Irenaeus of Lyons and the Church in the Second Century
(FKTh 2023-4, p. 248–257)
The text “Irenaeus of Lyon and the Church in the 2nd Century” explores the life and contributions of Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, as well as the challenges that early Christians had to face during that time. After a brief biographical introduction to the person of this Church Father, the author addresses three issues central to the understanding of the early Church: First, the socio- religious environment of the Christians in the 2nd century is described, which was characterized primarily by the confrontation with the customs of pagan Roman society. Second, the philosophical-theological challenges are presented, of which Gnosticism became the most challenging. Finally, the significance of persecutions for the young church is outlined. The author sharpens the understanding of the relevance of the historical context and the influence of great figures such as Irenaeus for the development of Christianity.