Florovsky Plenary Paper Abstract - Justification within Recapitulation: Irenaeus in Ecumenical Dialogue

Feast of St Peter the Athonite

JUSTIFICATION has a relatively minor place in Irenaeus’s thought. He discusses it particularly in his polemics against Gnostic approaches to the Scriptures and to the law. And justification typically serves for Irenaeus within a broader, participatory framework of salvation. When we keep these aspects into account, perhaps unexpected ecumenical possibilities open up between Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants. One of the most important lessons from Irenaeus’s discussion on justification, is that justification should not be treated as an insulated doctrine. Instead, it is an aspect of participation in Christ’s recapitulation and as such serves to uphold and strengthen our deifying union with God in Christ. 

Hans Boersma teaches doctrinal theology and history of doctrine in the J. I. Packer Chair at Regent College in Vancouver. His main interest is in the recovery of Christian Platonism—or, in his words, a sacramental ontology. With this concern in mind, he has worked on twentieth-century Catholic thought, theological exegesis, and patristic theology. Some of Boersma's recent books are Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in Christian Tradition (Eerdmans, 2018); Scripture as Real Presence: Sacramental Exegesis in the Early Church (Baker Academic, 2017); and Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry (Eerdmans, 2011). Boersma was recently appointed to the St. Benedict Servants of Christ Endowed Professorship in Ascetical Theology at Nashotah House in Wisconson. 

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