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The Existence Of Eternal Matter And The Eternity Of Ideas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the relevant elements of Clement's philosophical background. It explores Philo of Alexandria's effort to combine Scriptural evidence with Platonic doctrine. The chapter elaborates Clement's opinion on the eternity of Ideas in the light of the existing oeuvre. It also examines Clement's understanding of the eternity of matter. In Clement's oeuvre direct and indirect allusions to the Timaeus appear forty-one times and the crucial passage relating to cosmology seven times. Philo thought that the creation of the world refers to the dependence of the whole universe (the passive element) on its divine cause; Mind (the active factor). The chapter discusses the essential elements of the philosophical framework of Clement's exegesis, and turns to his various statements on the existence of matter and Ideas. According to Photios, Clement's 'unorthodox' opinions were an outcome of the dangerous combination of hyper-allegorical exegesis with Platonic metaphysics.

Keywords: Alexandria's effort; Clement's ideas; Philo; Photios; Platonic metaphysics



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