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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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The Higher Christian Life: gnōsis, apatheia, agapē

The Higher Christian Life: gnōsis, apatheia, agapē

(p.185) Chapter 6 The Higher Christian Life: gnōsis, apatheia, agapē
Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement

John Behr

Oxford University Press

One of the main themes of Stromateis is the maturity of a bonafide Gnostic compared with the immaturity of a simple believer. Clement gives emphasis on a twofold faith wherein one believes in the dependence of faith and gnōōsis while developing a common faith. This chapter discusses Clement's view on gnōsis on God and how it functions. Clement also presents the importance of prayer, how this separates the soul from the world, and how this is paralleled with the thankful use of the world. The chapter discusses apatheia and provides a culmination of gnōsis and apatheia. It is said that man cannot attain apatheia without God's help; Clement establishes the asceticism where man makes himself worthy to receive God's grace. Clement's asceticism shows that there is no engagement with man's bodily reality nor with his dependence on God; Clement want his readers to focus on what is under their own control.

Keywords:   Stromateis, Clement, faith, prayer, apatheia, gnōsis, asceticism

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