Guide Origen and Greek Patristic Theology

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Origen and Greek Patristic Theology: [William Fairweather] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Contents 1 Precursors of Origen 2 Life and.
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See our disclaimer. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Please enter a valid email address. Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. Customer Service. But with Barnabas the tension becomes acute; violently anti-Jewish, the Alexandrian author substitutes allegorism use of symbolism for Jewish literalism and thus enables himself to wrest a Christian meaning from the Old Testament. At the same time, all these writings—especially those of Ignatius, Polycarp, and Papias—testify to the growing awareness of a specifically Christian tradition embodied in the teaching transmitted from the Apostles.

Almost all the Apostolic Fathers throw light on primitive doctrine and practice. II Clement invites its readers to think of Christ as of God and of the church as a preexistent reality. The Shepherd of Hermas seeks to modify the rigorist view that sin committed after baptism cannot be forgiven.

Patristic Theology

But the real key to the theology of the Apostolic Fathers, which also explains its often curious imagery, is that it is Jewish-Christian through and through, expressing itself in categories derived from latter-day Judaism and apocalyptic literature depicting the intervention of God in history in the last times , which were soon to become unfashionable and be discarded.

Hardly had the church thrown off its early Jewish-Christian idiosyncrasies when it found itself confronted by the amorphous but pervasive philosophical-religious movement known as gnosticism.

This movement made a strong bid to absorb Christianity in the 2nd century, and a number of Christian gnostic sects flourished and contributed richly to Christian literature. Although the church eventually maintained its identity intact, the confrontation forced it to clarify its ideas on vital issues on which it differed sharply from the gnostics.

Among the leading 2nd-century Christian gnostics were Saturninus and Basilides , reputedly pupils of Menander, a disciple of Simon Magus late 1st century , the alleged founder of the movement; they worked at both Antioch and Alexandria. Most famous and influential was the Egyptian Valentinus , who acquired a great reputation at Rome c. Basilides and Valentinus are reported to have written extensively, and their systems can be reconstructed from hostile accounts by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and other orthodox critics.

The gnostics generally seem to have been prolific writers, and, as they needed their own distinctive scriptures, they soon created a body of apocryphal books patterned on the New Testament. It was a Syrian gnostic convert, Tatian , who compiled late 2nd century the first harmony of the four Gospels the Diatessaron —a single gospel using the material from the Gospels—and it was an Italian gnostic, Heracleon 2nd century , who prepared the earliest commentary on The Gospel According to John extracts from it were preserved by Origen.

Epiphanius c. Almost the entire vast literature of gnosticism has perished, and until recently the only original documents available to scholars apart from extracts such as those already mentioned, which were preserved by orthodox critics were a handful of treatises in Coptic contained in three codices manuscript books that were discovered in the 18th and late 19th centuries. The most interesting of these are Pistis Sophia and the Apocryphon of John , the former consisting of conversations of the risen Jesus with his disciples about the fall and redemption of the aeon emanation from the Godhead called Pistis Sophia, the latter of revelations made by Jesus to St.

John explaining the presence of evil in the cosmos and showing how humankind can be rescued from it. Among these, the Jung Codex named in honour of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung by those who purchased it for his library includes five important items: a Prayer of the Apostle Paul ; an Apocryphon of James , recording revelations imparted by the risen Christ to the Apostles; the Gospel of Truth , perhaps to be identified with the work of this name attributed by Irenaeus to Valentinus; the Epistle to Rheginos , a Valentinian work, possibly by Valentinus himself, on the Resurrection; and a Tripartite Treatise , probably written by Heracleon, of the school of Valentinianism.

A figure of immense significance who is often, though perhaps mistakenly, counted among the gnostics was Marcion , who after breaking with the Roman church in set up a successful organization of his own. Teaching that there is a radical opposition between the Law and the Gospel, he refused to identify the God of love revealed in the New Testament with the wrathful Creator God of the Old Testament.

The orthodox literature of the 2nd and early 3rd centuries tends to have a distinctly defensive or polemical colouring.


Origen and Greek Patristic Theology

It was the age of Apologists, and these Apologists engaged in battle on two fronts. First, there was the hostility and criticism of pagan society. Because of its very aloofness, the church was popularly suspected of sheltering all sorts of immoralities and thus of threatening the established order. At a higher level, Christianity, as it became better known, was being increasingly exposed to intellectual attack. The physician Galen of Pergamum — c. Christianity had also to define exactly where it stood in relation to Hellenistic culture.

Strictly speaking, the term Apologists denotes the 2nd-century writers who defended Christianity against external critics, pagan and Jewish. The earliest of this group was Quadratus , who about addressed an apology for the faith to the emperor Hadrian; apart from a single fragment, it is now lost.

Other early Apologists who are mere names known to scholars are Aristo of Pella, the first to prepare an apology to counter Jewish objections, and Apollinaris, bishop of Hierapolis, said to be the author of numerous apologetic works and also of a critique of Montanism. An early apology that has survived intact is that of Aristides , addressed about to the emperor Antoninus Pius; after being completely lost, the text was rediscovered in the 19th century. The most famous Apologist, however, was Justin Martyr , who was converted to Christianity after trying various philosophical schools, paid lengthy visits to Rome, and was martyred there c.

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His contemporary Athenagoras of Athens, author of the apologetic work Embassy for the Christians and a treatise On the Resurrection of the Dead , is as friendly as Justin to Greek culture and philosophy. Two others who deserve mention are Theophilus of Antioch , a prolific publicist whose only surviving work is To Autolycus , prepared for his pagan friend Autolycus; and the anonymous author of the Letter to Diognetus , an attractive and persuasive exposition of the Christian way of life that is often included among the Apostolic Fathers. As stylists, the Apologists reach only a passable level; even Athenagoras scarcely achieves the elegance at which he obviously aimed.

But they had little difficulty in refuting the spurious charges popularly brought against Christians, including atheism, cannibalism, and promiscuity, or in mounting a counterattack against the debasements of paganism. More positively, they strove to vindicate the Christian understanding of God and specific doctrines such as the divinity of Christ and the resurrection of the body. In so doing, most of them exploited current philosophical conceptions , in particular that of the Logos Word , or rational principle underlying and permeating reality, which they regarded as the divine reason, become incarnate in Jesus.

They have been accused of Hellenizing Christianity making it Greek in form and method , but they were in fact attempting to formulate it in intellectual categories congenial to their age. A detailed programme can be downloaded here. And yet the overwhelming testimony from the second century is that the annual celebration of Pascha was, at least to begin with, held only by those who looked back to John as the high priest who established the feast and its date. For Augustine, it goes without saying that no minister dares to say: "Believe in me"; only Christ can say it.

Augustine uses this fact of language in his argument against the Donatists; he also makes explicit, in this context, what is required by the Christian's own faith: to believe in Christ, it is not enough to recognize him as the Son of God, it is also necessary to combine love with faith. This doctrinal clarification is not immediately accompanied by a terminological concern. What Augustine affirms, on the other hand, with increasing force, in this sermon, as in subsequent texts, is the reality of incorporation into Christ that occurs through faith in Christ; it is union with God and cooperation with him that faith in Christ makes possible.

The Christian faith cannot therefore be thought of as one belief among others: what defines it is not only a specific content, it is also an act that is the work of Christ in the believer. The paper will propose some reflections about the relationship between this historiography and canon law, with particular attention to their three main functions: representing the past and its symbolic articulations; regulating the internal life of the single churches; promoting the image of a particular seat Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Rome in front of the Mediterranean Christianity and the Empire.

His doctrine of the two cities however did not come out of the blue, and was already present in prior writings, even preceding the fall of Rome August 24 that occasioned Augustine's apology of Christianity and his parallel construction of the idea of two cities in De ciuitate Dei. Similarly, the content of this massive work - penned by a very associative author - is not restricted to the said apology and two cities scheme. It contains themes elaborated upon in other parts of his oeuvre, concerns that occupied him throughout his whole life.

The latter is definitely true for his reflections about divine grace and original sin. De ciuitate Dei's composition overspans the whole period the doctor gratiae was entangled in the Pelagian controversy. Gerard J. Our paper will situate De ciuitate Dei within the context and content of the Pelagian controversy.

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Does Augustine develop his doctrine of gratia and peccatum originale in De ciuitate Dei explicitly and elaborately? Are there differences in treatment compared with his anti-Pelagian treatises? Can, in this perspective, certain evolutions within De ciuitate Dei itself be observed? Reevaluating the Evidence towards the Next Centenary of Nicaea The theological controversy of the Fourth Century has been usually understood as referring only to Christ's divinity Arian crisis.

However, the problem was not only whether Christ was divine or not, but also whether the divine Son was a subsistent person or a faculty of God Monarchian crisis. This unbalanced understanding has one of its primary sources in Athanasius who claimed that all those who opposed Nicaea simply denied the divinity of the Son. This interpretation was extremely influential because it was assumed by almost all Church historians of the IV and V century. The aim of this paper is to provide new light on these documents by freeing them from this misinterpretation and re-placing them in their original theological contexts.

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By doing so, it would be possible to reexamine the theological controversy of the Fourth Century on the road to the next centenary of the great Council of Nicaea