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Clement of Alexandria (AD 150–215)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-B029-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 22, 2023, from

Article Summary

Clement of Alexandria, a Christian Platonist, came to conversion through philosophy. In a series of allusive writings he presented a Hellenized Christianity along with the philosophical syncretism of his age: Stoic ethics, Aristotelian logic and especially Platonic metaphysics. Just as Paul saw the Hebrew prophets and law as a preparation for the Gospel, Clement saw Christianity as making possible a confluence of Plato and the Old Testament, both offering anticipations of Jesus’ teaching. Clement’s fusion of Platonism and Christianity vehemently opposed the dualism and determinism of gnostic theosophy, and stressed free choice and responsibility as fundamental to moral values. Central to his writing is the vindication of faith as the foundation for growth in religious knowledge by philosophical contemplation and biblical study.

Citing this article:
Chadwick, Henry. Clement of Alexandria (AD 150–215), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-B029-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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