Irenaeus of Lyon

Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Irenaeus of Lyon

Show Summary Details


Amid the diversity of mid‐second century Christianity, with different groups adopting different gospels as their supreme authority, the writings of Irenaeus of Lyon constituted an important link between churches scattered throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. His greatest work was a five‐part argument against gnosticism, and he repeatedly emphasizes the one faith shared by believers everywhere. Irenaeus ‘embodies the process towards standardization’, with a fixed list of writings deemed to be authoritative. Nevertheless, ‘apocryphal’ material, including Christian apocalypses, continued to be influential.

Keywords: apocalypses; apocrypha; gnosticism; Irenaeus of Lyon

Chapter.  3620 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.