Born in Sydney, Dimitri Kepreotes, PhD, studied arts and theology before working in the fields of tertiary teaching, translation and church administration, including as Personal Secretary to Archbishop Stylianos of Australia. He has taught at the Orthodox University in Kinshasa (DR Congo) on an honorary basis. Having edited St Basil the Great’s Address to Youth, his interest in education for all ages continues with his recent children’s book in rhyme titled Where is God? He regards music as the most pleasant gift and potent remedy.
This book attempts to answer the question: what are the essential features of Greek education? In so doing, it explores the extent to which the educational ideals and practices of paideia have displayed continuity from classical Athens until modern times. The views of Plato, Photios the Great (9th century) and Nicodemos the Athonite (18th century) are examined in particular, revealing significant stages of development. The book offers a presentation of what paideia holds up to be its own goal on its own terms. The proponents of the paideia tradition sought an answer to the age-old question, ‘What constitutes the human person?’ The response to that enigma determined everything else. Education took shape accordingly and led to a lifelong process of harmonising the respective functions of the soul and body. On account of its value on both a personal and communal level, paideia is of paramount significance for Plato and other exponents, such as Nicodemos. Their individual legacies stand like bookends on either side of some 22 centuries of Greek education that are appraised within these pages.
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