Clement of Alexandria

Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Clement of Alexandria

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Second‐century Christianity was strongly influenced by Gnostic teachers. The writings of Clement of Alexandria, steeped in Platonic and Stoic philosophy, reach out to a Hellenic world on behalf of a faith that was viewed as ‘barbarian’. His own culture is very Greek, but he attacks pagan society on moral grounds. For Clement, true gnosis or specifically Christian ‘knowledge’ was only possible on a basis of faith and his ideal, a true or orthodox Gnostic, embodies both biblical and Greek ideals of perfection such as the Stoic ‘wise man’ or the Platonic ideal of being ‘as like God as possible’.

Keywords: Alexandria; Clement of Alexandria; gnosticism; Platonism; Stoicism

Chapter.  2970 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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