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Gnosis, Theophany, Theosis

Studies in Clement of Alexandria's Appropriation of His Background


Arkadi Choufrine

Gnosis, Theophany, Theosis comprises three case studies of Clement’s interaction with the heterogeneous traditions integral to his Alexandrian background: Basilidean and Valentinian metaphysics of the Christ-event; Philo’s Scripture exegesis; and Hellenistic ethical theory based on Aristotle’s concept of telos. This book focuses on the three respective representative objects of interpretation that Clement shared with those traditions, namely: the rite of Christian initiation; Scripture narratives of primordial creation and God’s revelation to Abram; and the Middle Platonic idea of human telos as «assimilation to God.» By going back to the respective interpretations of these objects by those traditions, and then forth to Clement’s appropriation of those interpretations, Gnosis, Theophany, Theosis presents him as a creative theologian and lays bare the inner structure of his synthesis.