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The despoliation: Other Patristic texts

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Chapter Summary

Clement's discussion of the despoliation of Egypt is a reprise of what we have encountered in Philo's Life of Moses. Clement's attraction to Philo is based on the combination of factors he found linked together there: both brilliance in biblical exegesis and maturity of philosophical reasoning. Ambrose, in De Abraham 2.9.63 applies the allegory of the despoliation of Egypt to the soul's relation to the incorporeality of the resurrected body. Gregory of Nazianzus' Paschal sermon employs a 'just wage' traditional interpretation not specifically to justify God but to, based on the allegory, exhort his readers to plunder the intellectual wealth of their culture. Gregory of Nyssa's the Life of Moses is generally believed to be the most thorough and developed presentation of his spiritual teachings. Ephrem's Commentary on Exodus displays little interest in the spoliatio motif, and makes almost no comment on most of the passages dealing with it.

Keywords:Clement; Egypt; Ephrem; exodus; Gregory of Nazianzus; Gregory of Nyssa; Moses; patristic texts; Philo



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