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Chapter Summary

Irenaeus of Lyons has earned the reputation of a theologian of creation. The 'consistent theology of creation' by which his thought is here characterised is nowhere treated by Irenaeus as a distinct element of address, separated or separable from the larger scope of his soteriological reflections. Humanity is the thrust by which and towards which all the movements of creation are driven, and the figure of this person stands, in a real way, at the centre of Irenaeus' cosmological universe. The historical precision of Irenaeus' interaction with the various groups he identifies in the Adversus haereses, broadly though misleadingly termed 'Gnostic ' in modern study, need not concern us greatly. Irenaeus was not engaged in Christian-Jewish dialogue in anything close to the degree of a Justin or a Barnabas.

Keywords:Christian; Gnostic; humanity; Irenaeus; Jewish



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