Jonathon Lookadoo, "The Christology of Ignatius of Antioch" (Cascade Books, 2023)


The letters of Ignatius of Antioch portray Jesus in terms that are both remarkably exalted and shockingly vulnerable. Jesus is identified as God and is the sole physician and teacher who truly reveals the Father. At the same time, Jesus was born of Mary, suffered, and died. Ignatius asserts both claims about Jesus with minimal attempts to reconcile how they can simultaneously be embodied in one person. 

Jonathon Lookadoo's book The Christology of Ignatius of Antioch (Cascade Books, 2023) explores the ways in which Ignatius outlines his understanding of Jesus and the effects that these views were to have on both his immediate audience as well as some of his later readers. Ignatius utilizes stories throughout his letters, describes Jesus with designations that are at once traditional and reinvigorated with fresh meaning, and employs a dizzying array of metaphors to depict how Jesus acts. In turn, Ignatius and his audience are to respond in ways befitting their status in Christ because Jesus forms a lens through which to look at the world anew. Such a dynamic Christology was not to cease development in the second century but continued to inspire readers in creative ways through late antiquity and beyond.

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Crawford Gribben

Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.

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