Following the Incarnate Logos: Clement of Alexandria and Theological Ethics as Theologia Viatorum


  • Johannes Aakjaer Steenbuch University of Copenhagen


Clement of Alexandria is famous for his philosophical eclecticism and his sometimes enigmatic writings. While his Paedagogus offers straight-forward reflections on Christian ethics, it is less obvious what to make of theological ethics in the Stromateis. Clement’s theology has been described as a theologia viatorum, a theology of the pilgrim. This article argues that such a description is also applicable to Clement’s theological ethics. Negative theology sets limits to the possibility of imitating the ineffable and incomprehensible nature of God. Assimil-ation to God consists in following the Logos in practice, and since truth can only be indirectly and partly captured in language, there can be no such thing as a finished or closed system of theological ethics.