Talk:Clement of Alexandria

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Good articleClement of Alexandria has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 12, 2012Good article nomineeListed


Hi there,

Does anyone know if St. Clements cake is anything to do with this article or related to the saints?


More likely that is Saint Clement of Rome, who has always been a more popular saint. Rwflammang (talk) 18:43, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Clement was vegetarian?[edit]

Clement of Alexandria was a notable vegetarian. Because this is an interesting part of his life and perhaps even revealing part of his convictions, shouldn't it be mentioned somewhere in the article? It is certainly mentioned on the Wiki pages of celebrities, kings, queens, princesses, etc. It is interesting to note that many early church figures were vegetarian: Origen, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Arnobius, Tertullian, and Jerome.

Another enthusiast.
This is now said in two places in this article. One cites Howard Williams, who quotes Clement arguing against luxurious diet and for simplicity - in terms which Horace, who was no vegetarian, would have agreed with. The other is an unsourced, out-of-context quotation.
This article will be more than sufficiently distorted by the various Christian (and pagan) fanaticisms roaming Wikipedia; can we leave it at that? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:09, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm deleting this section for now because the only quote is spurious; it's from Paedagogus I've accessed the text from the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae but links to identical Greek text and translation can be found on the wikipedia page for the book.

The Greek text (transliterated) reads: Ameinon de pollō tou daimona ekhein sunoikon eudaimona genesthai. Eudaimonia de en khrēsei aretēs exetazetai.

A standard translation (taken from here) would be: It is far better to be happy than to have a demon dwelling with us. And happiness is found in the practice of virtue.

Here Clement is describing Gluttony as being like a demon which possesses you, by contrast the word for happiness in Greek translates to something like "having a good demon", so he's making a pun. The translation offered on the page as it is is: It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals

I can see how someone could have tried to stretch "daimon" ('spirit'/'demon') into "[animal] soul", and "sunoikos" ('living together with')into "being inside" and try to make out that he's referring to a graveyard, but it's a real stretch and makes no sense in the context, where he's spent several sentences talking about demons living inside people's stomachs. As a vegetarian I liked the 'graveyard' quote, and would like to see a section on Clement's vegetarianism since the rest of chapter 2 of the Paedagogus does talk about why eating flesh is undesirable, but in the interests of accuracy I can't leave it in...Fievos (talk) 10:22, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

On 29 April 2011 (UTC), Fievos deleted the section entitled "Vegetarian". It was two sentences long (see, of which the second sentence said nothing about Clement. The misquotation "It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals" has gone viral; google it and you get 1770 hits, including at least five books! This misquotation is a veritable urban legend. As Fievos said, the standard English rendering of what Clement actually wrote is: "It is far better to be happy than to have a demon dwelling with us. And happiness is found in the practice of virtue." Everything Fievos says about the misquotation is correct.
Clement's chapter on "Eating" is Book II, Chapter 1 of The Paedagogus (The Instructor) (for links to texts, see Paedagogus). Mksword (talk) 07:09, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

This article needs to deal with the Mar Saba fragment[edit]

More than that, this article needs to deal with the fact that Clement, after a thousand years of sainthood, was repudiated on grounds of heresy.

19:15, 18 March 2006 (UTC)Sayfadeen

The first line "He was not born in Egypt" is a bit funny, and would certainly seem odd to somebody who didn't realize that Alexandria is in Egypt. It might be better to say "He was not born in Alexandria in spite of his name" or something like that.


I think that icon is of Clement of Rome. I had contacted which sells the icon currently pictured inquiring as to which Clement it is; they told me that it is indeed Clement of Rome. I have been unable to find any icons of Clement of Alexandria. Thus, I am going to remove the icon from this article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:05, 5 December 2006 (UTC).

So why is the His significance for the Church section's neutrality questioned? there is no mention of it on the talk page. Perhaps the warning should be removed if there is not stated reason.Tetyler 00:20, 4 February 2007 (UTC)


What does the first member of the Church of Alexandria to be more than a name mean exactly? Can someone clarify? Thanks. J. Van Meter 13:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Contarini 19:25, 5 April 2007 (UTC)It means that he is the first Christian known for sure to be from Alexandria whose writings we have or about whom we have significant, solid information. Other Christian figures (Apollos, Mark) have been linked to Alexandria but this link is shadowy--and other Alexandrian figures, such as Clement's alleged teacher Pantaenus, are shadowy figures themselves (the Wikipedia article on Pantaenus gives a more confident impression of our knowledge about him than I think the evidence warrants).
Could the wording there be changed then to something like "the first member of the Church of Alexandria about whom credible information is known" - or something more encyclopedic? J. Van Meter 20:47, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Extremely Biased and Untruthful Page[edit]

Dear JaafarAbuTarab! About
Clement was a chaotic and untrustworthy author -- there are good reasons why the Church "de-sainted" him in the 16th century.
why don't you add a section about some popes "de-sainting" Clement, and add their reasons for doing so. About the rest: the discussion pages are not areas for discussing the topic (Clement), but whether the article correctly reflects the state of the art knowledge about the topic (does everybody else claim what the article claims about Clement). So if you dislike the article, find some external sources that you may cite, and rewrite the article in a neutral tone (so called objectively). Said: Rursus 19:13, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
You do realize that this is no longer the middle ages and you can't discredit someone merely by labeling them a "heretic" according to some subjective measure, don't you? (talk) 07:01, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Is gnosis the correct term?[edit]

Gnosis, as I know it, is a gnostic term for a certain kind of experiences. Does really the non-gnostic christians use exactly the term gnosis? Said: Rursus 19:17, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Church Fathers(who are orthodox and non-gnostic) use it to mean knowledge,and that's what the word itself means in Greek. Gnostics merely borrowed the word for their own purpose.

Too Much Time Spent Bashing Clement[edit]

Removing a saint from the calendar, is not 'de-sainting' a saint. St. Clement of Alexandria is still recognized as such in the Church, for good reason. Saints are also not 'de-sainted' for teaching Church doctrine against the practice of homosexuality.

where is that mentioned? the "teaching Church doctrine against the practice of homosexuality" part .. more references would be good ~ kp

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 03:51, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

His significance for the Church[edit]

WALL OF TEXT! (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 16:13, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Great Trilogy[edit]

I do not believe it is accurate to characterize Stromata as part of a trilogy. "Because Clement refers in the opening of the Paedagogus to his intention to write a trilogy consisting of Protrepticus, Paedagogus, and Didasculus, and no work by the latter title is known, some earlier scholars considered the Stromateis to be the conclusion of this trilogy. This view is now rejected. No one considers Stromateis to follow the two earlier works in any kind of logical sequence." Heine, Ronald E. "The Alexandrians." The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature. Ed. Frances Young et al. Cambridge, 2004. 117-129. Print.Ocyril (talk) 13:46, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

The sentence "Clement contends that the objects of primitive religion were unshaped wood and stone (such as the Black Stone at the Kaaba)" has most likely been written with a polemic agenda. Did Clement ever mention "the Black Stone at the Kaaba" If yes in which context? If no it should not be in the article. If an example is needed, the find one that clement actually gave. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:51, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

St. Clement[edit]

Was St. Clement a saint? And if so what was he the patron saint of? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Clement of Alexandria/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Cerebellum (talk · contribs) 03:00, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello! I will be reviewing this article. --Cerebellum (talk) 03:00, 12 March 2012 (UTC)



The article is very well written, I made a couple of trivial copy edits but it is highly readable and does a good job of balancing accuracy with accessibility to a general audience. It would be good if you could explain the term "estoreticism" or provide a wiktionary link, I have never heard it before. Also, is it common to enclose Greek in brackets? For other languages, at least, I usually use parentheses.


I love how consistent the referencing style is in this article. You do a good job of drawing together lots of sources to support your points, and the citation density is usually just right. The last paragraph in the Legacy section, though, does not have any references. Could you add some?

Scope of coverage[edit]

This is probably the area where you have the most room for improvement. One suggestion would be to add a "theology" section after the biography section to summarize Clement's views and show the interaction between his ideas and those of other Christian thinkers (although you do the second part fairly well in the legacy section). You describe Clement's theology in detail in the "Works" sections, but a brief summary, and possibly also a paragraph in the lead, would help readers to quickly find the salient points. Also, I feel like some of the material in the sections on the individual books should be in the articles on those books, with main article links, in accordance with summary style. In the last sentence of the article, you talk about recent scholarship on "the relationship between his thought and non-Christian philosophy and his influence on Origen." Could you summarize this recent scholarship?

Probably the most helpful part of the article for me was the summary of Photius' refutation of Clement. Just as we can best understand Arminianism by comparing it to Calvinism, I think more on how Clement's views differed from orthodoxy would help us to understand him better. Maybe add a "Controversies" section?


Certainly, I don't detect any bias or edit warring,.


Yes, the images are good. The meadow image isn't directly related to the article, but I think it should be kept because it makes the article look nicer.


This is a very well done article, and I am happy to pass as GA. The comments above are suggestions for further improvement, but it easily meets the GA criteria. Good work! --Cerebellum (talk) 16:14, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

The sentence; "Clement contends that the objects of primitive religion were unshaped wood and stone (such as the Black Stone at the Kaaba)" has most likely been written with a polemic agenda. Did Clement ever mention "the Black Stone at the Kaaba" If yes in which context? If no it should not be in the article. If an example is needed, then find one example that Clement actually gave. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:49, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Calendar confusion[edit]

In the article as it currently stands, we see that his name was removed from the Roman Martyrology in 1586. Later in the reign of Clement VIII, we read that his commemoration was removed from the calendar. We also learn that he was regarded as a saint until the 17th century.

In the infobox, we read that his cult was suppressed in 1586, the same year the Roman Martyrology was revised. We also read that his feast is celebrated by Eastern Catholics on a day different from Eastern Orthodox, which is pretty unusual; this different day just happens to be the day he used to be commemorated in the Roman rite. It seems to me we have some conflation of dates here.

Despite having a feast day in Eastern Orthodoxy, he was denounced by Photius the Great. The article says he both is and is not venerated by the Orthodox.

It seems to me we need a few references:

  • A reference to an Eastern Orthodox liturgical book giving the day of his celebration
  • Ditto for an Eastern Catholic liturgical book
  • Ditto for the Anglicans
  • Some references describing exactly what Sixtus V, Clement VIII, and Benedict XIV did to discourage or not encourage his cult.

I'll see what I can dig up. Rwflammang (talk) 14:20, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

December 4th[edit]

I have gone ahead and added Anglicanism to those who recognize Clement on December 4th. While it may be true that some parts of the Anglican communion recognize him on the 5th (I think, specifically, of the Canadian BAS) and the CoE does not recognize him in their modern calendars at all, it most definitely is the case that churches which recognize the BCP, and follow both the ancient calendars and martyrologies observe Clement on December the 4th. One need only look at a copy of the BCP to see this, I am specifically looking at page xii of the Calendar section of the 1962 Version of the Book of Common Prayer (CANADA).

I am sure an online reference can be found, and I will indeed look for one, but to not include Anglicanism in the 4th as well is simply incorrect.

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