A Study in Anti-Gnostic Polemics: Irenaeus, Hippolytus and Epiphanius

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Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 1981 - Religion - 114 pages
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Gnostic beliefs presented themselves as a major challenge to Irenaeus of Lyons (Against Heresies, ca. A.D. 180), Hippolytus of Rome (the presumed author of the Elenchos Against All Heresies, post-A.D. 222), and Epiphanius of Salamis (Panarion, A.D. 374-77). What was at stake for them were life-and-death issues; the nature of Christianity and the question of truth. While recent manuscript finds shed new light on gnostic thought, the writings of the heresiologists are still indispensable—for knowledge of gnostic teaching but also of "what certain influential authors in the emergence of catholic Christianity considered ... the pivotal point on which Christianity would stand or fall." The writings of these three heresiologists, observes Vall e, offer "excellent illustrations of what heresiology was in three successive centuries" and how it developed. Their influence on the style of Christian polemics was decisive and lasting. Valll e analyzes the arguments of each of the three heresiologists in order to discern the central concerns of each.
 

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Contents

HERESIOLOGY AND NORMATIVE CHRISTIANITY
1
I IRENAEUSS REFUTATION OF THE GNOSTICS
9
II THE ELENCHOS AGAINST ALL HERESIES
41
III EPIPHANIUSS PANARION
63
The Style of Argumentation in Panhaer27
88
CHRISTIAN POLEMICS AND THE EMERGENCE OF ORTHODOXY
92
BIBLIOGRAPHY
105
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About the author (1981)

Gérard Vallée is professor emeritus of religious studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada). He studied in Québec and Germany, and worked in the fields of history of Christianity and philosophy of religion. He has also taught in Vietnam, India, and Nigeria. His publications include A Study in Anti-Gnostic Polemics (WLU Press, 1981), The Spinoza Conversations between Lessing and Jacobi (1988), The Shaping of Christianity 100–800 (1999), and Soundings in G.E. Lessing’s Philosophy of Religion (2000). He has been involved in the editing of Nightingale’s Collected Works since 1998.

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