Proliferation of Divine Reciprocity. Clement of Alexandria’s Trinitology as a Reaction to Valentinian Pleromatology
Eastern Theological Journal 9 (2023) 1, 9-33
1. God is one; 2. The Spirit gives the vision of the Father’s face, which is the Son; 3. Divine femininity; 4. Mary as an image of the Father’s motherhood; 5. Femininity and motherhood of the Son; 6. Son proceeds from the Father; the Incarnate Word proceeds from the Word being with God; Conclusion
The aim of this article is to discuss Clement of Alexandria’s Trinitarian doctrine in the context of his confrontation with Valentinian Gnosticism. Trinitarian theology is only briefly suggested in Clement’s works, and especially the role of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity is nowhere clearly discussed by the author. However, the concept of the reciprocal relationship between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit – a relationship that humans are to enter into through the power of the Holy Spirit – is one of the main lines of Clement’s thought. The question is to what extent Clement, with his concept of the proliferating reciprocity of the Father and the Son, responds to the Valentinian
notion of the divine Pleroma (Fullness), consisting of a chain of pairs of masculine and feminine aeons, and their theory of salvation as the entry of the spiritual seed present in man into the Fullness. This article
explores how Clement uses Valentinian concepts of divine syzygies, the aeon procession and femininity in the divine Fullness to express his own view of the Trinity and divine love and mercy.