Asceticism and anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement by John Behr

By John Behr

This booklet examines the overdue moment century writings of Irenaeus and Clement. Writing sooner than monasticism turned the dominant paradigm of Christian asceticism, Irenaeus and Clement find the money for attention-grabbing glimpses of different techniques to asceticism in overdue antiquity.

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2012 9:52 The Economy of God : Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and C... com/view/10... Deus ab homine differt, quoniam Deus quidem facit, homo autem fit’ (AH 4. 11. 2). (6) AH 5. 36. 3. (7) AH 3. 20. 2. (8) AH 4. 13. 4. (9) Cf. Rousseau’s note, SC 100, 233–4. (10) AH 4. 14. 1. Irenaeus uses these terms almost as synonyms, always referring them to God himself; cf. AH 2. 13. 9. For a synopsis of the function of these terms in Irenaeus, see Y. de Andia, Homo vivens: Incorruptibilité et divinisation de l’homme selon Irénée de Lyon (Paris, 1986), 16–31.

11. 2 must, ultimately, reflect the quotation from Genesis given in 11. ’ The context is no less clear: a few lines later, Irenaeus specifically states that man’s perfection is to continue indefinitely progressing towards God, ‘homo in Deo inventus semper proficiet ad Deum’, for while God is uncreated, and so eternally the same, it belongs to the very nature and existence of man to draw ever closer to his Creator. Cf. Bacq, De l’ancienne à la nouvelle alliance, 96 n. 2. (13) Basing himself, perhaps, on Paul’s use of Isaiah, Rom.

20. 7) It is for this that the Word, in the Incarnation, became the ‘dispenser of the Paternal grace’ for the advantage of men, (p. 74 Man can never see God by his own powers, but only as, when, and how God wills, for he is powerful in all things. 75 We saw earlier how the whole divine economy was undertaken to extend the inner trinitarian life of glory to the disciples by their contemplation of the Son of God in the flesh, glorified with the glory he had with the Father from before all time, and by this contemplation, their participation in his glory.

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