Definition of irenic in English:


(also eirenic)


  • Aiming or aimed at peace.

    • ‘So the Church, recognising that its irenic precepts were largely ignored, tried to reduce the savagery of war.’
    • ‘The report's irenic and tentative tone, and the complete absence of bullet points in its text, should dispel any such misimpressions.’
    • ‘He therefore has much less of the baggage that converts often bring, and he is able to write in a largely irenic and fraternal manner.’
    • ‘Those who paid more attention to the threat from popery argued for an eirenic approach to Dissent, in the hope of fostering Protestant unity.’
    • ‘Those who have followed his writings will know that his style is eirenic, inclusive and pious.’
    • ‘Yet more surprising than such relevance is the irenic quality of this advice seeking a hospitable engagement with neighbors of other faiths.’
    • ‘Always willing to engage in serious, even fierce, political debate, Jim Finn was as well an irenic man and a hospitable one.’
    • ‘However eirenic his style and manner, there is little doubt opposition will eventually be aroused by a man as committed to truth-telling as Benedict is.’
    • ‘After all, the Bible contains both rather bloodthirsty works like the Book of Joshua as well as more irenic passages.’
    • ‘Written in a sympathetic and irenic spirit, this book echoes a striking number of the same criticisms of the current Roman exercise of primacy.’
    • ‘Gould's position may seem attractively irenic; but its appeal derives from its vagueness and ambiguity, and evanesces under closer scrutiny.’
    • ‘Reimer supports Rawlyk's idea that Canadian evangelicalism is more irenic than its U.S. counterpart, but calls for real data to support the thesis.’
    • ‘There is also an eirenic critique of dispensational and reconstructionist alternatives to covenant theology.’
    • ‘Obviously, these claims do not make for irenic relations with adherents to those religions they have improved and replaced.’
    • ‘Throughout, Powell's presentations are fair and his assessments irenic.’
    • ‘Contemporary Evangelicals applaud Whitefield's eirenic sentiments, but have forgotten why he wrote the letter in the first place.’
    • ‘His presentation is at once inventive, venturesome, and irenic.’
    • ‘Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the Bishop's irenic tone in this volatile situation.’
    • ‘There is a brief introduction, and each passage is cleverly prefaced by remarks that help not only to situate the selection within the theme but also to allow the editor to express his own irenic views.’
    • ‘Australia's Religious Communities deals primarily with the Australian experience of Islam, so perhaps it is understandable that an irenic rather than divisive approach characterises the entry.’
    peace-loving, unwarlike, non-belligerent, non-violent, non-combative, non-aggressive, conflict-free, easy, easy-going, placid, gentle, meek, mild, inoffensive, good-natured, even-tempered, amiable, amicable, friendly, affable, genial, civil, cooperative, conciliatory, pacific, pacifist, anti-war, dovelike, dovish
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  • A part of Christian theology concerned with reconciling different denominations and sects.

    • ‘His thesis was entitled, "Narrative Irenics in the Gospel of Mark," which explores the manner in which the author seeks to build internal unity in his congregation by his methodology of story-telling.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek eirēnikos, from eirēnē ‘peace’. Compare with irenicon.