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Educating Early Monks...The Alexandrine Schools and the Beginnings of Christian Philosophy

Many of the early desert fathers were monks educated at the Alexandrine University and the related Catechetical School, both located in Alexandria, Egypt. Many of these monks were exposed to the teachings of Plato that tended to fuse the writings of Plato and Christianity into Neoplatonism. Two of the early Church Fathers Clement (150 - 215) and Origen (185 – 254), as heads of the Cathechetical School in Alexandria, were instrumental in the education of these monks. The teachings and writings from both these early Church fathers were influenced by Neoplatonism. Origen's writing were declared heretical by the Church in the 6th century.
"There were two kinds of monks in Egypt - the simple and uneducated, who composed the majority, and the Origenists, an educated minority."...Christian Reincarnation
"Scholars have seen two monastic camps: “Hellenic or Hellenized monks whose theology was more intellectual and more speculative than the naïve and literal beliefs of their Egyptian brethren."...source: COPTIC PALLADIANA I: THE LIFE OF PAMBO (LAUSIAC HISTORY 9-10)
The Alexandrian school is a collective designation for certain tendencies in literature, philosophy, medicine, and the sciences that developed in the Hellenistic cultural center of Alexandria, Egypt during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Alexandria was a remarkable center of learning due to the blending of Greek and Oriental influences, its favorable situation and commercial resources, and the enlightened energy of some of the Macedonian Dynasty of the Ptolemies ruling over Egypt, in the final centuries BC. Much scholarly work was collected in the great Library of Alexandria during this time. A lot of epic poetry, as well as works on geography, history, mathematics, astronomy and medicine were composed during this period.

The name of Alexandrian school is also used to describe the religious and philosophical developments in Alexandria after the 1st century. The mix of Jewish theology and Greek philosophy led to a syncretic mix and much mystical speculation. The Neoplatonists devoted themselves to examining the nature of the soul, and sought communion with God. The two great schools of biblical interpretation in the early Christian church incorporated Neoplatonism and philosophical beliefs from Plato's teachings into Christianity, and interpreted much of the Bible allegorically. The founders of the Alexandrian school of Christian theology were Clement of Alexandria and Origen...source: Wikipedia

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