CHILIASM AND RECAPITULATION IN THE THEOLOGY OF IRENEUS BY CHRISTOPHER R. SMITH Interpretations of Chiliasm in Ireneus Against Heresies, the monumental work of Ireneus against the Gnostics, ends, to many tastes, with a dull thud, in the chiliastic por- trayal of earthly rewards for the faithful. Recent scholarship, echoing the sentiment which led to the suppression of these final chapters (they were only rediscovered in the late sixteenth century), has either conve- niently ignored this aspect of Irenean theology, or sought to excuse it as a gratuitous anomaly or pardonable excess. One would scarely imagine, for example, in reading the eschatological section of the otherwise comprehensive summary Justo Gonzalez offers of the theology of Ireneus, that any notion of an intermediate earthly paradise is even to be found there: The final fulfillment that we now await-when all things will be subjected to him-will be Christ's last victory over the Devil. Meanwhile, we who live between the resurrection [of Christ] and the consummation [of all things] are not living in a period of truce in this struggle of centuries, but are living at the time in which Christ is making effective his victory, in order to lead us to
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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