Irenaeus’ Christology of Mixture

Briggman, Anthony
October 2013
Journal of Theological Studies;Oct2013, Vol. 64 Issue 2, p516
Academic Journal
Many studies have been written on Irenaeus’ Christology, but almost all focus upon soteriological problems rather than Christology proper. A. Houssiau attempted to rectify this imbalance, providing the best study of Irenaeus’ Christology to date, but even he missed the fundamental logic that Irenaeus utilizes to explain the christological union. In this article I contend that Irenaeus uses Stoic mixture theory to conceptualize the christological union, including the relationship between the human and divine in the experiences and activities of Christ. In so saying, I challenge H. A. Wolfson’s position that Irenaeus’ use of mixture language accords with Aristotelian mixture theory, and I stand against those, including Wolfson and A. Grillmeier, who maintain that Irenaeus’ conception of the person of Christ is devoid of philosophical reasoning.


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