Biblical scholars have grown increasingly aware of the importance of looking at texts not only in their historical or literary contexts, but also in their socio-cultural contexts. Many studies have shown that honour and shame were core social values in the ancient Mediterranean world. By scrutinizing the available research on the topic of honour and shame, one realizes that there were indeed four major social values in the Mediterranean world, that is i) honour and shame, ii) patronage and reciprocity, iii) kinship and iv) purity. Modern biblical scholars would often appeal to the works of the classical authors in order to show how important these values were in the ancient world. Unfortunately claims that are being made in modern studies concerning honour and shame are usually based on the biblical and classical writings. These scholars seldom consult patristic writings. In this study it is argued that the ancient Church Fathers were indeed aware of these social values. The four social values mentioned above are taken as a basis to unlock the social context of Clement of Alexandria’s Paedagogue. It illustrates the importance of understanding the core social values of the Mediterranean society in order to interpret the theology of the early Church Fathers.
Thesis (DLitt (Greek))--University of Pretoria, 2008.