Chiliasm and Recapitulation in the Theology of Ireneus

Chiliasm and Recapitulation in the Theology of Ireneus 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 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Vigiliae Christianae Brill

Chiliasm and Recapitulation in the Theology of Ireneus

Vigiliae Christianae, Volume 48 (4): 313 – Jan 1, 1994

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1994 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0042-6032
eISSN
1570-0720
D.O.I.
10.1163/157007294X00050
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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

Journal

Vigiliae ChristianaeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1994

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