Persistence of Heuristic Protocols

On 20 February 2022, Doru Costache presented the paper “Persistence of Heuristic Protocols: The Impact of Clement, Origen, and Evagrius on Monastic Pedagogy” for the online conference of Pacific Partnership in Late Antiquity. The conference’s theme was “Persistence and Resistance: 100 to 1000 CE,” and it took place on 18-20 February 2022. The conference gathered scholars from around the Pacific, esp. from Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the United States of America.


Clement, Origen, and Evagrius observed heuristic protocols that—when it comes to advanced students—replaced the piecemeal approach of the early stages of their curricula. All three observed teaching criteria that—originating in the classical paideia—became central to monastic initiation from the fourth century onwards. In short, Clement’s paideutic approach and Evagrius’ monastic pedagogy cast a clarifying light upon Origen’s misinterpreted views, in so doing providing insights into the persistence of heuristic protocols in Byzantine monastic literature (as represented by the works collected in The Philokalia).

Video recording of the talk:

Audio recording of the introduction, the talk, and the ensuing discussion