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Names Of Early Church Fathers – Was a Christian theologian and philosopher who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Among his students were Origius and Alexander of Jerusalem. A convert to Christianity, he was an educated man familiar with classical Greek philosophy and literature. As his three major works demonstrate, Clement was influenced by Hellistic philosophy to a greater extent than any other Christian thinker of his time, and in particular, by Plato and the Stoics.
His secret works, which exist only in fragments, suggest that he was familiar with pre-Christian Jewish esotericism and Gnosticism as well. In one of his works, he argued that Greek philosophy had its origins among non-Greeks, claiming that Plato and Pythagoras were taught by Egyptian scholars.
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Clement is usually considered a Church Father. He is recognized as a saint in Coptic Christianity, Eastern Catholicism, Ethiopian Christianity, and Anglicanism. He was venerated in the Catholic West until 1586, when Pope Sixtus V removed his name from the Roman Martyrology on the advice of Baronius. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially stopped any version of Clement of Alexandria in the 10th century. But he is still often referred to as “Saint Clement of Alexandria” by both Eastern Orthodox.
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Neither Clemt’s date of birth nor his place of birth are known with any degree of certainty. It is speculated that it was born sometime around 150 AD. According to Epiphanius of Salamis, he was born in Aths, but there is also a tradition of an Alexandrian birth.
His party was pagan and Clement was a convert to Christianity. In the Protrepticus, he shows a precise knowledge of Greek religion and mystery religion, which could only have come from his family’s religious practice.
Rejecting paganism as a young man because of its moral corruption, he traveled through Greece, Asia Minor, Palestine, and Egypt. Clemt’s travels were primarily a religious enterprise. In Greece, he countered an Ionian theologian, identified as Athagoras of Aths; While in the East, he was taught by an Assyrian, sometimes identified with Tatian, and a Jew, perhaps Theophilus of Caesarea.
Eusebius suggests that Pantaus was the head of the school, but controversy exists as to whether the institutions of the school were formalized in this way before the time of Orig.
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Clemt studied under Pantaus, and was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Julian before 189. Otherwise, virtually nothing is known of Clemt’s personal life in Alexandria. He may have been married, a conjecture supported by his writings.
During Severian’s persecution in 202–203, Clement left Alexandria. In 211, Alexander of Jerusalem wrote a letter to the Church of Antioch.
Three of Clemt’s major works have survived in their entirety and are collectively referred to as a trilogy:
The Orphic Mysteries are used as an example of false cults in Greek paganism in the Protrepticus.
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The Protrepticus (Greek: Προτρεπτικὸς πρὸς Ἕλληνας: “Exhortation to the Greeks”) is, as its title suggests, an exhortation to the pagans of Greece to adopt Christianity. In it, Clemt demonstrates his extensive knowledge of pagan mythology and theology. It is important mainly because of Clemt’s exposition of religion as an anthropological form.
Clemt suggests that originally, humans believed the Sun, Moon, and other heavy bodies to be deities. The next stage of development was the worship of the products of agriculture, from which the contds of Demeter and Dionysus arose.
People have paid tribute to revive and deify the feelings of love and fear, among others. In the next stage, the poets Hesiod and Homer try to humeri the deities; Hesiod’s Theogony gives the number twelve. Eventually, people reached a stage where they proclaimed others, such as Asclepius and Heracles, as deities.
While discussing idolatry, Clemt says that the objects of primitive religion were wood and stone without form, and idols appeared when these natural things were carved.
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Following Plato, Clemt criticizes all forms of visual art, suggesting that works of art are but illusions and “deadly games”.
Clement criticizes Greek paganism in the Protrepticus on the basis that its deities are both false and poor moral examples. He attacked the mystery religions for their ritualism and mysticism.
In particular, the worshipers of Dionysus are ridiculed by him for family-based rituals (such as the use of children’s games in rituals).
He suggests at some points that pagan deities are based on humans, but at other times he suggests that they are misanthropic demons, and he cites several classical sources to support this second hypothesis.
Clement Of Alexandria
Clement, like many church fathers before Nice, writes favorably about Euhemerus and other rationalist philosophers, on the grounds that they at least saw the flaws in paganism. However, his greatest praise is reserved for Plato, whose apophatic view of God prefigures Christianity.
The figure of Orpheus is prominent throughout the narrative of the Protrepticus, and Clemtus contrasts the song of Orpheus, which represents pagan superstition, with the divine Logos of Christ.
According to Clemt, through conversion to Christianity alone can one fully participate in the Logos, which is universal truth.
The title Pedagogue, which can be translated as “tutor”, refers to Christ as the teacher of all, and presents an extended metaphor of Christians as children.
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It is not simply teaching: Clemt intends to show how the Christian should respond to God’s love authentically.
Following Plato (Republic 4:441), he divides life into three elements: character, action and passion. The first was treated in the Protrepticus, and he devoted the Pedagogue to reflection on the role of Christ in teaching people to act morally and to control their passions.
Despite its distinctly Christian nature, Clemt’s work draws on Stoic philosophy and pagan literature; Homer, alone, is quoted more than sixty times in the work.
Although Christ, like a man, is made in the image of God, He alone shares the likeness of God the Father.
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Christ is both sinless and apathetic, and thus by striving to imitate Christ, one can attain salvation. For Clement, sin is involuntary, and thus irrational (άλογον), removed only through the wisdom of the Logos.
Therefore, God’s guidance of sin is a manifestation of God’s universal love for mankind. Wordplay on λόγος and άλογον is a feature of Clemtus’ writing, and may be rooted in Epicurean’s belief that the relationship between words profoundly reflects the relationship between the objects they signify.
Clemt argues for the equality of the sexes, on the grounds that salvation extends to all men equally.
Unprecedentedly, it suggests that Christ is neither male nor female, and that God the Father has both female and male aspects: the Eucharist is described as milk from the breast of (Christ) the Father.
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Clemt supports women playing an active role in church leadership and lists women she considers inspirational, including both biblical and classical Greek figures. It has been suggested that Clement’s progressive view of gder as set out in the Paedagogus was influenced by Gnosticism,
However, later in the work, he argues against the Gnostics that faith, not esoteric knowledge (γνῶσις), is required for salvation. According to Clemt, it is through faith in Christ that a person lights up and comes to know God.
In the second book, Clement gives practical rules about the life of a Christian. He argues against overindulgce in food and in favor of good table manners.
Clemt argues for a simple way of life in accordance with the natural simplicity of Christian monotheism. He condemns elaborate and expensive furniture and clothes, and argues against overly passionate music and perfumes, but Clemt does not believe in abandoning worldly pleasures and argues that the Christian should be able to express joy in God’s creation through joy and celebration. .
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He opposes wearing the garlands, because picking the flowers ultimately kills a beautiful creation of God, and the garland is like the crown of thorns.
Clemt treats sex in some lgth. He claims that both promiscuity and sexual abstinence are unnatural, and that the primary purpose of human sexuality is procreation.
He says that adultery, intercourse with pregnant women, concubinage, homosexuality, and prostitution should all be avoided because they will not contribute to the generation of legitimate children.
In his third book, Clemt continues in a similar vein, condemning cosmetics on the grounds that it is one’s soul, not the body, that one should seek to beautify.
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Clemt also opposes dyeing my hair and male hair removal as being effeminate. He advises you to choose your company carefully, to avoid being corrupted by immoral people, and while you argue that material wealth is not a sin in itself, it is all too likely to distract a person from spiritual wealth which is infinitely more important than found in Christ.
The work ends with a selection of scriptures that support Clemt’s argument, and after a prayer, the lyrics of a hymn.
Clemt describes the Stromata as a work on various topics that spring up in the text like flowers in a sari.
The accounts of the Stromata, as its title suggests, are diverse. Its place in the trilogy is disputed – Clemt originally intended to write the Didasculus, a work that would complement the practical advice of the Pedagogue and a more intellectual school of theology.
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