La memoria e la fede in Clemente Alessandrino
Eastern Theological Journal 9 (2023) 1, 105-121
1. Introduzione; 2. La ricezione della teoria della memoria di Platone; 3. L’impronta del rapporto del Padre con il Figlio; 4 La memoria e la fede razionale; Conclusioni
In this article we attempt to demonstrate how Clement of Alexandria reinterpreted the following themes of Plato: memory and pre-existence of souls from the perspective of the doctrine of faith. It seems that the questions of the two authors may come from the same family, although, as we will point out, they arrive at different conclusions with similar concepts. We can describe our investigation according to the following points: for Clement, the ‘imprints’ of the soul do not refer to the soul’s pre-existence, thus they do not indicate memories, but are reminiscences, general imperatives to the knowledge of divine truths and assimilation to God. This ‘imprint’, in the first place, is the image of the mutual tension that exists between the Father and the Son, and moves every man towards personal fulfilment with God. Catechesis, accepted by faith, places the first ‘imprints’ of divine truths in the soul of man. The method of allegorical exegesis leads the interpreter from the words of Holy Scripture, which are the ‘imprints’ of divine ideas, to divine reason. Through rational investigation, the ‘imprints’ of faith are filled with divine truths and become conscious knowledge in the mind of the ‘true Gnostic’.