Clement of Alexandria’s Reinterpretation of Divine Providence: The Christianization of the Hellenistic Idea of pronoia

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This work examines the ways in which the early Christian author, Clement of Alexandria, was able to creatively synthesize disparate Biblical, Hellenistic Jewish, Platonic and Stoic understandings of the concept of divine providence. After an initial look at Clement’s socio-historical environment, the study focuses on specific conceptual development of providence and how this term was utilized and understood in its respective milieux.


“In this work, Jon Ewing takes a fresh look at the issues through an analysis of Clement of Alexandria’s use of the word Pronoia, Providence. . . . Clement’s use of the term represents a Christianization of Hellenistic terms and discourse. In particular, the author argues for reclamation of Clement’s thought in the theology of the Orthodox Church.” - Eugene M. Ludwig, O.F.M. Cap., Professor of History and Patristic Theology, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

“In light of a significant dearth of available resources on Clement, with the notable exception of Russian scholarship . . . Ewing’s makes a substantial correction to a hardly excusable neglect of one of the most influential patristic scholars.” – Andrei Antokhin, Ph.D. candidate, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

“Dr. Ewing’s study helps us to understand how Clement related to his sources, what he affirmed and how he moved the understanding of God’s work forward to a deeper, Christ-centered focus.” – Fr. John L. Bostwick, O.Praem. M.A. Th.M., Adjunct Instructor in Religious Studies, St Norbert College

Table of Contents

Editorial Notes
1. Historical Background and Setting: Christian Diffusion in 2nd Century (AD) Alexandria
2. The Terminology and Conception of Providence [?PONOIA] In Septuagint (LXX)
3. The Understanding of Providence in Hellenistic Judaism
4. Hellenistic Philosophical Conceptions of Providence Prior to, and Contemporaneous with, Clement of Alexandria
5. Providence in the Era of the New Testament and Early Christian Apologism (c. AD 50-180)
6. Clementine Providence: Continuities and Distinctions
7. The Patristic Reception of the Clementine Contribution

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