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The Belief In Many Worlds Before The Creation Of Adam

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Chapter Summary

This chapter cites Clement's dependence on Heraclitus of Ephesus, as this Greek sage believed in the theory of cyclic nature with conflagration and he found a special place in Clement's oeuvre. The chapter discusses the Jewish and Jewish-Christian literature that promoted the model of eschatological devastation and regeneration, which may have inspired Clement of Alexandria. It turns to Clement's oeuvre in search of the evidence that he assimilated some elements of these doctrines. The eschatological 'fire of the world' could signify many things, including 'cleansing', 'destruction and renewal', 'transition from one stage to another', 'God's judgement', 'punishment of the wicked or pagan nations' and 'the ultimate retribution'. Photios encountered the idea of conflagration in the lost Hypotyposeis, which is not be surprising, as it appeared in other parts of Clement's oeuvre, but he deduced from this much more than Clement intended.

Keywords: Clement of Alexandria; Clement's oeuvre; Heraclitus of Ephesus; Jewish-Christian literature; Photios



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