(fl. 180)
   Bishop of Lyons and a biblical theologian, Irenaeus had little time for formal philosophy. His work Against Heresies (177) is concerned with the refutation of Gnosticism, a polymorphous movement that threatened to undermine Christianity with its rigorous dualism between matter and spirit and its view of salvation through secret knowledge. To counter this threat, Irenaeus emphasised the unity of the Old and New Testaments as the work of one God revealed in Jesus Christ and the Spirit. Irenaeus developed a Trinitarian theology of mediation, describing the Son and Spirit as God's 'two hands' in the world. In Proof of the Apostolic Preaching he refutes Gnostics that claim to possess a secret knowledge from the Apostles by his appeal to the public teachings of orthodoxy in the apostolic succession traceable through the Roman bishops. Among his other arguments is an influential conception of humans as created imperfect, a theory that would influence eastern theology and later be used by John Hick for a modern 'soul-making' theodicy.
   Further reading: Grant 1996; Irenaeus 1883-4 and 1992

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Irenaeus, S. (1) — 1S. Irenaeus, (10. Febr.), auch Hyrenaeus, Hereneus und Irenaea, ein Martyrer zu Rom. Im Mart. Rom. steht er auch am 10. Febr. S. S. Zoticus. (II. 380.) …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • Irenaeus, S. (2) — 2S. Irenaeus. Ep. M. (25. al. 24. März, 6. April, 23. 28. Aug.). Dieser hl. Bischof Irenäus, welcher auch Hyrenaeus, Hyreneus, Herenius und Hereneus genannt wird, war früher verheiratet und Vater mehrerer Kinder, wurde aberdann Bischof von… …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

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  • Irenaeus, S. (4) — 4S. Irenaeus, M. (1. April.) Diesen heil. Martyrer bringt am 1. April das Mart. Rom., wie die Boll. meinen, irrthümlich mit Quinctianus in Verbindung und nennt Beide Martyrer in Armenien. Die Bollandisten glauben, es sei S. Herenaeus1, der unter… …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

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