Clement of Alexandria

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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. OrigenOrigen
, 185?–254?, Christian philosopher and scholar. His full name was Origines Adamantius, and he was born in Egypt, probably in Alexandria. When he was quite young, his father was martyred.
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 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 PhotiusPhotius
, c.820–892?, Greek churchman and theologian, patriarch of Constantinople, b. Constantinople. He came of a noble Byzantine family. Photius was one of the most learned men of his time, a professor in the university at Constantinople and, under Byzantine Emperor
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, 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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Clement of Alexandria


(Titus Flavius Clemens). Died before A.D. 215. Christian theologian and writer. Born of pagan parents, he received an extensive education in philosophy and literature. He taught in Alexandria as an independent Christian teacher, later fleeing to Asia Minor to avoid persecution.

Clement was the first Christian thinker to rank among the highly educated men of his time. He aimed at a synthesis of Hellenistic culture and Christian faith. Approaching his task with optimistic fervor, he did not grasp the profound contradictions between the two ideological worlds to which he belonged. His religious ideal contains features of classical philosophical humanism. The treatises Exhortation to the Greeks and The Tutor, which continue the tradition of the popular-philosophical literature, interpret Christianity as an enlightening doctrine that overcomes pagan superstitions, frees men from fear, and provides an inner independence. The hymn to Christ, with which The Tutor concludes, is one of the first Christian poetic works. His enormous erudition may be seen in the collection of sketches entitled Miscellanies (Stromata), a valuable source for the history of classical philosophy, which Clement, with some reservations, places on an equal level with the Bible. In the discussion What Rich Man Will Be Saved?, the gospel condemnation of wealth is replaced by an abstract philosophical principle of disdain for material things. On the whole, the type of Christianity expounded by Clement did not find a place in medieval thought and was revived only in the philosophy of Renaissance Christian humanism, represented by Erasmus of Rotterdam and T. More.


Werke, vols. 1–4. Leipzig, 1905–36.
Werke, 3d ed., vols. 2–3. Berlin, 1960–70. (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte . . . .)


Mirtov, D. Nravstvennoe uchenie Klimenta Aleksandriiskogo. St. Petersburg, 1900.
Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1940. Pages 389–90.
Völker, W. Der Wahre Gnostiker nach Clemens Alexandrinus. Berlin-Leipzig, 1952.
Osborn, E. F. The Philosophy of Clemens of Alexandria. Cambridge, 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Clement of Alexandria

Saint. original name Titus Flavius Clemens. ?150--?215 ad, Greek Christian theologian: head of the catechetical school at Alexandria; teacher of Origen. Feast day: Dec. 5
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Arguments for the Understanding of God in Clement of Alexandria: Orphic Infuences in Stromata V
Clement of Alexandria: "Every woman should feel shame at the thought that she is a woman." St.
One of the best examples is the view of private property endorsed not only by popes and bishops but also by scholars without episcopal office, such as Clement of Alexandria and Thomas Aquinas.
Gessner's definition of "dialect" comes from Clement of Alexandria: est autem dialectus dictio peculiarem alicuius loci notam seu characterem prae se ferens (1v; I follow the editors in citing Gessner's text by leaf of the 1555 edition) and later nos dialectum alias simpliciter sermonem sive orationem articulatam significare observavimus (2r, discussion 30-32).
St Clement of Alexandria Church, in Castle Bromwich, had the pounds 13,000 repairs done just in time to beat the worsening weather.
The early fathers, such as Ireneaus of Lyon or Clement of Alexandria, described deification in the third century.
Clement of Alexandria in Egypt was clean of the world's foremost Christian educational institution from AD 192 to 202.
For Clement of Alexandria, "philosophy was given to the Greeks directly and primarily till the Lord should call the Greeks, for this was a schoolmaster to bring the Hellenic mind, as the Law the Hebrews, to Christ.
In the second century the Christian theologian Tertullian famously asked "What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?" Although Tertullian answered his own question with a resounding "No!" other early Christian writers especially Clement of Alexandria and Augustine proclaimed that Greek and Latin literature compared favorably with Christian literature and that Christians should by all means read Cicero and Greek novels and romances such as the Alexandriad.
This section also disappoints in some of the assertions Pearse makes: the number of deaths from the crusades he garners from a website whose author accepts the inflated numbers of the medieval chroniclers; he asserts the univocal stance of the ante-Nicene church against Christian involvement in war, a stance equivocally maintained by Clement of Rome and Clement of Alexandria; and he cites a canon from Basil of Caesarea in which, Pearse alleges, Basil consciously taught something new, even though Basil himself writes that he followed the Fathers.
After a chapter on the references to music in the New Testament and an overview chapter of the fate of the church in the pagan milieu of the Late Roman Empire, chapters 4-8 open with an exposition of the sociopolitical and religious climate of the times of Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, St.