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Old 10-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #1
stephan huller
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Default Was Irenaeus a Lady?

I know this sounds like a stupid question. The suffix at the end of the name Irenaios obviously indicates a masculine name. However we know very little about this "Church Father" and I get the distinct feeling from having read his works over and over again that he might be a woman. The most obvious reason being why don't we know anything about Irenaeus? But there is a lot more to it than that. He is too interested in women. Osborn noticed the same thing but attributes his interest to Irenaeus being "an artist."

Does anyone care about women besides women? or better yet ancient writers even ancient Christian writers from the time demonstrate a profound interest in the affairs of women?

On a related note does anyone other than women watch the WNBA? women's soccer or women's sports in general? if not now in this much more liberated world how so in antinquity and especially in Christian antiquity?

And I thought of a category of men who care about women's sports - dads
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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What someone else noticed http://kingdomcruciformity.wordpress...d-paul-foster/

*It is often suggested that the attraction toward Gnosticism for women is in direct correlation with a revolt or repulsion to the paternalism of Christianity and Judaism.* Sara Parvis makes a brilliant counter-argument that shows Irenaeus’ theology is actually quite open and appreciative of women… even more than Gnosticism!* Irenaeus’ Marion theology as recapitulation of Eve is probably the strongest argument for Parvis’ case.* Parvis adequately demonstrates Marcus’ form of Gnosticism is manipulative and exploitative of females.* Within the Gnostic framework, women are still blamed for evil or are lesser than the male gods.* Yet, Irenaeus’ is able to highlight God’s female attributes (i.e., breasts of comfort).* Furthermore, he seems to be quite comfortable with women playing a significant role in worship (i.e., prophesying).*
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephan huller View Post
Does anyone care about women besides women? or better yet ancient writers even ancient Christian writers from the time demonstrate a profound interest in the affairs of women?
We're told that the author of the Gospel of Luke places unusual emphasis on the role of women in the ministry of Jesus - leading to occasional scholarly speculation that "Dr. Luke" actually was a woman.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Sara Parvis - Irenaeus, Women and Tradition
Quote:
Irenaeus has been invoked from a feminist perspective both as a villain and as a hero in his views on women. On the one hand, he rejects and even laughs at a number of female-centred and female-friendly myths and practices among different Gnostic sects; on the other, women are at the centre of his concerns- he sees Mary as recapitulating Eve and reversing her disobedience, just as Christ recapitulates and reverses Adam’s.

In this paper, I will look at another aspect of Irenaeus’ treatment of women- his tacit but sympathetic addressing of their criticisms of mainstream Christianity within Against the Heresies. I will look at the ways he defends an active role for women within the Christian tradition, above all by his argument that right reading of Scripture demands a space in the church for women prophets.
Posted by Professor Markus Vinzent
This is from an essay in a book, Irenaeus: Life, Scripture, and Legacy (or via: amazon.co.uk) (affordable)

But that's an interesting question. There is speculation that the author of Luke-Acts was a woman, there were many women involved in early Christianity - why not?
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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I think this would be an interesting question for the Bible Geek.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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I think Irenaeus edited Luke-Acts and the Letters of Paul
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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And I know generalizations are dangerous here but Irenaeus is a passionate writer. He's not a scholar like the contemporary Alexandrians. He's not about getting everyone to rid themselves of their passions. Very traditional but has artistic flair. Very aware of beauty. Accepts subservience as a natural state for humanity. Aware of power and not embarrassed to flatter those who sit in the Imperial court. Not interested in showing off how smart he/she is. There is a certain humility detected in his/her writings. Hiding how smart you are is a womanly trait
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:13 PM   #8
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Modesty. That's the word I was looking for. Irenaeus is all about being modest. Not a masculine trait
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:36 AM   #9
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Be careful of anachronism here. The past is a different country, etc.

Clement of Alexandria would be the first one to fall to this kind of analysis.

The difficulty with the hypothesis, if nothing else, is that Irenaeus is the "bishop" of Lyons. Your choice:

(1) Strip the title
(2) Take Irenaeus for a male
(3) Argue for female bishops in the late 2nd century church
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:42 AM   #10
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Be careful of the Trilemma here. There is at least one other possibility:

(4) Argue that the writings ascribed to Irenaeus were actually authored by someone else.
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