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Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement$
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John Behr

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270003

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270003.001.0001

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(p.135) Chapter 4 Anthropology
Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement

John Behr

Oxford University Press

An understanding of Clement's comments on Adam's character helps to establish the orientation of Clement's anthropology. According to Clement, man is a ‘heavenly plant’, a constitution of nature with fellowship with God. Clement also looks into the ‘innate original communion between men and heaven’. Clement stresses how Adam, or man in general, has to grow and realize his full potential to achieve ‘salvation’. Clement sees how living in obedience to the divine Logos is similar to living according to reason and nature; he claims that ‘nature’ is the same as ‘God’. With an anthropocentric viewpoint, Clement also claims that humans act in a way that complies with their moral uprightness or righteousness. This chapter also points out how Clement uses ‘image’ and ‘likeness’ in different ways, making his vocabulary somewhat unstable.

Keywords:   Clement, righteousness, obedience, God, heaven, Adam, salvation, reason, nature, image

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