"An intensively argued study of Irenaeus...It will prove rewarding to any student concerned with questions about how and why Christian theology arose." The Journal of Religion, Robert M. Grant
"Osborn brings to his treatment of this seminal figure [Irenaeus] the depth of his knowledge acquired through many years studying the second century, to produce a thoughtful, comprehensive study that has much to offer both students of early Christianity and contemporary Christians...This volume is sure to become a standard work on Irenaeus. It is clearly and engagingly presented, comprehensive and insightful, the kind of work which can only be written after many years of serious study of the field." St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly
Eric Osborn's book presents a major study of Irenaeus (125 200), bishop of Lyons, who attacked Gnostic theosophy with positive ideas as well as negative critiques. Irenaeus's combination of argument and imagery, logic and aesthetic, was directed to a new document, the Christian bible. Dominated by a Socra tic love of truth and a classical love of beauty, he was a founder of Western humanism. Irenaeus is today valued for his splendid aphorisms, his optimism, love of the created world, evolutionary view of history, theology of beauty and humour.