In Clement (150-215), we encounter a thinker 'who appears to be simple [but] proves to be complex.' Osborn, who wrote his Cambridge dissertation on Clement's philosophy, returns to this Church Father with rich perspectives gained from the intervening 'years of reflection,' in-depth studies of Irenaeus and Tertullian, and recent second-century scholarship. He identifies three problems that drive Clement's writing: How can the narrative of kerygma (what God does) be translated into metaphysic (who God is)? How can two distinct beings, Father and Son, constitute one God? Where does faith end and knowledge begin? Clement tackles these concerns by synthesizing Athens and Jerusalem, faith and reason, New Testament prophecy and Plato. Brimming with Clement's sense of wonder, humor, and lyricism ('the gospel [is] the new cosmic song which supplants the old songs of the Greeks and which can turn stones into men'), this landmark study delivers patristic scholarship at its best. 324 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
Clement of Alexandria (150SH215) lived and taught in the most vibrant intellectual centre of his day. This book offers a comprehensive account of how he joined the ideas of the New Testament to those of the classical world, as represented by Plato. Clement taught that God was active from the beginning to the end of human history and that a Christian life should move on from simple faith to knowledge and love. Clement perceived a sequence of relationships flowing from the transcendent deity: first, God and his word, the Son, secondly, God and the world, and finally, human beings and their neighbors.