Clement of Alexandria helped construct the hermeneutical instrument of the 'chrêsis' (right use). The Fathers used it to select elements of non-Christian cultural traditions that could be accepted. The 'chrêsis' represents the last phase of a control process that concerns things, practices or ideas. Clement applies it 'ad extra' to classical culture, because then it was assumed that the Greeks had stolen some notions from the Jews. Instead, 'ad intra' the 'chrêsis' serves to identify and counter the falsification of the truth by the heretics. The correctness of every single choice linked to the 'chrêsis' is the confirmation that the knowledge ('gnosis') possessed by the selector (assayer) is true and reliable. Clement, developing some New Testament cues, uses the image of the assayer precisely to describe the 'true gnostic', who knows how to build a 'new cultural unity' based on the confrontation with the other. The final outcome of the 'chrêsis' is indeed a conscious, cautious but open and inclusive dogmatic.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] Profane culture, heterodox doctrines and “chrêsis”. The relevance of the "true Gnostic" of Clement of Alexandria|
|Title of host publication||Un metodo per il dialogo fra le culture. La chrêsis patristica|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- Clement of Alexandria, Early Christianity, religious inclusivism
- Clemente di Alessandria, Cristianesimo antico, inclusivismo religioso