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Clement of Alexandria - Scripture, Knowledge & Apologetics
07 Sep 10:00 AM
Until 07 Sep, 04:00 PM 6h

Clement of Alexandria - Scripture, Knowledge & Apologetics

Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford Ripon College Cuddesdon, Wheatley Road, Cuddesdon, Oxford, UK

Clement of Alexandria (c.150 - 214 AD) - not to be confused with Clement of Rome - lived and worked in one of the most important cultural, religious & trade centres of the ancient world.  His writings reflect this eclectic setting and address three distinct audiences of his day – unorthodox Christian sects (the “Gnostics”), simplistic Christian believers, and educated non-Christians.

Writing at the end of the second century, approximately 150+ years post-Resurrection, Clement was well versed in the “writings of the Church”. But the (New Testament) texts with which he was familiar are not identical with those you’d find in a Bible today.  We’ll consider the texts he used, and those he didn’t seem to know, along with other inspired sources.  It will become apparent that it wasn’t possible to be a Biblical Fundamentalist (in the modern sense of the phrase) in Clement’s time as the process of the formation of the New Testament canon (agreed collection of texts) was still underway.

The eclectic religious and philosophical atmosphere of Alexandria had given rise to various unorthodox Christian sects (collectively known to modern scholarship as the “gnostics”), and Clement’s opposition to such groups form a major theme in his writings.  For Clement, Christ is the supreme Teacher, and his teachings (handed on by the apostles) are the true “gnosis” (knowledge), in opposition to the speculations of the gnostic sects.

A major theme in Clement’s work is his determination to show that Christianity is not alien to the highly prized Greek culture and philosophy of the day.  Instead, Clement presented the teachings of Christ to his educated audience as the supreme philosophy.  We’ll therefore survey his approach to “apologetics” (the defence/presentation of the Christian faith).

In summary, this study day, focussed on Clement, will provide an opportunity to reflect on these three key topics of Scripture, Knowledge and Apologetics.

This course is the first in a series focussing on four important figures from early Egyptian Christianity, spanning the late-second to mid-fifth centuries.  Each course will provide an introduction to the individual in question, covering their life, work and unique contribution to the issues of their day with the aim to provide inspiration and provoke reflection for us in our contemporary setting.

Do I need to have any previous knowledge?
Absolutely no previous knowledge of Church history or theology is assumed (although clergy or readers with some background knowledge will still find much of interest).  If you’ve read all the way down to this bit and are still interested, you’re sufficiently qualified to attend!

Coffee, tea and a selection of non-caffeinated teas will be provided during breaks, along with a variety of sugary snacks and biscuits.  Please bring a favourite mug on the day.

You will also need to bring your own packed lunch.  Please note that there are no options to purchase food locally!

Course Location
The location for this Study Day is the Davison Room at Ripon College Cuddesdon.

Can I just turn up on the day?
No!  Please book in advance. (We don’t want to run out of sweet treats…)

More Info…
Starting from £25.00
£25.00 - £40.00