ASCETICISM AND ANTHROPOLOGY IN IRENAEUS AND CLEMENT PDF

By exploring these writings from within their own theological perspectives, John Behr also offers a theological critique of the prevailing approach to the asceticism of Late Antiquity. Writing before monasticism became the dominant Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement examines the ways in which Irenaeus and Clement understood what it means to be human. Writing before monasticism became the dominant paradigm of Christian asceticism, Irenaeus and Clement afford fascinating glimpses of alternative approaches. For Irenaeus, asceticism is the expression of man living the life of God in all dimensions of the body, that which is most characteristically human and in the image of God. Human existence as a physical being includes sexuality as a permanent part of the framework within which males and females grow towards God. Here human sexuality is strictly limited by the finality of procreation and abandoned in the resurrection.

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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Journal of Early Christian Studies Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement. New York: Oxford University Press, Correctly noting that any discussion of asceticism must be based on the foundational question of human identity, John Behr presents a fascinating examination of the theological anthropology of Irenaeus of Lyons c.

Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeusand Clement is a well-defined study of two early Christian writers who, despite being near-contemporaries confronting various "Gnostic" groups as common opponents, came to very different conclusions about human identity and Christian living.

Significantly, Irenaeus and Clement present a large body of extant texts from a period in Christianity prior to the rise of monasticism. Rather, asceticism was the realization, the putting into practice, of the new eschatological life granted in baptism within the confines of the present life" With a critical yet appreciative stance toward the work of scholars such as Michel Foucault and Peter Brown, Behr addresses the need for contemporary scholarship to pursue "a history of Christian asceticism written from the theological perspective of the writers under study" Behr begins with his examination of Irenaeus who, he admits, is less straightforward regarding ascetic practice than Clement.

Irenaeus maintains the unity of Scripture through the christocentric exegesis upon which he bases his theology. He holds the creatureliness of the human being in a positive light precisely because humanity is a creation of an uncreated, perfect God who continues to bestow gifts enabling humanity to advance and grow toward God. For Irenaeus, there was never an "angelic" existence from which humanity "fell.

Christians have received a "certain portion" of the Spirit of God, making them bodily beings vivified by the Spirit. Asceticism for Irenaeus lies not in rigorous [End Page ] practices but in becoming fully engaged with daily life, learning to hold more fully to God in whose very life humanity participates. Clement of Alexandria presents a hierarchical anthropology in which the intellect understood in the fuller sense of the rational or inner person is identified as the image of God over the physical body.

Sexuality, determined by desire, is for this world only. The Christian lives proleptically in this world, maturing through a long and rigorous training from simple believer to Christian Gnostic.

The Logos-Paedagogus encourages and exhorts the newly baptized to perform Christian duties. Later, the Logos as teacher instructs those who have already been trained and disciplined. Christian life is a "tiptoeing on the earth," but apatheia for Clement involves not merely avoiding evil and sin but also actively doing good His comparisons and contrasts come to a more direct synthesis in his conclusion, and thereby raise the question of whether the arrangement of the entire book might have been more beneficial if approached in a synthesized, thematic way and not by separate accounts of Access options available:.

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Asceticism and anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Journal of Early Christian Studies Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement. New York: Oxford University Press, Correctly noting that any discussion of asceticism must be based on the foundational question of human identity, John Behr presents a fascinating examination of the theological anthropology of Irenaeus of Lyons c. Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeusand Clement is a well-defined study of two early Christian writers who, despite being near-contemporaries confronting various "Gnostic" groups as common opponents, came to very different conclusions about human identity and Christian living.

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