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Camelford Hall (Room 226),
Wed, October 04, 2023
Start: 01:00 PM
End: 01:50 PM

At this week’s Theological Research Seminar, Dr. Jim Payton will be presenting, “Creative Fidelity in the Theology of Irenaeus of Lyons.” Read the abstract and his bio below.

All are welcome to attend in Camelford Hall (room 226) at McMaster Divinity College at 1:00pm or via livestream at the link below:

Join the Livestream
Password: z00m (Note that the password has zeros rather than “o”)


In this paper we explore key elements of the theological contribution of Irenaeus of Lyons, Christianity’s first great theologian since the apostles. We look first at some of the abundant evidence in his two extant works, Against Heresies and Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching (both written in the 180s AD), for his resolute determination to remain faithful to and operate within the apostolic tradition handed down in the Church since the time of the apostles. This evidence will include his declaration that this apostolic tradition is found throughout the known world, in every church founded by an apostle—and so is not unique to him.

Strict adherence to a given standard can be embodied in either rigidly limiting or invitingly exploratory ways. In the last two segments of the paper, we will consider how Irenaeus manifests creative fidelity within the apostolic tradition as he explores scriptural teaching on significant questions no one before him in the post-apostolic Church had addressed—humanity as the image and likeness of God, and how humanity’s salvation is effected by the Last Adam.



Dr. Payton is Professor of Patristics and Historical Theology and Codirector of the Centre for Patristics and Early Christianity at MDC. He is Emeritus Professor of History at Redeemer University and is the author of Irenaeus on the Christian Faith: A Condensation of “Against Heresies” (Pickwick, 2011).



About TRS

The MDC Theological Research Seminar (TRS) is a bimonthly gathering for all MDC students and faculty. TRS meets over the lunch hour on Wednesdays, and includes about thirty minutes for the paper presentation and twenty minutes for discussion.

All advanced degree students are invited to present a paper and share your research with your colleagues. TRS is an excellent opportunity to “test drive” a paper you will be presenting at an upcoming conference and receive helpful feedback on your current research projects. Thinking about submitting an article to a journal and want some interaction first? TRS will provide it. Just published an article or an essay and want to share it us? TRS is an excellent opportunity to broadcast it.

This year the organizing committee consists of Dr. Francis Pang, Dr. Phil Zylla, and Dr. Gord Heath. To submit a paper, contact a member of the organizing committee.