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Alexandrian Theology

Alexandria even in pre-Christian times was a center of learning. Philo* flourished there at the turn of the first century, and subsequently several streams of thought flowed together to give vogue in Alexandria to the Neoplatonism of Photinus and the Gnosticism of Basilides and Valentinus. The coming of Christianity to Alexandria is generally attributed to the preaching of Mark the Evangelist; the organization of the church seems to have been simple and to have accommodated itself somewhat to the prevailing climate of opinion. It was not until the beginning of the third century that Alexandria became important as a seat of Christian theology. Pantaenus* is generally regarded as the first head of the school there, which seems to have continued the ancient catechetical school. The latter combined aspects of the Hellenistic “Museum” and the Jewish schools. The general program of the Alexandrian School found expression in Clement's trilogy: Protrepticus (Exhortation, addressed to the