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In: The Seventh Book of the Stromateis

Abstract

The paper examines the use of the Gospel of John in the writings of Clement of Alexandria. In order to establish a proper background for Clement’s references to John, the first part presents an assessment of the reception of the Gospel by various heterodox and orthodox groups of Christians during the early second century. The second part explores Clement’s specific interest in the Gospel of John. The paper lists the most popular passages from John in Clement’s oeuvre and also discusses the role of the Prologue in Clement’s apologetic theology. The third part discusses the role of John in the construction of Clement’s Logos-theology.

In: Clement’s Biblical Exegesis

The Origins of John’s Gospel. Johannine Studies 2. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2016. Pp. 319. isbn 978-9-00-4302495. Hardbound. €110.

This volume offers a collection of twelve essays which re-examine aspects of the complexity of the origins of the Gospel of John. It has to be noted that the selected authors and their contributions do not represent a specific “school of thought” (3) or even a unanimous trajectory of interpretation. This conscious choice of the editors is one of the strengths of the volume. The richness of approaches delivers very individual assessments, such as innovative arguments, new evidence, fresh methodological

In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies
The Evidence of 'Heresy' from Photius' Bibliotheca 
Clement of Alexandria (c.150–215 CE) is one of the most significant theologians of the second-century, and his work is still the subject of intense academic debate. This book provides a new perspective on Clement’s thought, through a critical examination of the work of one of his critics, Photios (c.820–893 CE). Photios, the Patriarch of Constantinople, based his critique on Clement’s (now lost) treatise ‘Hypotyposeis’, claiming the work contained eight ‘heresies’. The book examines each ‘error’ listed in the 109th codex of Photios’ ‘Bibliotheca’ in depth, using evidence from Clement’s existing work to consider the likely accuracy of Photios’ critique. Focusing on these eight ‘heresies’ offers a unique opportunity to illuminate what in terms of post-Nicene orthodoxy are Clement’s most problematic opinions, setting them in the context of their original philosophical and theological frame.
In: Interactions in Interpretation

Abstract

The Coptic translation of a passage from Plato’s Republic (588b–589b) found in the sixth Codex of the Nag Hammadi collection has received very limited academic attention in comparison with other tractates from the same Codex. This paper argues that placing this passage within Clement of Alexandria’s polemic with Christian Platonists Carpocrates and his son Epiphanes, may provide a fresh and insightful comment on the use of Republic, with its anthropology and ethics among various second-century Christian teachers. This passage allegorizes various passions within the human soul and warns against injustice. According to Clement of Alexandria the subject of justice, or righteousness, was one of the subjects which attracted the attention of Epiphanes. I propose that the origin of the Coptic passage goes back to the second-century effort to assimilate Platonic ideas about the human soul into Christian ethics. Although various apologists accused Carpocrates and Epiphanes of sexual immorality, I focus on the possibility that Christians with Platonic tendencies were exploring the nature and power of human passions and considering how they could be controlled. The place of the excerpt in the Nag Hammadi collection is not coincidental but goes along other mythological and didactic treatises within.

Open Access
In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies

Abstract

This paper examines the Teachings of Silvanus (NHC VII,4) as a specific exhortation to the attainment of wisdom by the Christian disciple. It discusses the significance of the ethical proposal to the mind, virtue, and freedom. Next, it highlights the principle values of the inner life as advocated by the document. Finally, the paper shows the extension of ethics in the sphere of spirituality and mysticism. This examination pays special attention to the Alexandrian theological legacy, which includes some notions borrowed from Jewish wisdom literature, Philo, Christian Scriptures, and two philosophical traditions: Roman Stoicism and Middle Platonism. The paper shows how the text’s rhetoric and pedagogy, although combining various philosophical and Scriptural sources, creatively constructed a unique Christian model of self-transformation suggested by the Teachings of Silvanus.

In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies