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Clement of Alexandria

(c. 150—215)


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(c.150–c.215),

theologian. He was a pupil of Pantaenus in Alexandria, assumed the role of teacher (c.190), but fled from Alexandria in the persecution (c.202). His surviving writings include the Protrepticus, or an ‘Exhortation to the Greeks’; the Paedagogus, on Christian life and manners, and eight Books of Stromateis, or ‘Miscellanies’ (though the last Book seems to be a misplaced fragment on logic). His work represents an attempt to meet the charge that Christianity is a religion for the ignorant. He treads a middle way between heretical Gnosticism which had intellectual pretensions and a religion of simple faith, seeing in Christianity the fulfilment both of the OT Scriptures and of Greek philosophy. He depicts the Logos as exposing the error and immorality of Greek religion and leading people, through Baptism, to the true religion of Christianity; he applies the term ‘gnostic’ to the Christian who has attained to the deeper understanding of the Logos. The ultimate goal of the Christian life is presented as deification. Clement's name appears in earlier martyrologies under 4 Dec., but Clement VIII excised it on the grounds of the doubtful orthodoxy of some of his writings. In the American BCP (1979), feast day, 5 Dec.

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