Who is Clement of Alexandria (Clemens)?

Who is Clement of Alexandria (Clemens)?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

An anti-KleTertullian view is represented by his contemporary, Clemens of Alexandria. Clemens, director of a Christian school in Alexandria, wrote several books. One of these works bears a remarkable name such as “Carpets”. Carpet is a woven fabric of various colors and shapes.

Clemens’ book also showed various philosophical views in a colorful system, just like a carpet. Clemens also puts belief above knowledge, but according to him, there is no opposition between belief and knowledge.

If we first adopt dogma with close conviction, and then turn to philosophy, then we see that belief is also confirmed by philosophy. Clemens later expressed this view with the following rule: “I believe in order to understand”, that is, I believe in order to see what I believe confirmed by reason.

Klement became a student of Pantene, who founded a Christian school. Klement, who was born towards the year 150, died towards the year 215. Klement, who taught at the Alexandria School after his teacher, was forced to leave this city as a result of the increasing violence against Christians and took refuge in Kayseri. Two of his works are of particular importance here. One of them is the “Advice to the Greeks”, which is called with the short name of “Protreptikos”, and the other is his work called “Pedagogue”, that is, “The Trainer”.

Klement offers us an enhanced version of Justinus’ thoughts. Clement, in his desire to save pagans from idolatry, invites them to accept the one God. In the time of Clement, there were Greek philosophers who realized this within the Greeks themselves. So there have been philosophers who have seen the absurdity of their pagan beliefs. But God’s revelation is not in the thoughts of philosophers, but in the word of the prophets. Klement, in his work Pedagog, explained his thoughts on the education of people who converted to Christianity.

According to him, this job is the job of the pedagogue, that is, the trainer. The trainer is the logos. Logos undertook the duty of pedagogue in limiting the sins of people. Logos is the pedagogue of all people. Clement did not discriminate in his conception of salvation. After baptism, all Christians are on an equal footing for salvation. In defending this understanding, Clement applied to the Bible. St. John says: “This is the will of my Father: Let everyone who sees the Son and believes in him have eternal life, and I will have him risen on the last day.” (Bible, John VI: 40).

Clement does not accept Markion’s understanding of two gods in the distinction between the Demiurge and the foreign God. Contrary to Markion, goodness and justice are attributes of one god, not two gods, and goodness should not be separated from justice. Logos proselytizes and educates the Christian. If necessary, it also resorts to harsh discipline and punishment methods for this purpose.

Klement argued that philosophy in itself is actually good. Because God allowed philosophy. What is written in the Old Testament is proof of this. God speaks of thoughtful and wise souls and that He has endowed them with wisdom. Here we see that Clement adopted the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. As a matter of fact, the New Testament according to him  did not abolish the Old Testament, but it completed it.

According to him, God; He gave law to the Jews, philosophy to the Greeks, and faith to the Christians. Therefore, believing in Jesus does not mean rejecting philosophy. According to him, philosophy and faith have common roots. What distinguishes man from animals is his mind and ability to know. When this mind and ability to know is put into action, it takes the name of art. This same mind attains piety and believes in logos and obeys its commands. Reason or science, action or art form the basis of religiosity as parts of wisdom. The important thing is the wisdom that brings them to unity, and this is nothing but faith.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırımment (Clemens) Who is he?