A Study of the Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem in Light of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory

  • Karin Wende

Student thesis: Phd


A Study of the Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem in Light of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory 1 July 2017 This project is a study of the Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem, using Multiple Intelligence Theory, a well-known tool for the development and evaluation of educational curricula. Because of its awareness of the different ways in which humans acquire and process information, MI provides a unique perspective onto Cyril’s ancient curriculum by calling attention to a range of pedagogical avenues exploited in his material. The resemblance of Cyril’s range of pedagogical approaches to the intelligences identified in MI creates the potential for the use of Cyril’s work to serve as a model for those wishing to develop modern teaching materials based on the observations of MI. The first chapter introduces the topic, discusses methodology, and provides information about relevant literature. It then moves on to discuss background and contextual information for Cyril and his situation in the fourth century. This contextualisation looks especially to factors which affected the baptisands who were present in Cyril’s classes, as well as his own place in the hermeneutical and theological discussions of his time. The second chapter deals in a more specific way with the theory of multiple intelligences. It includes discussions about how each intelligence is identified and the basic science behind it. The section on spiritual intelligence includes a critique of Gardner’s position on this topic from the perspective of MI, supported by the work of several other investigators. The third, fourth and fifth chapters use an MI lens to examine particular aspects of the Catecheses. In Chapter Three, Cyril’s homilies plus his programme in general are explored to identify ways in which he addressed capacities which are similar to MI intelligences. In Chapter Four, by comparing the picture of an individual MI intelligence with Cyril’s use of the word “faith,” it is concluded that he understood faith to be in some sense a cognitive capacity, capable of receiving and processing spiritual information. Chapter Five is an examination of the rites and mystagogy of Cyril’s post-baptismal lectures from the perspective of MI-based transformative learning experiences. The final chapter sums up results, offers suggestions for practical applications, and names potential obstacles to the adaptation of Cyril’s material in a modern setting.
Date of Award31 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester


  • Cyril of Jerusalem. Multiple Intelligences
  • Pedagogy

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