Chapter

Creation in the Mirror of Scripture II: Patristic Approaches to the Biblical Witnesses beyond Genesis

Paul M. Blowers

in Drama of the Divine Economy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660414
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745980 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660414.003.0007

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Creation in the Mirror of Scripture II: Patristic Approaches to the Biblical Witnesses beyond Genesis

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Ultimately, the Christian theology of creation rested not simply on Genesis 1–2 but on an intertextual constellation of biblical writings, including the Psalms, Deutero-Isaiah, and the Wisdom literature, which resourced reflection on creation’s active participation in the Creator’s plan; divine providence; evil; the austerity, beauty, and redeemability of material creation; and the paradox of the “vanity” of creation (Ecclesiastes). The chapter next turns to patristic exegesis of salient New Testament texts, beginning with the “vanity” of “groaning” creation (Romans 8) in interpreters like Irenaeus, Origen, Ambrosiaster, Augustine, and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Next are texts on the “cosmic Christ” and on the interconnected dimensions of Christ’s role as Creator and Redeemer of the cosmos. The last set for analysis is the “new creation” texts describing the recreation of humanity in baptism and the eschatological unfolding of a “new heavens and new earth.”

Keywords: wisdom; vanity; “groaning” of creation; cosmic christ; new creation; Irenaeus; Origen; Ambrosiaster; Augustine; Theodore of Mopsuestia

Chapter.  28446 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Christianity

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