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Clement of Alexandria

(Titus Flavius Clemens; ca. 150–ca. 215). Gk. ch. father. Regarded as founder of Alexandria school of theol. Hymnist. B. probably Athens. Date and manner of conversion not known. After conversion he studied in It., Greece, Syria, Palestine, and elsewhere. In Alexandria he succeeded his master Pantaenus* as head of the school ca. 190–ca. 202, when he fled to Palestine under persecution; his pupil Origen* succeeded him as head of the school. Clement agreed with Gnosticism* in emphasis on knowledge but disagreed as to content of true knowledge. For him true knowledge presupposed the apostolic faith of the ch., based on divine revelation; regarded the OT and Gk. philos. as parallel streams leading Jews and Gks. to Christ; sometimes accused of universalism.* Works include Exhortation to the Heathen; Instructor; and Stromata; all written to show Christianity as the true philos. centered in Christ, the Logos, Mediator of knowledge and immortality to man. Hymns ascribed to him include “Shepherd of Tender Youth,” one of the oldest Christian hymns. See also Fathers of the Church; Federal Theology; Schools, Early Christian, 1; Tradition.

R. B. Tollinton, Clement of Alexandria, 2 vols. (London, 1914); C. Mondésert, Clément d'Alexandrie (Paris, 1944); J. Quasten, Patrology, II (West-minister, Maryland, 1953), 5–36; MPG, 8–9. EK


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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