Recapitulation, Christian and Pagan: St. Irenaeus, Numenius, Plotinus
(FKTh 2023-4, p. 258–269)
The Fathers, they spell out Christianity as Platonism individualized, temporalized, historicized. In the work of St. Irenaeus, the notion of recapitulation is of central importance. And it can be interpreted as recollection individualized, temporalized, historicized. But in order to see this, it is necessary to first ground St. Irenaeus very firmly within the philosophical context of his time. This context can be called Middle Platonism, whose pseudomorphic lines run into gnostic systems of images. Thinking these things through, it is possible to a) historically grasp the basic structures of what is philosophically relevant in the second century after Christ. And it is then possible to b) systematically understand the two basic forms of recapitulation, the pagan and the Christian.