Origen’s λόγων ἀρχαίων συγγράμματα from Alexandria to Caesarea: Hellenity and Christianity in Relation to Written Knowledge

  • Jan Dominik Bogataj University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Theology
Keywords: confrontation between the Greek paideia and Christianity at the turn of the 2nd century, Origen, Codex Monacensis Graecus

Abstract

An analysis of Origen's biographical sources from the perspectives of ‘book’, ‘library’ and ‘(written) knowledge’ raises a deeper question about the confrontation between the Greek paideia and Christianity at the turn of the 2nd century. The watershed event in Origen’s life was giving away his library of ancient literature, λόγων ἀρχαίων συγγράμματα (HE 6.3.9) – an act which became crucial to understanding Origen’s move from rejecting the knowledge of the classical era to its absorption for the purpose of scriptural interpretations. The 2012 discovery of Origen’s sermons on psalms in the Codex Monacensis Graecus 314 sheds new light on his development and his mature perceptions. Origen’s life and works justify the argument that the Christian written word is not something esoteric and distant; rather, it is through in-verbalisation in the Scriptures that the in-carnation of Jesus Christ continues and is reinforced. This is why the Christian view on the written word, books, and libraries can be positive and stimulating.

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Published
2017-12-30
Section
Articles