Catechetical School of Alexandria
Catechetical School of Alexandria was a school of Christian theologians and
priests in Alexandria. The teachers and
students of the school (also known as the Didascalium)
were influential in many of the early theological controversies of the
Christian church. It was one of the two major centers of the study of
biblical exegesis and theology during Late Antiquity, the other being the
School of Antioch.
According to Jerome
the Alexandrian school was founded by Mark the Apostle. The earliest
recorded dean was supposedly Athenagoras
(176). He was succeeded by Pantaenus
181, who was succeeded as head of the school by his student Clement of
Alexandria in 190.
theologians with a connection to the school include Origen, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Heraclas,
Dionysius "the Great", and Didymus the
Blind. Others, including Jerome and Basil, made trips to the school to
interact with the scholars there.
Continuity with the
ancient school is claimed by the Coptic Theological Seminary, Cairo.
School of Alexandria is the oldest catechetical school in the world. Jerome
records that the Christian School of Alexandria was founded by St. Mark
himself and the first manager appointed by Saint Mark was Saint Justus,
who later became the sixth bishop of Alexandria. There is another
opinion that the school was founded mid-second century, around 190 A.D.
Under the leadership
of the scholar Pantaenus, the school of
Alexandria became an important institution of religious learning, where
students were taught by scholars such as Athenagoras,
Clement, Didymus, and the great Origen, who was
considered the father of theology and who was also active in the field of
commentary and comparative Biblical studies. Many scholars, such as Jerome,
visited the school of Alexandria to exchange ideas and to communicate
directly with its scholars.
The scope of this
school was not limited to theological subjects. Apart from subjects like
theology, Christian philosophy and the Bible; science, mathematics and
Greek & Roman literature, logic and the arts were also taught. The
question-and-answer method of commentary began there, and, 15 centuries
before Braille, blind students at the school were using wood-carving
techniques to read and write.
Extract from en.wikipedia.org