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The Docetic View Of Christ

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Chapter Summary

According to Photios, Clement of Alexandria held at least a quasidocetic belief regarding the nature of Christ, namely that the Word/ Logos did not became flesh, but only "appeared to be in flesh", an interpretation which directly denied the reality of the incarnation. Opinion is divided among modern scholars about how docetic Clement's theology was. Some defend Clement's orthodoxy ardently, while others are inclined to note a degree of ambiguity on the subject. In order to investigate Photios' claim the author analyses the statements on this subject from Clement's existing oeuvre and compare them with some examples of docetic theology which appeared at the same period. The chapter focuses on those parts of Clement's main writings that seem to show a docetic inclination. Clement of Alexandria's affiliation to mainstream Christianity can be better understood when one compares the passages quoted above with other literature that refers to docetic Christology.

Keywords: Clement of Alexandria; docetic Christology; Logos; Photios



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