Free Will in Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria, Methodius of Olympus and Athanasius of Alexandria

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Historical Theology

First Advisor

George Kalantzis


The following thesis follows the thoughts of four early Eastern Church fathers in regards to free will. Saint Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria, Saint Methodius of Olympus, and Saint Athanasius of Alexandria had similar articulations about free will, what it was, what it implied, and why it was fundamental to humanity. Although their situations differed in various ways due to time and change, free will remained a tenet of their faith, one which had to be defended under wide-ranging discussions, whether with heretics, philosophers, or pagans. It is my thesis for this essay that by engaging theological-anthropological questions, whether of heretics or pagans, these four fathers asserted that free will was a fundamental existential structure of the human being.


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