“As we have long ago pointed out, what we propose as our subject is not the discipline which obtains in each sect, but that which is really philosophy, strictly systematic wisdom, which furnishes acquaintance with the things that pertain to life. And we define wisdom to be certain knowledge, being a sure and irrefragable apprehension of things divine and human, comprehending the present, past, and future, which the Lord has taught us, both by his advent and by the prophets.
And it is irrefragable by reason, inasmuch as it has been communicated. And so it is wholly true according to God’s intention, as being known through means of the Son. Ad in one aspect it is eternal, and in another it becomes useful in time. Partly it is one and the same, partly many and indifferent–partly without any movement of passion, partly with passionate desire–partly perfect, partly incomplete.
This wisdom, then–rectitude of soul and of reason, and purity of life–is the object of the desire of philosophy, which is kindly and lovingly disposed towards wisdom, and does everything to attain it.”
~Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 7.7
I like the idea of “systematic wisdom”. That seems a grand task and a noble goal. A long road to be sure. I’d like to think that’s what I’m trying to accomplish in my present pursuits. Is someone who pursues that a Systematic Wisdomian?
Also, I like the word ‘irrefragable’ and am going to try to use it in conversations this week.
I’ve been digging deeply into Clement’s work the last few weeks as I work on a new chapter. I’m very taken by him–once again. I first read his work as an innocent pre-seminary student and it’s interesting to see how what I read then really shaped how I entered later study. It’s always good to read an author before you know how you’re supposed to read them.