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Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement$
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John Behr

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270003

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270003.001.0001

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Human Growth

Human Growth

(p.116) Chapter 3 Human Growth
Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement

John Behr

Oxford University Press

Irenaeus asserts that God has not created man according to man's passions. He argues that the notion of man's ingratitude comes from those who lack an understanding of the divine economy. Man has to allow God to mold him in order for him to truly become human. Irenaeus introduces the concept of apostasy, the refusal to submit to God's will. He also points out that despite Adam's disobedience, and unlike Cain, Adam took the initiative to repent and ask God for forgiveness. In this chapter, Irenaeus emphasizes how man would have been able to grow the way God meant them to, had he not taken control of himself. He also asserts that God, despite Adam and Eve's apostasy, adapts a way in which Adam and Eve can still live according to God's original plan of growth for them.

Keywords:   Irenaeus, submission, apostasy, God, repentance, forgiveness, Adam, Eve

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