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Creation’s Stage: The Background To Irenaeus’ Protology

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Chapter Summary

The beginnings of cosmic history form, for Irenaeus, the design and set on which the drama of human history will be played out. The genesis of the cosmos is the picture, painted in unfinished outline yet of significant descriptive value, of its future and, ultimately, of its end. Irenaeus is no Jew, and can hardly be thought of as versed in Jewish thought. The idea that God's motivation for creation is his own inherent goodness seems, at first reading, an unsatisfying answer to the question at hand. The nature of God as one who creates ex nihilo reveals to Irenaeus significant details on the character of the physical and spiritual worlds, about the very being of beings. As with his reflections on God's motivation for creation, Irenaeus' reflections on the precise contours of creation ex nihilo were not formed in isolation from the varied considerations of those around him.

Keywords:ex nihilo; genesis; God; Irenaeus; Jewish

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