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"Joining the End to the Beginning"
Divine Providence and the Interpretation of Scripture in the Teaching of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons

BUSHUR, JAMES,GEORGE (2010) "Joining the End to the Beginning"
Divine Providence and the Interpretation of Scripture in the Teaching of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



In this dissertation, the author argues that Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons in the second century, reads the scriptures as the living proclamation of the Creator by which he creates and forms human flesh and blood. The scriptural narrative originates in God’s creation of all things ex nihilo and traces the movement of humanity toward its eschatological perfection in the incarnate, crucified, and risen Christ. Thus, the author argues that, for Irenaeus, the scriptures are as anthropological as they are theological. The biblical narrative possesses a continuity that is rooted in the substance of the human body. The very body that was created out of the dust in Adam, preserved from the flood in Noah, catechized by the law in Abraham and Moses, and became accustomed to the Spirit in the prophets is assumed by the Son of God from the Virgin Mary, crucified on the tree of the cross, and raised from the grave. The author maintains that Irenaeus views the scriptures as a single narrative describing precisely that flesh and blood given at the eucharistic altar in the fellowship of the church. Irenaeus reads the scriptures, not only in an intimate relationship with the creation of all things in the beginning and their recapitulation in Christ, but also in accord with an ecclesial dimension. The biblical narrative describes the identity of the baptized, who are joined to the body of Jesus through the baptismal and eucharistic life of the church. From this perspective, the author insists that the meaning of the scriptures, for the second century bishop, is not merely rational, moral or mystical, but truly ontological.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Jun 2010 14:35

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