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Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement
Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement examines the ways in which Irenaeus and Clement understood what it means to be human. 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 parad ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by OUP Oxford
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Drawing out a parallel between Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, John Behr draws out two theologies of man and asceticism. Irenaeus has a healthy view of the human body, even seeing it as the bearer of the image and likeness of God. However, Clement holds to a suspicion of the body locating the image in the intellect. Clement moreover sees human salvation as paideia, with Christ as the great Teacher. On the other hand, Irenaeus sees the Incarnation as the restoration of the image . Thus his an ...more
A scholarly work looking at some of the earlier church fathers and giving us some key insights into what they thought was important in the life of the church. Sometimes understanding what the early church fathers emphasized gives us a better understanding as to what Christianity is supposed to focus on. I found more appealing the works of Irenaeus than Clement.