Paideia is a very broad word that describes the culture being handed on and how it is handed on. It could as easily be translated “an education”, before the word was hijacked by getting credentials for a career, in other words making money. Paideia means what happens to the whole person (body, mind, soul) when suffused with ideals valued by a culture, so that a person embodies the culture and lives it out. All this is far more important than a career, but now something almost completely lost in higher education. Perhaps, English “enculturation/enculturate” covers for Padeia.

The translators have chosen the word “discipline” instead, which has all sorts of different connotations in English and in our culture, and among those connotations a certain negativity.

What I’m specifically talking about is the holding and handing on Catholic culture In the family. The “discipline” meant here in this text, is far larger concept or practice than punishment or strictness on the part of a father. Note that the writer uses the language of love to color the meaning of this “discipline.”

A further note about language. The test is highly masculinistic, and ought somehow to be cast in gender neutral language, because surely a mother and father together are engage din this Padeia with their children regardless of anyone’s gender.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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