established and philosophically ingrained paradigm of Hellenistic paideia.9 Evangelically justified openness of early Christian schools to non-Jews and non-Christians attracted a significant number of new members, since these schools were easily accessible and in most cases free of charge and sponsored by the entire community, in contrast to Greco-Roman schools, which were open only to the élite, which thereby was maintaining and protecting its upper social status and requiring considerable fees for the complete course of studies.

The first three centuries of the formation of Christian school and its transition from a synagogal to Hellenistic educational forms brought forth several different types of early Christian teachers, who responded to different “talents of Spirit.” They have been tentatively classified as prophets, itinerary and professional teachers, ministers and catechists, each of whom carried out their specific vocations even though their functions could easily overlap. Prophets received and conceived the main guidelines of divine revelation. Itinerary teachers charged by eschatological vigor traveled from town to town and preached the revelation, kerygma. Learned teachers explored, applied, and handed down the guidelines and content of the revelation and kerygma in a more structured and comprehensive way. At last, ministers and catechists made the utmost use of the kerygma for ecclesiastical structuralization and growth.10

Classical paideia was the intellectual vehicle that by its constant dynamic evolution stood at the very center of the social structure, organization, and identity of the second and third century Alexandria. Harry Gamble and William Harris have shown, that “granting regional and temporal variations, throughout the entire period of classical Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman imperial civilization, the extent of literacy was about 10 percent and never exceeded 15 to 20 percent of the population as a whole.”11 There are always exceptions to the rule. One exception is the higher rank of the literate population in the reformed post-Ezrian Palestine, higher than in the average Greco-Roman region due to the social structure and identity preserving/shaping nature of the synagogal institution that provided means for schooling its young and adult members: most men and some women must have been able to at least read Torah.12 Another exception is the replication of the literary infrastructure throughout the Jewish Diaspora outside Palestine. Therefore, special attention has to be paid to second-century Egypt and more specifically Alexandria as it remained the Greco-Roman educational and cultural capital of the Mediterranean basin, but also perhaps the largest and wealthiest Jewish Diaspora of the period.

Colin Roberts pointed out that there is simply not much concrete data for the early church in Alexandria before the installment of the bishop Demetrius in and around the year 189. It is generally agreed today that the list of successive bishops from the apostle Mark to Demetrius is simply Eusebius’ invention to fill in the gap between apostolic origins up to Demetrius.13 Yet even though there is not much information about the development of the Christian institutional church, there is a broad discussion of the significant impact of classical paideia and Jewish education on the formation of early Christian communities and its generous and ample Alexandrian illustration in Clement’s and Origen’s theological interpretations.14

For example, Adolf Knauber demonstrated that in the second-century Alexandria not only was there a clear understanding of a need for a school for catechumens but also that there was already intact a multilateral program, rules, and rituals that accompanied the program. To support his thesis he quoted Clement of Alexandria’s book Paedagogus:

But we need a Teacher of the exposition of those sacred words, to whom we must direct our steps. And now, in truth, it is time for me to cease from my pedagogy, and for you to listen to the Teacher. And He, receiving you who have been trained up in excellent discipline, will teach you the Scriptures. The church is here for the good, and the Bridegroom is the only Teacher, the good will of the good Father, the true wisdom, the sanctuary of knowledge.15

The majority of scholars emphasize Clement’s ecclesiastical inclination in this passage since the proper teaching of the sacred words, according to Clement, ought to take place within the space of the church.16 Van den Hoek pointed out here that Eduard Schwarz even amended the phrase in MS P17, which slightly changes the meaning of the term “church” into “school.” This emendation, however, according to van den Hoek, who agrees with Otto Stählin, is superfluous18 since “from Clement’s perspective… a contrast between church and school is nonexistent.”19 Even without such textual emendation it is very clear that Clement perceived the process of education within the boundaries of the ecclesial community.

Birger Pearson, Albertus Klin, and C. Wilfred Griggs, to name just a few contemporary scholars of the earliest Christian Egyptian history, agree with Colin Roberts’ following opening remarks to his study of Christianity in Egypt that “[t]he obscurity that veils the early history of the church in Egypt and that does not lift until the beginning of third century constitutes a conspicuous challenge to the historian of primitive Christianity.”20 It is widely recognized that the problem does not arise from a lack of evidence, for during the last three centuries hundreds of manuscripts and fragments at large that were written or circulated in the three first centuries of the Christian era have been discovered in Egypt. The evidence that we possess, however, does not specifically speak of the ways Christianity was founded and initially evolved in Egypt. Thus for scholars of early Christianity of this period, it takes much imagination and close reading of the extant literary and archeological evidence to deduce just what kind of communities these early Christian, Judeo-Christian, and Gnostic groups were and how they evolved before the installment of the Alexandrian bishop Demetrius (ca 189-232) in the late second and beginning of the third centuries, a point, from which on, the evidence is more informative and clear – with his episcopacy the domination of the ecclesiastically Catholic community managed to gradually absorb, pasteurize, and structure the multitude of separate groups into one recognizable body.

Scholars usually point to at least three plausible explanations of the lack of clear information prior to Demetrius’ ecclesiastical enthronement. First, as pointed out by Griggs, in Lucan Acts of the Apostles Christian diffusion throughout the Mediterranean area was predominantly oriented towards Palestine, Asia Minor, and Europe and tended to focus less attention on the Egyptian vector. In addition, Paul’s missionary itinerary and epistolary communication clearly leaves the Egyptian province out of the view.21 Second, there is a great deal of verisimility that the Jewish revolts of 115-117 suppressed by Trajan and then the ensuing revolt led by Bar Kochba in 130-136 and callously suppressed by Hadrian contributed to the fact that the Jewish and with it the first Judeo-Christian population was drastically purged if not entirely eradicated. These events were crucial for the definitive separation of Christians and Jews as well as the strong anti-Jewish elements found in the writings of the second century Christian Egyptian (usually anonymous or pseudonymous) authors.22 The third plausible although more and more contested proposal is Walter Bauer’s thesis that both Jewish and Gentile Christians of Egypt based their theology and worship on syncretistic and gnostic precepts which with the later (ca the end of the second century) arrival of orthodox ecclesiastical leadership was deemed unorthodox, readily dismissed, and their literary legacy physically destroyed.23

The first connections we have between earliest Christianity and Egyptian vicinities come from the New Testament writings although they point out only that the connections were there and not much more. The first remark is the Holy Family’s escape from Herod’s hand into Egypt (Mt 2:13-21). Egypt is mentioned in the New Testament for the second time at the Pentecost (Acts 2), where Egyptians are enumerated along with the other Diaspora Jews who came to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover and Pentecost and witnessed the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles right after Jesus ascended to Heaven.

Third, again in the Acts (18:24), we read that “a certain Jew named Apollo, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.” Most likely the same Apollo is mentioned also in Acts 19:1; 1 Cor 1:12; 3:5-6; 4:6; 16:12; Tit 3:13.24 At the same time, the Coptic church maintains a tradition that Mark the Evangelist was the founder of the church of Alexandria and Egypt. The sources that support this tradition, however, originate only with Eusebius’ recoding of a local tradition in his Historia Ecclesiastica 2.16.1, in which he had no document beyond the local legends to prove it accurate even if Mark’s presence in Alexandria is not an automatically dismissible fact.25 The evidence we do have is of a less historiographical and more of a theological and apologetic nature and still may serve as a good source for a better understanding of the Christian community that grew prior to and during Clement’s career in Alexandria.

Roelof van den Broek, indirectly reflecting a New Testament socio-theological analysis of James Dunn who plausibly differentiated four main tendencies of the first and early second century Christianity (Jewish, Hellenistic, Apocalyptic, and Early Catholic),26 identified six distinct Christian groups in second century Alexandria.27 To begin with, some groups demonstrated a particular focus on apocalyptic urgency, as the author of the Epistle of Barnabas indicates. Second, Alexandrian Jewish wisdom theology and the closely associated conservative, i.e., judaizing, type of Christianity of James is reflected in the Gospel of the Hebrews. Similarly the Gospel of the Egyptians most likely originated from the Greek speaking Egyptian Christians. Fourth, the more educated and philosophically oriented Christians who were later called Gnostics (Basilides, Valentinus, Theodotus) authored such treatises as the Authoritative Teaching or the Gospel of Truth.28 Van den Broek singled out also the Marcionites as a separate faction. Marcionites may have had close ties with the previous group since they have been also called Gnostics who rejected the Hebrew Scriptures altogether. And finally, people like Clement and his teacher Pantaenus most likely belonged to the group that preceded the formation of a Catholic, ecclesiastically oriented, congregation that resembled a similar process of structuring as the church of Irenaeus in Lyon.

In the Acts of Apostles, Apollo indeed must have been a rabbi in Alexandria or a higher rank Jew “eloquent in Scriptures,” which indicates that there was an openness to, and reception of, a new interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures through the lenses of the Christian Gospel. The second factor is the educational infrastructure Christians inherited from such Jewish philosophers and thinkers as Aristeas, Aristobulus, and Philo of Alexandria. David Dawson pointed out that these philosophers long ago launched in Alexandria a careful and painstaking subordination of the Greek classical tradition to the Mosaic law.29 This process could imply that they reflected and actively engaged in the integration of the Jewish education into the larger Greco-Roman paideia. Their curriculum was designed to allow the élite children of Jewish families to be able to enter more easily into the larger society that surrounded them. To a lesser degree, it may have also been targeted to those of Greek, Roman, or other ethnic origin who were interested and willing to join the Jewish group. Membership and participation in the Jewish community did not put up barriers for communication with other communities, even if that communication was polemically flavored. On the contrary, the Jewish and Greco-Roman curricula established themselves in the framework of the same language of literature, philosophy, economy, and political science (cf. below Table 1).

The third factor based on the two preceding ones and probably most decisive for Judeo-Christians in not only an Egyptian milieu, was their openness to, and invitation of, the members of non-Jewish, viz., Greek, Roman, Egyptian (Coptic) and other groups, among which we can enlist Clement, for whom entrance into such congregation did not seem (at least as reflected in his writings) to be difficult at all. Only in the case of Origen we see an internal tension between a freelance teacher and the ecclesiastical authority. On the contrary, Christians in Alexandria welcomed Clement’s and Origen’s pedagogical and instructive skills. Even if we accept the suggestion that Clement came from an old Roman aristocratic and therefore most likely financially independent family and did not need to collect salary for his lectures, he and teachers like him still had a guaranteed support from the congregation in which they worked, since the Jewish synagogal structure that included the Beth Sefer (ביח ספד), House of Book, and Beth Talmud (חלמד ביח), House of Learning, was on the budget of the congregation.30

Introduction to letters and access to texts was seen in late antique Egypt as access to a higher social status, which customarily was guarded by the Greco-Roman élite that exercised and promoted education in its own exclusive circles and eagerly ensured that outsiders stayed out of it. Ptolemaic Alexandria allowed for a range of social classes, some of which enjoyed certain privileges without necessarily being full citizens, demesmen.31 Despite the Roman prohibitions of intermarriage, the mingling of ethnic groups was not a lacking phenomenon but was common especially in Egypt. Not only in the province, but even in a city with a population of nearly half a million like Alexandria, local teachers could not fully satisfy the demand for instruction in letters and professions. Ewa Wipzycka emphasized that Christian communities in Alexandria from the very beginning of its existence participated in making elementary education available to its members as well as to newcomers, mainly Greeks but also people of other ethnic groups. The latter included those who traveled to Alexandria and Egypt from all over the world to gain quick success, economic stability, social reputation, and a status that were unavailable to them elsewhere.32 Many outsiders regarded Egypt as an exotic paradise where things were happening dynamically and opportunities were abundant. And they did have good reason to think so.33 Growing economic prosperity boosted by the Ptolemies and reformed by the Romans and its strategic location fitly chosen by Macedonians in the third century BCE led Alexandria to be praised as:

Seat of the immortal gods, august and wealthy, foundation of Alexandria! The gentle climate and fertile soil of Egypt provide you with all good things, happy land! There is abundant grain, infinity flax; from your harbors sail ships with rolls of papyrus and brilliant glass.34

Thus, those who lived in Alexandria and those who came to it later were able to integrate into a society, which shared an unparalleled diversity but also a common interest and goal. Besides the economic enticement and relative religious tolerance, educational institutions, either Greek, Roman, or Jewish, were perhaps the most adapting and integrating vehicles through which the city reached its importance and fame in antiquity. Christian groups, regardless of their Apocalyptic, Judeo-Christian, Christian-Gnostic, or Catholic congregational “denomination,” consisted of educated rabbis like Apollo or later of such teachers as Valentinus, Clement and Origen. Even if they were of Jewish descent, these teachers were unburdened with the necessity to teach in Hebrew. After Paul’s missionary allowance to accept uncircumcised, Judeo-Christian churches and schools were open to accept non-Jews into their circles. Finally, and not less importantly, they had a stability of salary which allowed them to serve their congregations for a fixed compensation. Such highly educated teachers like Clement made the élite luxury of Greco-Roman paideia accessible to essentially everyone who wanted it.

As Pearson most recently pointed out, the traditional perception that early Christian Alexandrian teachers and their audience were the people of education and means who enjoyed a comfortable life as part of Egyptian middle class is true only to a limited degree. There is more evidence to support the view that the new membership of the Christian congregations came from all social strata and ages, both literate and of means, as well as illiterate and of little or no means. Christian groups, supported by everyone who belonged to it, afforded to keep their doors open to everyone.35 The late antique structure of the family exercised an important social role in the dynamic growth of the second century Alexandria. This is why Peter Brown dubs early church both in Rome and Alexandria “a loose confederation of believing households,”36 thereby making participation in the synagogue/church life open not only to the adults but also to their children, who, as was well established in the Second Temple Jewish custom both in Palestine and in Diaspora, had to be exposed to the study of letters from the age of six in the Beth Hassepher, the house of book, and from the age of twelve or thirteen and on in the Beth Talmud, the house of learning.37 For those who wanted to continue their studies, they could do so in the higher scribal rabbinical schools that were not lacking in Alexandria prior to Trajan’s pogrom. This Jewish educational program corresponded to the Greek and Roman tiers of education and distinguished the elementary, secondary, and higher levels of paideia. In other words, Sofer became the Pedagogue, while Rabbi and Mashneh became the didaskalos and Presbyteros (a new title which was first hardly distinguishable from didaskalos but with time acquired more of a clerical flavor).

In the course of the church’s progression into Greco-Roman milieu, by the end of the third century most of the teacher’s functions shifted to institutionalized ones. This shift took place from the privately run congregations and/or congregational schools. These schools had been subjugated by ecclesiastical officials, presbyters and bishops, who centralized and administered the catechetical institutions and incorporated them into the larger communal infrastructure. In fact, towards the fourth century and afterwards, the institutionalization of Christianity resulted in a widely avowed exclusivity of teaching granted only to ecclesiastically approved officeholders, which by some scholars today is seen as the shift back from the “educational” revolution commenced by early Christian teachers.38

Alexandria is no exception in this regard. Egyptian Christianity represented a multifaceted tradition formed by a number of coexisting schools, both orthodox and heterodox. However, as soon as the work of Irenaeus arrived in Alexandria some twenty years or earlier after it was originally produced, the more stringently defined Christianity was raising its voice to draw a clearer line between “orthodoxy” and “heresy.”39 Jerome informs that before the episcopacy of Dionysius, the presbyters of Alexandria chose one among themselves to be bishop, and he acted like one without consecration.40 The clash between Demetrius and Origen, which resulted in Origen leaving the city of Alexandria, is well recorded, as Griggs reconstructs circumstances. Since Origen was ordained and consecrated by bishops of Palestine and was winning international reputation, he became a rival for Demetrius able to possibly change the latter in episcopal service.41 After Origen was forced to leave Alexandria, his disciple Heraclas became the head of the Alexandrian school, and he also became the next bishop of Alexandria after Demetrius’ death in 233 marking a complete takeover of the ecclesial supervision of the formerly freelance catechetical school.42

Table 1. Ancient Tiers of Education43

Greek a




Three schools (grammar, music, and physical education)


Beth Hassepher


Advanced grammatical studies


Beth Talmud/beth ha-Midrash

Higher Education

Philosophy, rhetoric, or law/medicine

Rhetorical schools

Scribal/rabbinical schools

a Greek education in the classical period had only two tiers, but later developed a third during the Hellenistic period, which was then mimicked by the Romans.

1 His first volume on early Christianity Jean Daniélou dedicated to Judeo-Christianity, A History of Early Christian Doctrine before the Council of Nicaea. The Theology of Jewish Christianity, vol. 1. Trans., edited and with a postscript by John Austin Baker and David Smith. London: Darton, Longman & Todd; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1973. See also Daniel R. Schwartz, Studies in the Jewish Background of Christianity (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1992); Oskar Skarsaune, In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2002).

2 Gerd Theissen, ^ The Religion of the Earliest Churches. Creating a Symbolic World (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999), pp. 27-40, 96-99; idem, “The Wandering Radicals. Light Shed by the Sociology of Literature on the Early Transmission of Jesus Sayings, Social Reality and the Early Christians,” in Theology, Ethics and the World of the New Testament (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992): 33-59.

3 On the connection between Christ the teacher and early Christian theology, see Friedrich Normann, ^ Christos Didaskalos (Münster, Westf.: Aschendorf, 1966); Rainer Riesner, Jesus als Lehrer: eine Untersuchung zum Ursprung der Evangelien-Überlieferung (Tübingen: Mohr, 1984); Ulrich Neymeyr, Die christliche Lehrer im zweiten Jahrhundert: ihre Lehrtätigkeit, ihr Selbstverständnis und ihre Geschichte (Leiden; New York: Brill, 1989).

4 Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47; Col 1:23.

5 Cf. Annewies van den Hoek, “How Alexandrian was Clement of Alexandria? Reflections on Clement and his Alexandrian Background,” Heythrop Journal 31.1 (1990): 182. See also Adolf von Harnack, Die Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur bis Eusebius. 2nd vol. (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1904), p. 3.

6 See Adolf von Harnack, Die Lehre der zwölf Apostel nebst Untersuchungen zur älteste Geschichte der Kirchenverfassung des Kirchenrechts (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1884) and Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1924).

7 On Tertullian and Tatian, see Eric Osborn, ^ Tertullian: The First Theologian of the West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977) and G.F. Hawthorne, “Tatian and His Discourse to the Greeks,” Harvard Theological Review 57 (1964): 161-88.

8 Henrich Rengstorf, “Art. κλαυθμός” in ^ Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament, 2nd vol. (Stuttgart: Gerhard Friedrich 1935): 138-68; Alfred F. Zimmermann, Die urchristlichen Lehrer. Studien zum Tradentenkreis der didaskaloi im frühen Urchristentum (Tübingen: Mohr, 1984), esp. pp. 218ff.

9 See Werner Jaeger,^ Early Christianity and Greek Paideia (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1961); Hans F. von Campenhausen, Kirchliches Amt und geistliche Vollmacht in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten (Tübingen: Mohr, 1963), esp. p. 210-33.

10 See Neymeyr, Die christlichen Lehrer im zweiten Jahrhundert, p. 1-2.

11 Harry Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church, p. 4; William Harris, Ancient Literacy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989); Rosalind Thomas, Oral Tradition and Written Record in Classical Athens (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 15-34.

12 Gamble, ^ Books and Readers in the Early Church, p. 7 and nn. 21, 22, 23; Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period. Trans. by John Bowden. Vol. 2 (London: SCM Press, 1974), pp. 78-73; Shemuel Safrai, “Education and the Study of Torah,” in The Jewish People in the First Century. Historical Geography, Political History, Social, Cultural and Religious Life and Institutions. Compendia Rerum Iudaicorum ad Novum Testamentum, sec. 1. Ed. by S. Safrai and M. Stern. Vol. 2 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976), pp. 945-70; cf. Josephus Contra Apion 2.204; Ant. 4.211; T. Levi 13.2; Philo Ad Gaium 115.

13 See W. Telfer, “Episcopal Succession in Egypt.” Journal of Egyptian History 3 (1952): 1-13.

14 On the conception of Clement’s didaskalos, see Erich, Fascher, “Jesus der Lehrer,” Theologische Literaturzeitung 79.5 (1954): 326-342; idem, “Der Logos-Christus als göttlicher Lehrer bei Clemens von Alexandrien,” In Studien zum Neuen Testament und zur Patristik. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 77 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1961), pp. 193-207; Adolf Knauber, “Katechetenschule oder Schulkatechumenat? Um die rechte Deutung des “Unternehmens” der ersten grossen Alexandriener,” Trierer Theologische Zeitschrift 60 (1951): 243-66; idem, “Ein frühchristliches Handbuch katechumenaler Glaubensinitiation: der Paidogogos des Clemens von Alexandrien,” Münchener Theologische Zeitschrift 23 (1972): 311-34; idem, “Der “Didaskalos” des Clemens von Alexandrien,” Studia Patristica 16 (1985): 175-85; Friedrich Normann, Christos Didaskalos: die Vorstellung von Christus als Lehrer in der christlichen Literatur des ersten und zweiten Jahrhunderts (Münster, Westfalen: Aschendorf, 1966), pp. 153-177; Alexandros K. Koffas, Die Sophia-Lehre bei Klemens von Alexandrien – eine pädagogisch-anthropologische Untersuchung (Frankfurt am Main; Bern: Verlag Peter Lang, 1982); Judith L. Kovacs, “Divine Pedagogy and the Gnostic Teacher according to Clement of Alexandria,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 9.1 (2001): 3-25; Georg Kretschmar, Jesus Christus in der Theologie des Klemens von Alexandrien. (Doctoral Dissertation. Heidelberg, 1950); Michael Mees, “Die frühe Christengemeinde von Alexandrien und die Theologie des Klemens von Alexandrien,” Latomus. Revue d’études latines 50 (1984): 114-26; Ulrich Neymeyr, Die christliche Lehrer im zweiten Jahrhundert: ihre Lehrtätigkeit, ihr Selbstverständnis und ihre Geschichte (Leiden, New York: Brill, 1989), pp. 45-95; Birger Pearson, “Earliest Christianity in Egypt: Some Observations,” in The Roots of Egyptian Christianity. Ed. by Birger A. Pearson (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986), pp. 132-60.

15 Paed.

16 Van den Hoek, “The ‘Catechetical’ School of Early Christian Alexandria and Its Philonic Heritage,” p. 65; Neymeyr, Die christliche Lehrer, p. 57-58; Knauber, “Ein frühchristliches Handbuch katechumenaler Glaubensinitiation: der Paidogogos des Clemens von Alexandrien,” p. 327; ibid., “Der “Didaskalos” des Clemens von Alexandrien,” p. 180-81; Normann, Christos Didaskalos, p. 174; Fascher, “Der Logos-Christus als göttlicher Lehrer,” p. 206-207.

17 The Parisian manuscript, Paris. Graec. 451.

18 Van den Hoek, “The ‘Catechetical’ School of Early Christian Alexandria,” p. 65; cf. Otto Stählin, Clemens Alexandrinus erster Band: Protrepticus und Paedagogus. Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte 12 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1905), p. 289.

19 Van den Hoek, “The ‘Catechetical’ School of Early Christian Alexandria,” p. 71.

20 Colin H. Roberts, Manuscript, Society, and Belief in Early Christian Egypt. The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy for 1977 (London: Oxford University Press, 1979), p. 1, which just resonates von Harnack’s intuition expressed in his Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums. 4th ed. Vol. 2 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1924), p. 706. Robert’s passage is cited by Birger Pearson, “Earliest Christianity in Egypt: Some Observations,” in The Roots of Egyptian Christianity. Ed. by Birger A. Pearson & James E. Goering (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), pp. 132-159. Cf. also in the Pearson’s volume the article Albertus F.J. Klijn, “Jewish Christianity in Egypt,” pp. 161-175; more recent studies on the subject are C. Wilfred Griggs, Early Egyptian Christianity from its Origins to 451 CE (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1993); Roelof van den Broek, Studies in Gnosticism and Alexandrian Christianity. Nag Hammadi and Manichean Studies 39 (Leiden: Brill, 1996); Attila Jakab, Ecclesia alexandrina: Evolution sociale et institutionelle du christianisme alexandrin (IIe et IIIe siècles) (Bern: Lang, 2001); Birger Pearson, Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt (New York; London: T & T Clark, 2004).

21 Cf. Griggs, ^ Early Egyptian Christianity, pp. 3-12.

22 The Jewish revolts of 115-117 and the revolt led by Bar Kochba in 130-136 stand in one line with the pogrom of 38 CE orchestrated by Flaccus, the governor of Alexandria under Agrippa. This may explain the reluctance of the earliest Christian missionaries to go into Egypt. See Joseph Modrzejewski, The Jews of Egypt: From Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian. Trans. by R. Comman (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 227ff; John J. Collins, “Hellenistic Judaism in Recent Scholarship,” in Jewish Cult and Hellenistic Culture. Essays on the Jewish Encounter with Hellenism and Roman Rule. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism. Vol. 100 (Leiden: Brill, 2005), pp. 1-20; and in the same volume his “Anti-Semitism in Antiquity? The Case of Alexandria,” pp. 181-201. Cf. also a broader discussion of this and other relevant issues by Erich Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism. The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition (Berkley: University of California Press, 1998); Victor Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1989); John M.G. Barclay, Jews in Mediterranean Diaspora from Alexander to Trajan (Edinburgh: Clark, 1996).

23 Walter Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity. Trans. by a team from the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins and edited by Robert A. Kraft and Gerhard Krodel (Mifflintown, PA: Sigler Press, 1996), p. 45ff.; for criticism, see Colin H. Roberts, Manuscript, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt (London: Oxford University Press, 1979) and Birger Pearson, “Earliest Christianity in Egypt: Some Observations,” pp. 132-159.

24 Cf. Gilles Dorival, “Les débuts du christianisme à Alexandrie,” in Alexandrie: Une mégapole cosmopolite: Actes du 9ème colloque de la Villa Kérylos à Beaulieu-sur-Mer les 2 & 3 octobre, 1998 (Paris: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1999), pp. 157-74, esp. 160-62.

25 Birger Pearson, Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt, p. 12.

26 Dunn, James D.G., Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity. Second Edition (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1997), 235-366.

27 Roelof van den Broek, Studies in Gnosticism and Alexandrian Christianity, pp. 181-96.

28 Cf. Nag Hammagi Collection 6.3.

29 David Dawson, Allegorical Readers and Cultural Revision in Ancient Alexandria (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), p. 81.

30 See Shemuel Safrai, “Education and the Study of Torah,” pp. 956-7. He also reports that even though the teachers were paid for their instructions it was rather represented as a reimbursement for the time they could spend while earning their bread elsewhere or a salary for teaching punctuation and accents which are not part of the Torah. Teaching of the Torah was deemed to be a noble enterprise that commanded it to be done for free and prohibited the payment for it; cf. Mt 10:8; Derek Eretz Zuta 4.

31 Peter M. Fraser, ^ Ptolemaic Alexandria. Vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), pp. 38-92, especially p. 49.

32 Cf. Ewa Wipzycka, “Le degree d’alphabétisation en Égypte byzantine,” Revue des études augustiniennes 30 (1984): 279-296; Robert L. Wilken, “Alexandria: A School for Training Virtue,” in ^ Schools of Thought in the Christian Tradition. Ed. by P. Henry. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984, pp. 15-30; for a larger perspective of the discussed issue in Early Christianity, see Gerard J.M. Bartelink (Nijmegen), “Illiteratus in Early Christian and Medieval Texts: Church and Illiteracy,” in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome. Studies in Ancient Cultural Interaction in Honor of A. Hilhorst. Ed. by Florentino G. Martínes and Gerard P. Luttikhuinzen. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism. Vol. 82 (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003), pp. 1-12.

33 Cf. Alan K. Bowman, ^ Egypt after the Pharaohs: 332 BC-AD 642 from Alexander to the Arab Conquest (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986), p. 56ff; Naphtali Lewis, Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt: Case Studies in the Social History of the Hellenistic World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 10, both authors quoted by Michael Brown, The Lord’s Prayer Through North African Eyes. A Window into Early Christianity, p. 76-77, see also the entire section on Alexandria “The Tableau of Roman Alexandria,” pp. 74-120.

34 Cited in Walbank, ^ Hellenistic World, p. 114.

35 Pearson, Gnosticism and Christianity, p. 21, made this statement against Jakab, Ecclesia alexandrina, 175-214, who was of the opinion that Clement’s audience must have come from the middle class.

36 Peter Brown, ^ The Body and Society. Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), p. 135. Brown rightly reminds us that we should not forget that, “for Clement, Christ’s words “when two or three are gathered in my name” meant father, mother, and a child praying in a Christian home.”

37 Shemuel Safrai in “Education and the Study of Torah,” p. 955-7 describes Beth Sefer (ביח ספד), the house of book, which was the study of letters and reading on megillah (a small scroll) by Sofer, the teacher of letters, who taught children of age six for about five years (usually from 9 a.m. or early in the morning until the noon) and Beth Talmud (חלמד ביח), the house of learning, which was the study of Mishnah or oral Law by Mashneh, the teacher of oral Law, who taught children of the age twelve or thirteen during different lengths of years (five, six or even longer) with two sessions, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Writing was reserved as a professional skill. Curiously, a bachelor could not be a teacher, because the customarily mothers brought children to school. “In the social hierarchy the teachers come last, the order being: sages, the “leaders of the generation,” the heads of synagogues and finally the teachers, though many sources also count the teachers among the spiritual elite of the society.” For Egyptian adaptation of Jewish synagogue and school, see J. Gwyn Griffiths, “Egypt and the Rise of the Synagogue,” Journal of Theological Studies 38.1 (1987): 1-15 and Aryeh Kasher, “Synagogues as “Houses of Prayer” and “Holy Places” in the Jewish Communities of Hellenisitc and Roman Egypt,” in Synagogues in Antiquity. Ed. by A. Kasher, A. Oppenheimer, and U. Rapport (Jerusalem: Hotsa’at Yad Yits’a’ Ben-Tsevi, 1987), pp. 119-132 (in Hebrew), translated into English by Nathan H. Reisner and published in Ancient Synagogues. Historical Analysis and Archeological Discovery. Vol. 1 (Leiden: Brill, 1995), pp. 203-220; on the use of the Greek educational model for the formation of Christian catechesis, see Norbert Widok, “Inkulturation bei Klemens von Alexandrien,” Studia Patristica 26 (1993): 559-568; F.Drączkowski, “Dowartościowanie kultury intelektualnej przez Klemensa Alexandryjskiego jako rezultat polemiki antyheretyckiej,” Studia Pelplińskie 5 (1975): 189-196. On the other hand, some argued that Christian education for children in the early church was transmitted only at home, see Andrew J. Clark, “Child and School in the Early Church.” Comparative Education Review 66 (1968): 468-79; Gerhard Ruhbach, “Bildung in der Alter Kirche,” in Kirchengeschichte als Missionsgeschichte. Die alte Kirche. Vol. 1. Ed. by H.G. Frohnes, U.W. Knorr (München: Kaiser, 1974), pp. 293-310; Neymeyr, Die christlichen Lehrer im zweiten Jahrhundert, p. 1.

38 Gustave Bardy, “Les écoles romaines au second siècle,” Revue d’Histoire Ecclesiastique 28 (1932): 501-32; see also “L’église et l’enseignement pendant les trois premiers siècles,” Revue des Sciences Religieuses 12 (1932): 1-28; idem, “Aux origines de l’école d’Alexandrie,” Recherches de Science Religieuse 27 (1937): 65-90; idem, “Pour l’histoire de l’école d’Alexandrie,” in Vivre et Penser, 2. série. Revue Biblique (Paris, 1942), pp. 80-109; Roger Gryson, “The Authority of the Teacher in the Ancient and Medieval Church,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 19.2 (1982): 176-82; John K. Coyle, “The Exercise of Teaching in the Postapostolic Church,” Epistemonike epeteris tes theologikes 15 (1984): 23-43.

39 Cf. C. Wilfred Griggs, Early Egyptian Christianity from its Origins to 451. Leiden: Brill, 1993, p. 34. See also L.G. Patterson, “The Divine Became Human: Irenaean Themes in Clement of

Alexandria.” Studia Patristica 31 (Louvain: Peeters, 1997): 497-516.

40 Jerome, Epistuula CXLVI, 1.

41 See C. Wilfred Griggs, Early Egyptian Christianity from its Origins to 451. Leiden: Brill, 1993, p. 62. Griggs refers to Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. VI.8.5 and the study of Manfred Hornschuh, “Das Leben des Origenes und die Enstehung der alexandrinische Schule,” Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 71 (1960): 210-212.

42 See Susan Ashbrook Harvey, David C. Hunter, The Oxford Dictionary of Early Christian Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 348-350.

43 The table with my minor additions is taken from James R. Estep Jr., Table One, “Philosophers, Scribes, Rhetors … and Paul? The Educational Background of the New Testament,” Christian Education Journal 2 (2005): 33.


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