August 10th, 1983, Serial No. 00384

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Monastic Theology Series Set 2 of 3

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For the introductory, the background material, there are the usual sources. One is Boyer, the first volume in the History of Christian Spirituality, where he talks about the so-called School of Alexandria, and then Clement's place in all of this. I don't want to take class time to do too much of this, I'll just give a few very basic facts. His life period was about 150 A.D. to 213, a little before 215 A.D. he seems to have died. He was born perhaps in Athens, that's not sure. He was originally a pagan and was converted to Christianity, so different from Irenaeus, which gives, puts something different into his work, I think, into his thinking. He went around looking for a teacher, and finally he came to Alexandria, and he found a man named Pantanus, I guess that's how you pronounce him, who was a Christian teacher,

[01:05]

and he became his disciple. He stayed in Alexandria teaching for some years alongside this other master, and then there was a persecution, and he had to flee, so he went to Cappadocia. And about his last 12 or 13 years, evidently, were not in Alexandria. But we think of him as being one of the so-called School of Alexandria, the predecessor of Origen. It's not quite as simple as it sounds. They used to think that that was a basic catechetical school, but evidently it was not. And it was not the school for catechumens, that is, but it was a school for people who wanted to really acquire some kind of Christian philosophy, a Christian worldview, and rather for the culture than for the uncultured. There's a simplicity in Karmaputra, it's a simplicity that goes along with his culture. In fact, it's easy to be turned off. As soon as you start reading the Protractor Curses, you run into a whole bunch of Greek

[02:10]

poetical language and so on, which is rather alien to us, and creates a kind of thicket that might be hard to get through. You'll find that if you pass by those sections or go through them patiently, that you come upon pure gold after a little while. What he's very often doing is actually weaning people away from certain poetic fantasies to the sunlight of Christ, as he likes to refer to it. On that school of Alexandria, I would refer you to Boyer, page 256, in the following, who is, as always, he's destroying some era, and he's destroying the impression that there was an institution, which was a school of Alexandria, in which you had these three successive teachers, Pantanus and Comet and Origen. It's not sure at all that Origen was even a disciple of Comet. Now, Comet is usually overshadowed by Origen, and then Origen is wiped out by this condemnation

[03:16]

of Origenism, and by the kind of general shadow that fell over them. It's very strange how these people fall into the shadow. These people who are particularly powerful expressions of the very brightness and power and confidence of Christianity are the ones who are pushed into the shadow, when we get into various heretical battles later on, or various struggles. Because they're thought of as being dangerous, because they're too confident. In other words, the very vigor – there's an analogy to this in human life – but the very vigor of the faith, and its ability to confront anything, becomes conceived of as a kind of dangerous or watered-down, contaminated faith later on. That's an important point, because if we fall prey to that, we can miss the strength of Christianity itself. And if we play it too cautious, in other words. Christianity has to be cautious in a certain way. In other words, not at all.

[04:16]

If it keeps its own prerogatives, it won't be afraid of anything. And then it's able to assimilate everything. That's the question really that's posed by Comet, is the assimilation of culture into Christianity. Merton writes, Clement Alexander, one of those Xeroxes that we have is from his little book Clement of Alexandria, Selections from the Procryptigos, which is the first of his works that we're going to look at, and so this is handy for us. And I'd recommend that you read that Merton introduction. It's not a long one, and you have the whole of it there in your Xerox pages. It's an enthusiastic introduction, and that's the best kind to somebody like Clement, rather than somebody that touches him at arm's length and says, well, I don't know, you know, certain dangers, but he's got a point. No, Merton's enthusiastic, and so is Clement. He's worthy of enthusiasm. Now, the references, as I said, the usual sources. Quaston, in his Patrology, has a section on Clement, and as usual, he plays it kind of

[05:23]

cautious and sticks to just the facts, and so on. Goyer, there's a short article in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, which could be useful. It's by Spanoi. He's an expert. I think he wrote the book The Platonism of the Fathers in French, so he knows this field. There's an introduction here which is not so helpful. This is one of the books of Clement. The only thing we have in this Fathers of the Church series is number 23, which is the pedagogue, or the teacher, Christ the Educator in the Encyclopedia. But the introduction here is not very helpful, because he falls into some of the... He doesn't critically cut through the surface of the thing. Are you still Quaston? Quasten, are you still Quasten? Q-U-A-S-T-E-N. That's the standard patrology work in English, actually. We don't have anything that's more up-to-date than that, and more extensive.

[06:26]

The only trouble is, it ends around the fourth century. And he's got three volumes, and the last one is the great ages of, as he calls it, the golden age of patristics, but it ends, I think, with the Christological controversies. So you won't find anybody like Maximus the Confessor. I don't think Gregory the Great's in there either. What was he intending to do then? Which is a pity. Because we don't have anything good in English, which gives you... What you want is something that gives you the sources, the bibliography, both the texts that are available, the translations, and then the works about the particular father, as up-to-date as possible. We don't have that in English. The patrology work. Okay. The works of Clement of Alexandria. Now, time and history is simplified for us because they've all been lost

[07:28]

except for three works, three major works, and then one or two smaller things. We'll be concerned with the three major works. And they form a kind of trilogy. Originally, Clement had intended a trilogy. He had intended three books. The first was to be what we have as the protrepticos, or the exhortation to the pagans. The second would be the pedagogos, or tutored. The third would be the didaskalos, or the teacher. You see the progression there. The first is talking to those who don't yet believe, trying to win them over to conversion. The second is the kind of elementary instruction which is largely moral teaching. It's the life of praxis. The active life, you could say, in a sense. And the third, the didaskalos, is really teaching the gnosis. In other words, he's really initiating it into the depths of the mysteries. Now, the third book was probably never written in the form that he had planned it.

[08:31]

What we do have instead is a work called the stromatos, which means something which is woven. It's sometimes called the carpets, and sometimes called the tapestries. I've never seen it called the rugs. The rag bag. But that's the most interesting of Clement's work, it seems. Because he freely speculates and improvises about a whole bunch of things, and he doesn't have to tie them together in an orderly, structured form. The ancient Christian writers, actually, is very generous. He's got all three of those in full, insofar as they were known at that time. That's about 1850, something like that. See, they've recovered a few things since then. We have the instructor, or the... No, the exhortation first, the instructor and the stromatic. And then, the quis dives salvatore. How can a rich man be saved, or what rich man would be saved? It's a minor work, but it's a homily, which is beautiful.

[09:32]

We won't touch it here, because... And then there's some fragments. We've got a few more of these on the way, so that we'll be able to at least pass them around for the material, which is not Xeroxed. But we'll try to... As much as we'll go into with any intensity in class, we'll try to give it to you in a packet form. So, in English, all that we have is this volume, the old translation, with all three of the works in it. This, the second book of Clement, which is the... Call it the Tudor. Let's settle on the words, the exhortation for the perfectivus, and the Tudor for the pedagogos, and then we'll talk about the stromatic later. I like the same words. And then the little book of Merton, of the selections. And... I'm just wondering, since the thing you handed out

[10:33]

for the pedagogos is called the instructor. Okay, let's use that. That's okay. Instructor. That's the second of the books, okay? The first in the Xerox pages is entitled the Exhortation to the Heathen. That's a good, healthy title. Then the instructor, and then finally the stromatic. May as well use the original name since it's hard to translate anyway. So, what you have been given there is, first of all, the Exhortation to the Heathen, okay? Quite a number of selections. I'll tell you which chapters you have here if I can find my own copy. That's the Procrepticos then. And the pages that you have contain chapters one on pages 171 through 174. Chapters one, and then there's a long break.

[11:35]

You don't have 175 through 194, then it picks up with chapter 9 through 12. So that's what I would ask you to read. And for next time, we'll be working on those. And then we'll go in also next time to the instructor. We'll move fairly swiftly here with Clement, because I don't want to get bogged down like we did with Ernest. It's hard to pull away from Ernest because he's so rich. We might find the same thing to be true with Clement when we get into the stromata. So, in the Exhortation to be read are chapters one and then chapters 9 through 12. Now, our Merton selections give us a good chunk of the first chapter. So we'll get into that today. You have that on the other Xerox pages. For the instructor, the Pedagogos, you have pages 209 through 222, and 234

[12:36]

through 236. Now, the chapters included there are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. The chapters 1 through 6 are inclusive. Then there's a break, and finally chapters 11, 12, and 13. Almost everything that you have there, in other words, is on the list to be read. Everything where you find the chapter heading or the pages are there, that's part of it. Chapters 1 through 6 and 11 through 13. We've skipped the big piece in the middle, which is taken up with moral teaching in great detail. Now, our focus would be on Gnosis, and that's taken up specifically in the Stromata. If you read Boyer, Boyer is focusing on Kramat as a teacher of Gnosis. Most of his quotations are from the Stromata. That's where he takes that up most deeply and most thematically. However, it would be a mistake

[13:38]

to over-focus or focus too quickly with Kramat because some of his great value is precisely the way that he sees the sun of the Logos illuminating everything. So we don't want to narrow down our own vision too quickly with any concept. It's important, of course, therefore, even to listen to what he's saying to the pagans, because there he presents the universality of the Logos with great power. Any questions about that? Let's take a look at that Merton introduction. It starts on page one in your copied pages there. And the first thing that he does is string together a few sentences, a few of the powerful sentences from Kramat at the top of that page. From heaven light has shone upon us, buried in darkness. So you get the idea. And here

[14:41]

and elsewhere you'll notice a kind of analogy, a kind of resonance with Plato. Remember Plato's cave and the prisoners in darkness and the true light that's outside. Now, Kramat is saying that it's Christ, the Logos, the word, who is that true light, comes. Comes and gives himself to us in some way. And this is the source of the confidence that he has when he preaches Christianity to others. He's saying, well, you know, let go of the kid stuff now. Put away the ploys and recognize the light and be free from your slavery. Come out into the light and be human beings. There's a sentence in the Republic where Plato says that the sun shines in the visible world so does the transcendent idea of the good shine in the invisible world through the transcendent. The idea of the good becomes almost the same as the Logos. Right.

[15:41]

And there's a lot of, you can call it Platonism that remains in Kramat and the others when they speak about the Logos as the intellectual sun. The sun of the intellect, which is not just interior but somehow is also objective at the same time like the light of day so that everybody can see it. And yet there's a particular faculty for seeing it and for having it within that comes through baptism. In one very rich chapter. A light purer than the sun and sweeter than the life of this earth. Now here we hear for the first time this note of beauty, this note of joy even of pleasure that Kramat takes in the word in the Logos. In Christ. You can feel it coming out of his words. And he goes on. The word of God tunes the cosmos, tunes the universe with his Holy Spirit and sings to God. He's a great singer. And so this first selection on the Torah. The new song. It's called its overture. In which he presents the Logos

[16:42]

not only as knowledge, not only as word but as song. And here he says The word of God tunes the cosmos with his Holy Spirit. Notice you've got three levels you've got the level of the cosmos, the level just of things that are made. You've got the level of the word and you've got the level of the Spirit. And very often we think of the word coming into the world and enlightening the world but we don't usually think of turning the world into music really. But somehow the dimension of the Holy Spirit which is with the Logos for Kramat turns word knowledge, truth into music into song, into beauty. Now this is something that hasn't very often been kept in the Christian tradition. It gets in our paranoia it gets allowed to escape, it gets pushed out. And von Balthasar has been very helpful in reviving in our time this great big work in the Theology of Beauty book. Theology of Beauty doesn't convey what it means is that theology should be beauty. And so the theology

[17:45]

which looks at God and truth from that point of view is what he's writing here. Immortal man is a beautiful hymn to God and that's what he does on himself. He says these are typical sentences of Kramat one of the first and most appealing of ancient Christian writers. Sounds like he was supposed to write an introduction to ancient Christian writers. His doctrine is full of a serene interior light which shines forth from the Gospel of Saint John and the calling of goodness. The serenity of light. What's the serenity of light? Because light doesn't have anything to fear. The serenity of light is that it knows it's the light of the world and it doesn't have to sort of draw back. Because light can't be overcome by darkness. There's nothing to fear in darkness. If you put light and darkness together, the light triumphs. Hence the serenity of the light. And it's true that it's very much like Saint John. Perhaps more characteristic of Saint John

[18:48]

in a way. Because John talks about the light. Jesus says I am the light of the world and John has continually been from beginning to end. Paul talks about it sometimes. The light is always there but he doesn't talk about it that often. Because he doesn't talk in symbolic terms as often. The one great place in Paul where you find it is in 2 Corinthians chapter 3. But we'll run into that Here is true Christian optimism. A love of unbounded and eternal life. And this business of divinization participation in the divine nature. A sense of victory. And at the bottom of page 1. A sense of victory which doesn't become triumphalism but becomes confidence. And becomes also compassion. And the person wants this light which has come to the salvation of all people. Which is capable of saving everything. A victory which leads not to contempt of man

[19:51]

and of the world but on the contrary to pure serene love filled with compassion. Able to discover and to save for Christ all that is good and noble. In man and society and philosophy and in humanistic culture. This is the greatness and genius of Clement who was no desert father. Lived in Alexandria. Okay so here we come to a dividing line. We come to a fork in the road. Or we see two different roads really which are side by side but which are really quite distinct. And one is typified by Irenaeus and the other is typified by Clement. And if we talk about the desert fathers where would we put them? We'd put them on the side of Irenaeus I'm sure. Even though they didn't write. They were different kinds of men. They were doing a different thing. But the question to express it for the first time is this one. The question of a purely biblical culture or the question of a Christian humanism which also assimilates other cultures. Okay? Or the problem of translation of the Christian truth

[20:52]

the biblical truth into other terms. Into other languages into other cultures even into other religions. So Clement is of great importance for us today for this reason. There's confidence in the face of another culture that the Logos, the Word of God, Christ can enlighten also that other culture. Even another religion. Even another religious culture. Then he talks about Alexandria and one could spend a lot of time studying that scene of Alexandria a very special intellectual spiritual climate out of which these men came. In which they produced their works. I don't know if we have anything like that today. Don't know if Berkeley is like Alexandria or not. The Jewish colony of Alexandria, Philo, the Septuagint in Philo

[21:53]

is quite a history of the Neoplatonist school of philosophy which comes along just contemporary with Clement. They talk about, they've got several stages in it. They talk about Middle Platonism and so on and Neoplatonism actually. This was the climate in which the great work of Clement was accomplished, the exposition of the Christian faith in terms comprehensible to the Greek and Roman world. Would Irenaeus have been comprehensible to the Greek and Roman world? Would Irenaeus have been comprehensible or let's say acceptable to one who did not have the faith and who was not familiar with the scripture? It's almost like with Irenaeus, he doesn't reach over to you in your own terms and using your own poetry and your own philosophy and so on and then invite you over in that way but really he asks you to come over to his side. Clement is very firmly and insistently asking you to come over to his side but he also talks to you

[22:54]

if you're a Greek, if you're a cultural Greek. Remember however that they're writing in different situations and their writing has a different purpose. Irenaeus is a bishop, remember. Clement evidently was a priest, it's not absolutely certain. Irenaeus was a bishop who was combating a specific danger to the church and he was defending his faithful against the kind of insidious current that was getting to the church, this Gnosticism. And in other words, he was fighting a dragon. Clement is not fighting a dragon. So you can take credit for that. Much more ecumenical attitude. The truth, he said, is one and consequently no fear of finding another truth outside your own contradicts it. The full expression is to be found most perfectly in the Divine Logos in Clement, Word of Jesus Christ. That sends us back to Justin of course, sends us back first to John's Prologue

[23:57]

then to Justin Martyr. But we find that Justin is very limited as compared with Clement. There's a real flower in Clement and there's a luminosity that wasn't quite so strong in Justin. At the same time, sometimes we can find a little froth in Clement as well. Sometimes he can seem to be entertaining. Poirier is kind of harsh talking about him whereas Merton is almost always enthusiastic. And then he talks about how Clement got marginalized. I don't know why Benedict XIV was approved but there were a couple of folks that pushed him off to the edge. And that he should not be venerated is just a saying. One critical remark, of course, that he insists so much on the special quality of the Christian Gnostic, this is on page 4,

[24:58]

as distinct from the ordinary Christian. This is dangerous. In fact, it's, we've talked about that before, and it's consequences have kind of, they've crippled some of our tradition right down to the present day. I'm not saying there's wrong to do that, but there's a very delicate value to it. In other words, there's a balance between the common, the whole, we've talked about this a number of times already, there's a balance between the gospel, which does not permit you to make a hierarchy of categories, which does not permit you to separate people into classes of any kind, and the progress within the faith, which obviously happens, so that we can't talk about a journey, so that we tend to want to map it out to grades of perfection or something like that. We can talk about a Gnosis, which some have and some don't. Now, how do you get the proper balance, the proper relationship between those two? That's the problem. So, the criticism would be that Clement went too far on the side

[26:00]

of emphasizing the Gnosis and the different grades and did not stress the common element enough. If you want to see the common element stressed, go to Aaron Haggis, because he had nothing else, right? Nothing else. Except one or two places, the last part of book five, he says that in the end, you can have the thirty-fold, the sixty-fold, and the hundred-fold and wind up in three different places. All within the attitude. Okay, so then Martin talks about this Christian Gnosis, we've been through that before, so we don't have to start on that again, but that's what we will come back to later, because we're interested in it. This is on page four and five. It's the Gnosis of John and you go to John 17.3, that must be where it says, this is eternal life to know the one true God, Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. And the Gnosis is the Gnosis of the Logos. The Gnosis is almost identical with the Logos, we found out. And then he quotes that section from St. Paul,

[27:00]

2 Corinthians 4, with side quotes and references to Ephesians 1 and Corinthians 2. The surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is precisely the Gnosis of Carnot and Numeneus, a living apprehension of the central underlying significance of all reality and all history in the one light of the mystery of Christ. There's something about this light that is generous and that recapitulates all things, illuminates all things within it, without having to wipe them out. And that's the thing. So much of our pinched Christianity has come from separating Christ from the whole of the creation and from the whole of history. From separating Christ. Now somehow that's contained in that summing up of the faith of Carnot and Numeneus in the Creed, the two persons of the Trinity. The business of not separating Christ.

[28:05]

That's the problem with especially our Protestant era for the past few centuries. And the problem of an over-accenting on what would you call it, Christology or Christocentrism or whatever. You get into this bind where Christ is everything. Christ is everything and anybody who says anything different doesn't have any faith. That's a very easy cross to wield. I know nothing else but Jesus Christ and him crucified. But as a matter of fact at other times in his writings Paul did know a lot else. It was all centered in Christ. Christ is the key to it all and in a way he's all of it. But in another way he's not all of it. He lets it exist. And the creation I'm speaking of, I'm speaking of history, I'm speaking of mankind and for Carnot we're speaking also of culture, of human culture, of philosophy and poetry and so on. There's a fundamentalism, there are all kinds of fundamentalisms,

[29:10]

there's a Christocentric fundamentalism which wants to wipe out everything else except Christ and which can become a very hard and aggressive thing. And which in the end is not Christ at all. It's ego. Gnosis however is within the faith. It develops within the faith. And Clement is surprisingly sharp about things like that. About the relation of faith and gnosis. Clement was therefore a pioneer in Christian education, bottom page five, Christian humanism and even in Christian mysticism. He didn't avoid all exaggerations. But surely by now we've learned to read the Fathers with discriminating minds and anyone with the slightest theological maturity knows enough to accept the riches of Clement in origin without

[30:12]

being misled by their occasional mistakes. See there was an atmosphere, there was a climate thirty years ago in which he couldn't say that. There was a climate of fear as regards anything that wasn't a hundred percent completely absolutely and pontifically true. Anything less than that was dangerous and he'd stay away from it. But that produces a ghetto Christianity which after a while is afraid to go outdoors. And that's not quite Christian anymore. This is a very real thing. So people have to have the room even to make some mistakes. And that doesn't keep them still from being Fathers of the Church. Because the central power of their faith can be terrifically strong. It's no wonder if there are a few things around the fringe. Of course the mistakes can be kind of important ones too. It's important to find them. Especially in some of the authority. You can have philosophical thinking and it really has to be weeded out. Nevertheless

[31:13]

we shouldn't set them aside and be afraid to test them. And I think there's not that much ambiguity I don't think in Clement. Clement is unique and there is no substitute for his combination of innocence, erudition, faith, and joyous understanding of the great mystery of Christ. Innocence and erudition at the same time. Isn't that kind of a baptized erudition? His is a wisdom that has no equal because he is the first of his kind. The first to embrace with his whole heart the new and dangerous vocation of teaching Christianity to the intellectuals and society people of the great cosmopolitan city. It sounds a little dilettante-ish but sometimes you can sound that way. The core of Clement is very strong. Very powerful. It's not at all playing around. Sometimes for him also playing is very serious. When he talks about the Logos it's being music. Now this business of the school

[32:22]

of Clement. The school of philosophy, not a catechetical school like that where Origen later taught. Evidently that didn't start until Clement was already out of Alexandria. Still less a college of theology a seminary. Clement's teaching was didaskalia and not catechesis. Catechesis would be your initial preaching of the gospel or the basic preaching, for instance the priest's Sunday sermon to his parish. It appealed less to simple catechumency and baptism than to the cultured, pagan, intellectual, the artist and so on. It's the kind of thing that's typical of Merton himself in a way. And so you can somewhat understand his enthusiasm for Clement. Merton didn't write about Irenaeus. Maybe this didn't happen to him. To these Clement addressed no mere apology but a truly Christian philosophy of life and a preparation for Christian experience on the deepest level.

[33:23]

Now here's where one point at which he becomes interesting for a monastic theologian. Why? Remember Irenaeus? Irenaeus gives you the objective mystery I don't like to say objective I don't have a better word. He gives you the total mystery but he doesn't talk much about your assimilation of the mystery. He doesn't talk much about your experience of the mystery or how you yourself are to get initiated into it. And that's what Clement is concerned with. He's concerned very much with the process of initiation. He talks much more in terms of the individual. And Origen will do so even more than he does, I believe. So things start sifting out, they start sorting out here. In Irenaeus we had the whole thing together. And here the individual journey is sifting out. And hence you get something very similar to a treatise on the monastic life about the praxis of the monastic life. An ascetical treatise. We didn't really find anything like that in Irenaeus. The whole moral philosophy

[34:30]

of Clement, page 7 towards the bottom, can be summed up in his conviction that Christ is the true master. Christ the Logos, the Word, that's extremely important there. Without the light of Christ, man is little more than a fowl fattened in the dark by the witcher's knife. Horrifying. But in Christ, on the contrary, everything is significant, everything comes to life even the most simple and ordinary task requires a spiritual and supernatural dimension. Then some things about the life of Clement and the defense of him against the problem of originism, the condemnation of originism which is a gnosis which has a kind of gnostic core to it, actually. It has a kind of an intellectualist gnosis which has a basic kind of philosophical flaw, you could say. And therefore it's not very faithful to the gospel message. In which you find it's latent in origin, maybe very developed in some places

[35:31]

but it arguably is the one that bears a little of that. His church is still the one church of the apostolic fathers, it's not a church divided about these things. For Clement, the light is its own best argument, since by this light the darkness is seen to be what it is. And the prisoners of darkness are awake and inspired to walk out into liberty in the brightness of day. And he's able to see Plato as a preparation for the gospel. However he doesn't put Plato and gospel on the same level. There is in him no shadow of compromise relativism or sympathism. He knows very well the difference between revelation and metaphysics and so on. In fact he's often talking about the poverty of culture without the light of Christ. On top of page 10 There is a perfect Christian teacher capable of what we call today dialogue. Okay, you don't find that all the time in

[36:33]

our tradition. In fact you don't find it often enough in our tradition. And if our tradition does sort of carry on a certain traffic with philosophy, very often it's a philosophy which has been rendered captive. It's sort of been sort of neutralized and assimilated. But very often we haven't found a real open dialogue with philosophy. In other words a real labor of synthesis. Or a labor of working with that which has not yet been kind of subdued and neutralized and assimilated. A new work, a fresh work. You can look for the times when that has happened. One time of course was in the 15th century with Quine's work when Aristotle actually was assimilated in this creative work, producing a new synthesis. But then that becomes actually a policy. After Aristotle is thoroughly domesticated he's okay with anything else that comes up from the outside

[37:34]

becomes suspect and threatening. So Aristotle seems to defend against the minority. So ... That's exactly it. You have to subdue it, quiet it, shut it up and put it in a safe place. It has to be caged. It was because of Clement in Enlightenment Christianity that he probably enlightened the Mediterranean and European world. And he talks about some of the missionaries in the Renaissance days with the Chinese. You've heard it

[38:35]

many times. They couldn't continue trying to inject Christianity into the Chinese culture. No, no, it didn't work. They nobody I don't think he went that far. He was an Indian, he was in China wasn't he? Yeah. No, he went to When was he? No, this is way back. This is back in the 16th century. Yeah. In the 1500s. And it was rather in China than in India. I don't know if they did it in Africa. They were trying to really take honor of themselves to absorb the Chinese culture and teach Christianity from inside to the people of their core areas. Yeah. Now, this is not just

[39:38]

a historical question. This is what happens today. Christianity is brought into confrontation, into contact with a whole new world for itself. Because we're not seriously involved with Eastern thought until right now. I think Catholicism is not. It didn't open its windows to the thought of India and China and so on until right now. Until the time of Vatican II. So this question is fully alive right now. And that's one of the reasons why Martin is interested in it. If we stay with Irenaeus, we might never be able to deal with that question. We'll just have to push it aside. We'll wait for the other to be converted. The question now of a contribution of value from those other ways of thought to Christianity, that's another question. There are some depths in this question. It's okay to say that all truth is an intimation of the one truth which is the Logos, which is Christ. And so

[40:42]

the other religions have some glimpse of what we have fully. It's another thing to say that, for instance Plato or some Buddhist, Nagarjuna or somebody or a Hindu philosopher or Daoism can make some kind of contribution to Christianity. That's another statement, isn't it? And the choice between these is not quite that simple. What attracts me partly in Irenaeus is that he sees the power of the pure revelation in the Word, which is Christ. He doesn't need anything else. And it's so powerful it's able to illuminate the whole world. And he doesn't need to bring in any other language, any other cultural elements. He can't possibly enrich it, so he just stays with that. And what he does is simply bringing out, simply producing and bringing to light, manifesting the richness of the Word, of the revealed Word.

[41:43]

Today we find ourselves in a situation however, where Christians seem to find themselves enriched by contact with other traditions, okay? And we have to ask ourselves why, and to what extent they can, in what way they can be enriched. Okay? I would say that on one side, Irenaeus remains a fixed point, because like very few others, he showed the power of the pure revelation. Its cosmic depth and its radiance and its power. On the other hand, what are we to say about that? Partly, what happens is that as we meet these other traditions we begin to drop some of the things, some of the contamination, not contamination, but some of the restrictions that have entered into our own tradition since that initial time. You see, that's one of the chief benefits. It's not so much you're getting light from Buddhism directly, or light from Hinduism you may be, but what you're often getting is a challenge to the

[42:47]

philosophical presuppositions that have entered in since the time of the New Testament, or since the time of Irenaeus or something like that. In other words, you find out that a Hindu philosophy is just as good as Plato or Aristotle. That the philosophy that comes from the Far East is just as good as the one that's been injected into your call it official Christianity, your Christian theology. And then you begin to criticize that, and you may think for a while that the Christian truth is shaking. It's not. The things that have been put into it are being challenged. But not the message itself. I don't claim that it's quite that simple, but that's one point about it. We'll go, we'll get further into this as we go on. You actually have to rediscover elements of the core that haven't in some way been restricted or hidden. Exactly. Exactly. And it confirms that the core contains everything. See, a couple of things happen. You purify the seed by contact with fresh ground somehow.

[43:47]

You purify instead of contaminate it. This is very interesting, if you go at it properly. Instead of mixing up your Christianity with alien elements, you get back to an essential Christianity. You get back to the pure biblical quantum, whatever you want to call it. You can call it the Logos if you wish. The reveal of Logos, the word of Christ. You get back to that. And then at the same time, you find how that pure word, the light of that word, relates to everything else in the world. Relates to a culture which you didn't know about before and have just run into. And that puts you, I think, in the right position to deal with those, to deal with the other religions, to deal with the other cultures. And what totters, what shakes for a while, is not the word itself, not at all. How many of you believe in it? How many of you have never prayed? Any remarks or questions about that? Because that's a central point. I think that my opinion is based on St. Thomas

[44:50]

advance verse the last verse where I can never forget especially the comment I heard in that passage where he says exactly what happened to his dad. I don't know if you can understand. It is not possible to consider any problem which comes from our side. Unless you are able to see what it does. And this comes out of enormous confidence that which is and generic not very unrighteous very unrighteous and which is and so it is not it is not that we are able to say that. What is doubtful inside or outside? Anywhere. It is

[45:51]

we can't indict it it is it is and afterwards scholasticism, neo-scholasticism for instance in seminaries is very often used simply as the absolute perfect doctrine for knocking down every other truth that has ever been proposed. Just destroying them. In the sense of saying nobody knows anything because. That's not. Okay. Yes. Yes. I see that the universities now are completely scholastic completely scholastic. It's sort of a sort of customary thought of the same ground quoting the previous authorities about it like a life-shaking truth or the fact

[46:54]

that the word is a creative word is important. It's the word, the logos out of which everything comes. Which means that every time it contacts something new, its creativity flashes out again and it brings that to life in a new way and it itself comes to life in a new way. The light flashes every time that seat of the logos, every time that light of the word meets something new and so when it's bottled up and kept away from anything new, it's in a way paralyzed and there's not its hope anymore. It's in prison. I was mentioning that back from the 1960s there was something that was coming that was very interesting and it's a theological invention. There's a they often believe that it's part of a great many of the research that I'm going to introduce. It is the principle of God. There's a kind of convergence between theology and psychology at this point in that another attitude, the attitude

[47:58]

the kind of contractive attitude in Christianity breeds a certain neurosis in the church, actually. It breeds a certain neurosis in Christianity because it's attached to a lot of psychological fear of some kind. It changes the personality in some way. Obsessive compulsive, I think, is the name of the neurosis. Obsessive compulsive, I think, is the name of the neurosis. Yeah. In a way, what you're saying is that perhaps that's a personal approach to other people. ...public relations man, a publicist ... Anything but a man with a line which he is able to get his ears to accept. We may not at first understand the distinction between these two things. For him, the function of education is to awaken souls to the spark of goodness deposited in them by the Creator. And I think you'd have to say to the spark of truth, maybe more than a spark that's already there. To awaken the truth that's already there rather than pushing on something from outside. And even

[48:58]

perhaps even that could be understood maybe in a fundamentalist way. Here we are. You've got a little spark in your hand. We're bringing the sunshine. The fact is that the truth which is awakened within the person is that person's truth. It's not my truth. In other words, kind of superiority of the evangelist disappears completely. By that awakening, to lead them to enlightenment. So here we... Christian enlightenment. That's the word that comes from the East now. We didn't used to use it for a long while in Christianity. We're going to find it in Clement when he talks about baptism. And that's what it's a question up here. Not just piling knowledge on knowledge but enlightenment. Wasn't there a confirmation when people were waiting for illumination? Well, illumination was used usually for baptism. And I don't know if there was a similar word used for confirmation. I'm not sure.

[50:00]

You don't hear confirmation talked about distinctly from baptism and very clearly through all... Well, it may have been when baptism and confirmation was still administered at the same time. To adults, of course. It may have... I imagine it was already distinguished the Holy Spirit part of baptism from the Holy Spirit in confirmation and hence illumination may have sort of slipped over into the confirmation. I'm not sure. I think that the distinction between baptism and confirmation in the early period is kind of fuzzy. But illumination very strongly was used for baptism. You'll find that there's a chapter in Clement you can read. It's hard to find confirmation.

[51:01]

You don't often find it as a distinct sacrament in the early period. It's almost thought of as being a part of baptism. I think it still is. It seems to be attached to something in the early part of baptism. Yeah, in this picture. Probably it's partly our preoccupation with having seven sacraments that's helpful to become more initiated. We have Christian initiation which means baptism, confirmation of the Holy Spirit, Eucharist. Oh yes. And at one time. The sacramental initiation at one time and then this kind of initiation of teaching. Now they're requiring that with a catechumen which is a new right of catechumen. It's a new catechumen. What is enlightenment?

[52:08]

Recognition of the Logos is the true teaching. The ability to listen to him, to attend to him, to submit oneself entirely to his teaching. Okay, this is not just a fact. When I keep repeating it, it's not a fact. It's something that opens up to you. And if there's any reason for reading from it, it's to understand what those words mean. In other words, to become as it were, personally acquainted with the teacher, aware of the teacher of our birth and one's own. One's own mind. That's right. ... The difficulty sometimes is distinguishing

[53:14]

that light of the word that's written on our hearts from our own word or from our own ideas or something like that. And for that very often we need the help of other people. But what they teach us at least in Christianity is already there. That's why Merton can talk about education and enlightenment the way he does. But we can mix it with a lot of our own ideas or with a lot of our own restrictions without even knowing that we do it. So a lot of the problem is to discern the real inner light from our own opinions of things. Or from other things that we simply carry along and haven't yet sifted out from it. To say that the light is in us is not the same as saying that and that the full light is in us is not the same as saying that whatever we think is true or anything like that, or that we necessarily can discern that light from the first moment. You see, you find people making a lot of mistakes about that. But the process of initiation, the process of education should be the process

[54:16]

of helping the person to discern in that interior light to such an extent that he doesn't mix it up with his own with just ideas or with his own ego anymore. And so he becomes more and more autonomous as he becomes more and more somewhat detached from the view of his own ego, from his own little ideas. That's true. I mean, we've had a lot of that, you know. And it's kind of a side step in this history. That would be an interesting question to study. It's so hard for us to see something like that and really understand what he's getting at. It's a surprise. But it's fortunate that he's been asked that question. Okay, then he talks about the three works of, the three extant, existing

[55:17]

and major works of Clement and they've done it before. So we'll take a bit of the exhortation and some of the instructor and then we'll go on to the astronomer. I haven't looked at the astronomer yet. Martin here just has a few selections from the protracted dash from the exhortation. And his first one is on page 15 is right at the beginning of the exhortation they're reading. And you'll find it a lot easier to deal with than what you had in your other notes. But it's not as complete. Martin's selection from the new psalm starts at the very beginning, which is on your ancient Antinacine Proverbs, page 171 and it goes over to 172, the right

[56:17]

hand column, about half way down. And then Martin ends. But you can see that Clement goes on. And so we'll read Martin's selection and then we'll go a little further and take a couple of pieces from the remainder here in the Antinacine Proverbs. So I recommend that you read the whole. I don't know whether he's left out a number of pieces too. He's skipped over some also. You can understand why he's enthusiastic about Clement when you read this. The first of it may put you off talking about the Greek singers and so on. A little romance about the virus. But go on with it. You'll find that it's powerful. The Logos, which is not only the word that enlightens, but the song that raises stones into

[57:18]

men, that turns beasts into human beings, that brings everything into that which it is supposed to be, which is not just some kind of flat reality, but which is celebration, which is music, which is joy. This is typical of Clement. Don't let the mythological ornament put you off. That's enough for this time, I guess. We'll go on with that next weekend. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. You should have some more notes, some more Xerox copies later on when I get a chance to get some text from this film with you. Next week, we should read all of the exhortations. All of the exhortations. And, if you have time, the instructor, too. It's not

[58:18]

a very big chunk that you have from the instructor. It's hard to predict how far we'll get next time. We probably won't get beyond the exhortations. We'll read those chapters. ... [...]

[59:19]

A comment here on Aristotle's Metaphysics? You might have one, but I'm afraid it's in Latin, I'm not sure, have you? Nobody's ever translated it? Oh, you had done some of it. Have you translated some of it? Oh no. Give him absolution, don't let him sit there.

[60:37]