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Irenaeus of LyonsIdentifying Christianity$
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John Behr

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214624

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214624.001.0001

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Irenaeus of Lyons: Ambassador for Peace, Reconciliation, and Toleration

Irenaeus of Lyons: Ambassador for Peace, Reconciliation, and Toleration

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 Irenaeus of Lyons: Ambassador for Peace, Reconciliation, and Toleration
Source:
Irenaeus of Lyons
Author(s):

John Behr

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214624.003.0002

This chapter surveys the context of Irenaeus' theological activity by reviewing all the Christian teachers and communities in Rome during the first two centuries, paying special attention to how those who came to be regarded as heretics separated themselves from the larger Christian fellowship. It examines the details of Irenaeus' interventions in Rome, regards the Quartodeciman Controversy and the disciples of Valentinus, and demonstrates how through Irenaeus' work the initially fractionated communities in Rome coalesced into a united body, with a clear understanding of the structure and framework of Orthodoxy. It concludes by tracing his work to his background in Asia Minor, as a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna, and the key theological ideas that he inherited from Polycarp and the circles around John the Evangelist; it suggests a timeline for his life and works.

Keywords:   Early Roman Christianity, Marcion, Valentinus, Justin Martyr, Polycarp of Smyrna, Quartodeciman Controversy, Orthodoxy, Heresy, Peter Lampe, Einar Thomassen

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