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The Transmigration Of Souls

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Chapter Summary

Before examining the available material from Clement's oeuvre that may contain parallel views to the one in the Hypotyposeis, it is important to mention, the prevalence of the idea of reincarnation in Clement's milieu. This brief account includes some Neopythagoreans, Middle Platonists, Gnostics, the Chaldean Oracles and the Hermetica. To Clement, Numenius was one of the faithful heirs of Pythagoras and he certainly knew of Numenius' teaching about the transmigration of souls. Clement of Alexandria was first and foremost a Christian hermeneutist and exegete whose main effort was not to speculate on esoteric mysteries, but rather to elaborate on the Scriptures in order to educate his pupils. The human soul is connected with the body not as an outcome of accident, fate or as a form of punishment, but as an important union by which the body may also participate in future resurrection.

Keywords: Clement of Alexandria; human soul; Metempsychosis; Numenius



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