Irenaeus on Natural Knowledge

In: Church History and Religious Culture
Anthony Briggman Emory University, Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, GA, USA

Search for other papers by Anthony Briggman in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


Over a century of research has produced little agreement on the question of whether Irenaeus of Lyons recognized a natural knowledge of God. This article raises the question anew by considering the interpretive issues surrounding the passage at the center of the debate, Against Heresies 2.6.1. It challenges past readings and offers one of its own. I contend that an affirmation of natural knowledge plays the leading role in the argument of AH 2.6.1. This being the case, this text does not undermine references to natural knowledge that appear elsewhere in Irenaeus’s corpus, as Th.-André Audet would have us believe, but supports them. Irenaeus, then, does indeed recognize a natural knowledge of God, the product of discursive reasoning about the creation and providence of God.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 257 49 3
Full Text Views 183 3 0
PDF Views & Downloads 23 5 0