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Author: Bogdan Bucur

Abstract

Clement of Alexandria's Excerpta ex Theodoto, Eclogae Propheticae, and Adumbrationes depict a cosmic hierarchy featuring, in descending order, the divine Face, the seven beings first created, the archangels, and the angels. This account is problematic in that it seems to incorporate a contradiction: one set of texts presents a fix cosmic hierarchy populated by different types having at its top the seven protoctists. A second set of texts, however, interprets this process of initiation as a continuous ascent on the cosmic ladder, marked by an ongoing cyclical transformation of humans into angels, of angels into archangels, and of archangels into protoctists.This article sets forth the principles governing Clement's hierarchical cosmos, and proposes a solution to the apparent contradiction between the two accounts. In essence, Clement of Alexandria internalizes the cosmic ladder and the associated experience of ascent and transformation, offering an early example of what scholars have termed "interiorized apocalypticism."

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Clement of Alexandria and Other Early Christian Witnesses
Author: Bogdan Bucur
This book discusses the occurrence of angelic imagery in early Christian discourse about the Holy Spirit. Taking as its entry-point Clement of Alexandria’s less explored writings, Excerpta ex Theodoto, Eclogae propheticae, and Adumbrationes, it shows that Clement’s angelomorphic pneumatology occurs in tandem with spirit christology, within a theological framework still characterized by a binitarian orientation. This complex theological articulation, supported by the exegesis of specific biblical passages (Zech 4: 10; Isa 11 : 2-3; Matt 18:10), reworks Jewish and Christian traditions about the seven first-created angels, and constitutes a relatively widespread phenomenon in early Christianity. Evidence to support this claim is presented in the course of separate studies of Revelation, the Shepherd of Hermas, Justin Martyr, and Aphrahat.
In: Scrinium
Author: Bogdan G. Bucur

Building on John R. Levison’s study on «The Angelic Spirit in Early Judaism», which documented the widespread use of the term «spirit» as a designation for an angelic presence, this essay argues the presence of an «angelomorphic Pneumatology» in three early Christian sources: the book of Revelation, the Shepherd of Hermas, and Clement of Alexandria. It is argued that angelomorphic Pneumatology occurs in tandem with Spirit Christology, within a binitarian theological framework. This larger theological articulation results in a quasi-Trinitarian structure of the divine world, featuring the Father, the Son/Spirit, and the angelomorphic Spirit. The final section of the essay proposes a theological interpretation of these data.

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In: Scrinium
Author: Bogdan Bucur

Abstract

This article contributes to research on Clement of Alexandria's pneumatology by revisiting and expanding upon Christian Oeyen's oft-neglected study Eine frühchristliche Engelpneumatologie bei Klemens von Alexandrien, published in 1966. It argues, first, that a study of Clement's Pneumatology cannot ignore the surviving portions of Clement's Hypotyposes (especially the Excerpta ex Theodoto, Eclogae Propheticae, and Adumbrationes), because these appear to have included treatises "On Prophecy" and "On the Soul." Secondly, it reaffirms Oeyen's thesis that Clement of Alexandria's Pneumatology is best understood within the framework of early Jewish and Christian speculation on the "first created" angelic spirits (πρωτó;κτιστoι). The article advances the discussion by providing a context for Clement's "angelomorphic Pneumatology": this phenomenon is part of a larger theological articulation, occurring in tandem with Spirit Christology and a marked binitarian orientation.

In: Vigiliae Christianae