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Clement of Alexandria

Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), d. c.215, Greek theologian. Born in Athens, he traveled widely and was converted to Christianity. He studied and taught at the catechetical school in Alexandria until the persecution of 202. Origen was his pupil there. He probably died in Caesarea, Cappadocia. Clement was one of the first to attempt a synthesis of Platonic and Christian thought; in this his successors in the Alexandrian school were more successful. Only a few works survive. The Address to the Greeks (Protrepticus) sets forth the inferiority of Greek thought to Christianity. Appended to the Tutor (Pedagogus) are two hymns, among the earliest Christian poems. His homily, Who Is the Rich Man? Who Is Saved? is a well-written fragment. The Miscellanies (Stromateis) is a collection of notes on Gnosticism. He attacked Gnosticism, but he himself has been called a Christian Gnostic. Although Clement remained entirely orthodox, in his writing he strove to state the faith in terms of contemporary thought. He was long venerated as a saint, but Photius, in the 9th cent., regarded Clement as a heretic. Because of Photius's contentions the name of Clement was removed from the Roman martyrology.

See studies by E. F. Osborn (1957), W. E. G. Floyd (1971), S. R. Lilla (1971), and M. Smith (1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Philosophy of Clement of Alexandria
E. F. Osborn.
University Press, 1957
Stromateis
John Ferguson.
Catholic University of America Press, 1991
Christ, the Educator
Saint Alexandria of Clement.
Catholic University of America Press, 1954
The Greek Fathers
James Marshall Campbell.
Longmans, Green, 1929
Apocatastasis in Patristic Theology
Sachs, John R.
Theological Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4, December 1993
Jesus and the Greeks: Or, Early Christianity in the Tideway of Hellenism
William Fairweather.
T. & T. Clark, 1924
Librarian’s tip: "The Christian Platonists of Alexandria" begins on p. 321
Greek Myths and Christian Mystery
Hugo S. J. Rahner.
Biblo and Tannen, 1971
A History of Later Greek Literature from the Death of Alexander in 323 B.C. to the Death of Justinian in 565 A.D
F. A. Wright.
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Third Century (A. D. 193-313)"
Early Christian Thought and the Classical Tradition: Studies in Justin, Clement, and Origen
Henry Chadwick.
Oxford University Press, 1984
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