Chapter

The Higher Christian Life: <i>gnōsis, apatheia, agapē</i>

John Behr

in Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270003
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683862 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270003.003.0007

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The Higher Christian Life: gnōsis, apatheia, agapē

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One of the main themes of Stromateis is the maturity of a bonafide Gnostic compared with the immaturity of a simple believer. Clement gives emphasis on a twofold faith wherein one believes in the dependence of faith and gnōōsis while developing a common faith. This chapter discusses Clement's view on gnōsis on God and how it functions. Clement also presents the importance of prayer, how this separates the soul from the world, and how this is paralleled with the thankful use of the world. The chapter discusses apatheia and provides a culmination of gnōsis and apatheia. It is said that man cannot attain apatheia without God's help; Clement establishes the asceticism where man makes himself worthy to receive God's grace. Clement's asceticism shows that there is no engagement with man's bodily reality nor with his dependence on God; Clement want his readers to focus on what is under their own control.

Keywords: Stromateis; Clement; faith; prayer; apatheia; gnōsis; asceticism

Chapter.  9283 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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