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Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement : Oxford Early Christian Studies - John Behr

Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement

Oxford Early Christian Studies

By: John Behr

Hardcover Published: 1st November 2000
ISBN: 9780198270003
Number Of Pages: 280

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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 paradigm of Christian asceticism, Irenaeus and Clement afford fascinating glimpses of alternative approaches. For Irenaeus, asceticism is the expression of man living the life of God in all dimensions of the body, that which is most characteristically human and in the image of God. Human existence as a physical being includes sexuality as a permanent part of the framework within which males and females grow towards God. In contrast, Clement depicts asceticism as man's attempt at a godlike life to protect the rational element, that which is distinctively human and in the image of God, from any possible disturbance and threat, or from the vulnerability of dependency, especially of a physical or sexual nature. Here human sexuality is strictly limited by the finality of procreation and abandoned in the resurrection. By paying careful attention to these two writers, Behr offers challenging material for the continuing task of understanding ourselves as human beings.

Industry Reviews

`Behr's work is fascinating, particularly as his readings of Irenaean texts concerning the complex question of the relationship of soul, breath of life and the Holy Spirit differ significantly from standard interpretations.' Alvyn Pettersen, The Expository Times

Introductionp. 1
Irenaeus of Lyons: From Breath to Spiritp. 23
The Economy of Godp. 34
The Handiwork of Godp. 35
The Temporality of the Economyp. 40
The Sign of Jonahp. 43
The Unfolding of the Economyp. 52
At the End, the Beginningp. 57
The Human Formationp. 86
Human Growthp. 116
Clement of Alexandria: Tiptoeing on the Earthp. 129
Anthropologyp. 135
Rebirth and Christian Lifep. 152
The Higher Christian Life: gnosis, apatheia, agapep. 185
Conclusionp. 209
Bibliographyp. 225
Index of Citationsp. 255
General indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198270003
ISBN-10: 0198270003
Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 1st November 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.45

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