Clement of Alexandria and the Beginnings of Christian by Henny Fiska Hägg

By Henny Fiska Hägg

Can people comprehend God? Can created beings procedure the Uncreated? the concept that of God and questions on our skill to understand him are relevant to this publication. jap Orthodox theology distinguishes among realizing God as he's (his divine essence) and as he provides himself (through his energies), and hence it either negates and affirms the elemental query: guy can't understand God in his essence, yet may well recognize him via his energies. Henny Fiska Hagg investigates this earliest level of Christian unfavourable (apophatic) theology, in addition to the beginnings of the excellence among essence and energies, targeting Clement of Alexandria within the overdue moment century. Clement's theological, social, non secular, and philosophical milieu can also be thought of, as is his indebtedness to heart Platonism and its idea of God.

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Clement gives various versions of the origin of this god, arguing that he and his statue were like human creations, a fusion of Osiris and Apis (Protr. 2–6). Finally, among the potential philosophical and religious influences on Clement in the Alexandrian milieu, Gnosticism must be mentioned. In the decades preceding Clement’s arrival in Alexandria, we know of the probable presence there of the two famous Gnostic teachers, Basilides and Valentinus,41 who most likely attracted students among 39 Lewis, Life in Egypt, 86.

43 Cf. ’ 44 For a more detailed account of Clement’s views on gnosis, see Ch. 4, ‘Esoteric Knowledge and Gnosis’. Clement in Second-Century Alexandria 33 of existence: ‘(But this Deity) the creature can neither express nor grasp by perception . . 45 Now, as we shall see, this phenomenon is not at all uncommon in the religious writings of the period. As to the extent of the influence of Gnosticism on Clement’s thought and theology, scholars disagree. 46 A lot of confusion can be caused by the tendency of much twentieth-century scholarship to use Gnosticism as a blanket term for a supposed second-century heretical movement.

62 However, in order to support his view of the heretic (Gnostic) character of Christianity there, Bauer had to view the earliest Egyptian literature that is known to us in a way consistent with his theory. His method of extrapolating backwards from the time of Hadrian when the Gnostic teachers Basilides, Valentinus, and Carpocrates were active, is questionable. 64 An important testimony for an early orthodox reaction against Gnosticism, as well as for the close relationship 60 Eng. trans. Walter Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity (Philadelphia, 1971).

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