Chapter

The Emergence and Development of Foundational Themes

Anthony Briggman

in Irenaeus of Lyons and the Theology of the Holy Spirit

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641536
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738302 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641536.003.0005

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The Emergence and Development of Foundational Themes

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While chapter 3 considered the features of Irneaeus’ theology of the Spirit in AH 3 that are less relevant to his later pneumatological development and our particular examination of it, this chapter addresses aspects of Irenaeus’ theology of the Spirit in AH 3 that continue to appear in one form or another over the course of his pneumatological development and throughout this study. The Holy Spirit anoints the humanity of Jesus so that he could fulfill his Messianic mission. As the Unction of Christ the Spirit anoints members of the church, uniting individuals into the one body of Christ and rendering them productive. The Spirit is the gift who vivifies those who receive him by uniting believers to himself and to the glorified Christ. Lastly, the agency of the Spirit in creation enables created beings to know the love and infinite kindness of God, while simultaneously marking the limit of that knowledge.

Keywords: Holy Spirit; Anointing; Unction of Christ; Gift; Vivify; Creative Agency; Epistemology

Chapter.  20606 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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