Friday, 24 May 2019

John-Paul Lotz: ΑΝΘΡΟΠΟΣ ΕΙΣ ΕΝΩΣΙΝ ΚΑΤΗΡΤΙΣΜΕΝΟΣ: Ignatius of Antioch and the origins of orthodoxy

This paper will attempt to lay out some reasons why Ignatius may be a useful source to revisit when reflecting on renewed interest in Marcion, Gnosticism and ‘early Christianities’.  It will also take into account briefly Gregory Vall’s re-assessment of Ignatius’ theology which makes it more likely that the middle recension be viewed as authentic. Can it be that Ignatius, of whom so little is conveyed to us in the writings of his near contemporaries Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement, Origen or Hippolytus, was none the less the first to lay down the defending arguments for the key theological and ecclesiological issues that the church would encounter in Marcion’s docetism, Montanus’ libertinism and the growing question of the role of persecution and martyrdom that Irenaeus and Tertullian contended with? Perhaps he was, in his own words, “speaking with a loud voice, God’s voice” as he was doing his part as “a man set on unity” (Phld. 7-8). This paper may be a useful addition to the conference because it will seek to test some larger ideas and movements that appeared in the middle to late second century and which led to an unprecedented level of unity in the great Church up to that time in the confined context of the middle recension. Essentially, did Ignatius anticipate danger in little ways that would one day threaten the church in great ways, and not just generally, but specifically (episcopal authority, schism, Docetism, the role of prophecy, and the gospel oracles).

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