lecture 3

  1. Biography of clement of alexandria 
    • born in 150, in athens, educated in rhetoric and literature 
    • converts to christianity
    • after 180, succeeds Pantaenus, a christian stoic philosopher 
    • most prolific, but nothing left
    • GOAL: wanted to bring educated classes into the Church - optimistic view of human life, man was fundamentally reasonable 
  2. clement's works
    • paedagogus (teacher)
    • protrepticus (Exhortation to pagans) 
    • stromata (miscellanies) - fragmentary... on marriage, and on spiritual perfection exist 
  3. Clement's historicopolitical context
    • Severan dynasty (193-235)
    • persecutions in north africa (202) 
    • ---- martyrdom of perpetua and felicitas 
    • ---- leaves alexandria and goes to jerusalem 
  4. obscurantism v. christian gnosticism 
    • obscurantism - opposed to possession of human progress, claim ownership of orthodoxy 
    • gnostics - losing credibility on widely speculative 
  5. clement and gnosticism sympathies 
    • like gnostic as term 
    • suggests he might believe in platonic idea of pre-existent soul
    • secret knowledge 
    • emphases journey of the soul 
    • scripture is allegorical; but suggests historicity 
    • anti-docetic
    • agreed with valentinus that Jesus didn't have normal digestion
  6. clement and gnosticism, divergences 
    • rejects extreme dualism 
    • rejects dismissal of baptismal confession
    • rejects pessimistic view of world and of human freewill 
    • rejects gnostic docetism 
    • rejects view of christianity as discontinuity 
  7. CREATION: fundamental doctrine (3)
    • creation is image of God's providence 
    • creation as ground of redemption 
    • creation as virtuous life 
  8. GOD doctrine
    • God as one and transcendent 
    • creator
    • apophasis (refusing right to place him in comprehensible) 
    • trinity: hierarchy of 3 graded beings 
  9. Christ doctrine 
    • as intimate companion, presence of God 
    • christ's presence and own perfection polishes our own souls
    • christ as teacher of humankind, not just few 
  10. Christian morality as exercise in aesthetics 
    • christian is characterized by compusre, tranquility, calmness, and peace 
    • mediating position between licentiousness and hyper-ascetics
    • morality as attunement
    • grace and nature in christian moral life 
  11. marriage as context for journey
    • against extreme ascetism and mystique of sexual continence
    • goodness of marriage and marriage relations (as holy as celibacy)
    • death not sexuality is extreme affliction of fallen humanity 
Card Set
lecture 3