An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Clement of Alexandria

(c. 150-215). Early church theologian. Titus Flavius Clemens was probably born in Athens. In 190 he succeeded his teacher, Pantaenus, as the head of the Catechetical School in Alexandria. In 202 he fled to Jerusalem because of the persecution of Emperor Severus. He was welcomed to Jerusalem by Bishop Alexander, a former student. Clement remained in Jerusalem until his death. The primary contribution of his writings was to combine Greek philosophy with the Christian faith, harmonizing faith and reason. Clement was one of the earliest Christian scholars, and a leading opponent of gnosticism. The Hymnal 1982 includes two of his hymn texts, “Sunset to sunrise changes now” (Hymn 163) and “Jesus, our mighty Lord” (Hymn 478). His feast day was celebrated on Dec. 4 in some early martyrologies. Pope Sixtus V removed it in 1586 because he questioned the orthodoxy of some of Clement's writings. Clement is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Dec. 5.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.