jeudi 6 juin 2019
Bibliothèque Nationale, Centre Culturel Stavros Niarchos
Conférence de Sébastien Morlet, actuellement en résidence à l’EFA, à la Bibliothèque nationale de Grèce.
Ancient Christian Thought and Greek Culture : Rejection, Appropriation, Continuation (1st c.–6th c. CE)
Αρχαία χριστιανική σκέψη και ελληνική παιδεία : απόρριψη, πρόσκτηση, συνέχιση (1ος-6ος αι. μ.Χ.)
The birth of Christianity gave rise to an unprecedented « crisis of consciousness » in the Greek-speaking world concerning the notion of culture, παιδεία. For the first time in history, a debate over culture arose and spread widely among scholars of Greek learning, and was one of the keystones of ancient Christian thought. Was Christianity compatible with the traditional, fundamentally polytheistic culture ? Some Christian writers turned against Greek παιδεία and condemned it ; by contrast, others made efforts to defend it as useful, true and essentially connected to Revelation. However, this debate reveals a fundamental questionning about the very notion of culture : in the second/third centuries, writers such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen tried to dissociate culture from hellenism and to define it more broadly as any form of education that would nourish the humanity of man, thus anticipating later, modern conceptions of culture. Despite this passage from an old to a new conception of culture, we should not fail to see the deep continuation between this Christian reflexion on culture and greek questionnings on παιδεία, as illustrated for instance in philosophical tradition.