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The Pastoral Function of the Second Repentance for Clement of Alexandria

Gormley-O'Brien, David Paul (2006) The Pastoral Function of the Second Repentance for Clement of Alexandria. In: Fourteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford University 2003.

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    Abstract

    Clement's scheme of salvation is progressive, ethical, and telic. The telos of salvation is to restore and indivual's soul from its state of separation, divion, and estrangement from God, on account of its enslavement to the passions, into the unity of God. Curing the soul from its attachment to the passions requires a remedy of 'bitter medicines' which includes a rigorous training program of obedience to the Lord's commandments, where the force of habit in repeatedly choosing what is beneficial and rejecting what is harmful to one's soul gradually transforms its dispositions towards virtuous conduct as a natural consequence. As the soul increasingly becomes virtuous and self-aware, it longs to know, and to appropriate as its own, the Teacher of the commandments. This longing or desire to seek out the Teacher is the first step to love and knowledge. The Father reciprocates this longing by revealing himself to the seeker as the latter studies the scriptures more profoundly and by empowering the seeker not merely to moderate his passions, but rather to advance to the passionless state. As the believer progresses, he increaingly becomes like God in doing the good for its own sake, living self-sufficiently, and thinking similar thoughts. At this point with the believer, having shown himself worthy, the Father bridges the chasm between Creator and creation by adopting the believer as a son and a friend; the believer is assimilated into the Godhead as a true gnostic, a lover of God, contemplating the Divinity directly and meditating God's benefits to the Christian community.

    Item Type: Conference Papers (Paper)
    Repository Version: Published Version
    Keywords (separated by commas): Second Repentance for Clement of Alexandria, unity of God, transformation of the soul, commandments
    Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
    Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
    Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
    Subject Area(s): D - Pastoral Studies
    C - Systematic Theology
    Association with University of Divinity: UFT-TCTS: United Faculty of Theology - Trinity College Theological School
    Depositing User: Cate Headey
    Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2011 08:43
    Last Modified: 14 May 2014 12:45
    URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/485

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