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Clement of Alexandria


  • Date Published: November 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521090810

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • Clement of Alexandria (150–215) lived and taught in the most lively intellectual centre of his day. This book offers a comprehensive account of how he joined the ideas of the New Testament to those of Plato and other classical thinkers. Clement taught that God was active from the beginning to the end of human history and that a Christian life should move on from simple faith to knowledge and love. He argued that a sequence of three elliptical relations governed the universe: Father and Son, God and humanity, humans and their neighbours. Faith as a fixed conviction which is also a growing mustard seed was joined to Plato's unwavering search for the best reason. The open heaven of prophecy became intelligible through Plato's ascending dialectic. This book will be invaluable in making this outstanding thinker of the early Church accessible to the students of today.

    • Osborn charts Clement of Alexandria's fusion of New Testament ideas with Plato's classical thought
    • An unmissable account of this crucial stage in the development of New Testament theology
    • A thorough examination of Clement of Alexandria's development of Platonism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Professor Osborn addressed this subject in 1957 in his Philosophy of Clement of Alexandria. Now, almost 50 years later, he returns to it with this detailed and concise study. He (Osborn) has taken care to make it accessible: Greek terms are transliterated, and passages are translated. It will be enjoyed not only by those with a special interest in patristic theology, but by a wider readership. They will be introduced to an influential but underestimated pioneer of Christian theological thinking, and will be excited by the broad vision and perceptive insights of a highly creative thinker.' Church Times

    Review of the hardback: 'Eric Osborn has written what will surely become the standard introduction to the thought of Clement of Alexandria. Osborn's treatment provides a detailed analysis and careful appreciation of the thought of Clement. It will not only serve as a standard text on this topic, but, moreover, opens up fresh ways of understanding this highly significant early Christian figure.' Expository Times

    Review of the hardback: '… combines the fermented wisdom of fifty years with the exhileration of one who has rediscovered a friend of his youth … this is the most astute, the most impassioned and the most learned introduction to Clement's thought that has yet been offered to the English-speaking reader.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

    Review of the hardback: 'This book is indeed analytic … But the book is also synthetic. Osborn brings together Clement's often scattered statements on given themes and shows how these fit together to form a 'pilgrim theology'. A remarkable feature of the book is the notion, advanced more than once, that Clement's path-breaking 'fusion of faith with Plato's search for the best reason' … this rewarding book is demanding … Osborn provides helpful summary bibliography … a subject index, and indices of citations from Clement, the Bible, and ancient authors … This book deserves to be read widely, by patrologists, scholars of classical philosophy, historians of the early Church, theologians, and those working in relating fields. Students of Clement, in particular, will be grateful for Osborn's continued commitment to teach through writing.' Andrew Dinan, Ave Maria University

    Review of the hardback: 'This book deserves to be read widely, by patrologists, scholars of classical philosophy, historians of the early Church, theologians, and those working in related fields. Students of Clement, in particular, will be grateful for Osborn's continued commitment to teach through writing.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521090810
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Life and works
    Part I. Economy and Mobility:
    2. Divine plan/economy and mobility
    3. Scripture
    4. Philo and Clement: from divine oracle to true philosophy
    Part II. Divine Reciprocity:
    5. God beyond God and God within God: the known centre of the unknown God
    6. God beside God: the ellipse
    Part III. Faith and Salvation:
    7. The spark and ferment of faith (exc 1.1.3)
    8. Arguments for faith
    9. Knowledge, sciences and philosophy
    10. Church and heresy
    11. Twofold hope
    12. Love and reciprocity

  • Author

    Eric Osborn, La Trobe University, Victoria
    Eric Osborn is honorary Professor in History, La Trobe University and Professor Fellow in Classics, University of Melbourne. His most recent publications include Irenaeus of Lyons (2001).

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