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Against Heresies

Against Heresies

Author: Irenaeus of Lyons

Edited by: Jordan Joseph Wales

Introduction by: John C. Cavadini

Translated by: Alexander Roberts

Translated by: William Hautenville Rambaut

Price: $32.50

Format: Paperback

Pages: 672

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 978-0-87061-319-7

Imprint: Christian Classics

On-sale date: September 4, 2020

This product is no longer for sale.

More History, Reference, Spirituality, Theology


St. Irenaeus’s Against Heresies (ca. 180) is a defining work in the development of Christian theology. It offers the first holistic presentation of Christian belief through the lens of salvation history, from creation to the end of the world. The book is the foundation for both Eastern and Western Christian thought, yet no new single-volume edition of this work has been issued in more than a century. It is now available once more at an affordable price and in a more accessible translation.

Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, wrote Against Heresies to defend the Christian faith against the Gnostic heresy. To vindicate the Incarnation, Irenaeus described and attacked the principal belief of the Gnostics: the evil origin of the natural world. Affirming the unity of the Old and New Testaments, the goodness of the Creator and the created world, and the mystery by which human beings are perfected through participation in the divine life, the saint produced an outstanding example of early Christian biblical theology.

Irenaeus stands among the early Church fathers, for whom the doctrines of Christianity safeguard the confession of God’s saving love revealed through his Incarnation as Jesus Christ. This edition presents Alexander Roberts’s classic nineteenth‐century translation, with a revision that removes archaisms and corrects many errors while preserving Roberts’s elevated prose. The book also features a new introduction by John C. Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini director of the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.



"“Irenaeus’s words are so penetrating that they cannot fail to enlighten the unbiased observer."

Hans Urs von Balthasar

"A high road."

"In Irenaeus's teaching, the dignity of humanity, body and soul, is firmly anchored in divine creation, in the image of Christ and in the Spirit’s permanent work of sanctification. This doctrine is like a ‘high road’ in order to discern together with all people of good will the object and boundaries of the dialogue of values, and to give an ever-new impetus to the Church’s missionary action, to the force of the truth which is the source of all true values in the world."

Pope Benedict XVI