Author Topic: Origen of Alexandria  (Read 405 times)

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Offline JamesR

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Origen of Alexandria
« on: January 11, 2013, 11:24:55 PM »
What exactly is the Church's position on Origen of Alexandria? I know that technically he is considered a heretic, yet so many other Church Fathers were influenced by him, and many Priests even to this day will quote him or recommend reading his scriptural interpretations. What exactly did he teach that was so heretical? And is there even proof that he taught it or did some later group of his followers misinterpret him and fall into heresy? I mean, let's face it, Origen was a pretty confusing, abstract guy--is it really so far fetched that he might have just been misinterpreted? I read his autobiography and it seems like he really loved the Church more than anything and only wanted to submit to it. Isn't it a bit unfair that he was declared a heretic after he died--never having a chance to either explain that he didn't really believe in the heresy in question, or if he did, to recant and correct himself?

I feel highly saddened about him being considered a heretic--Origen is a really intelligent guy, I mean REALLY intelligent. The way he brings allegory into everything and goes into such depth--all the while connecting it all together so eloquently and "bringing the point home"--is quite remarkable. He's the only reason I read the Old Testament opposed to just dismissing it as the boring ramblings and geneologies of unsophisticated desert people. He's also always my favorite Father to quote on allegorical interpretation when atheists and Protestant fundamentalists talk about strict literalism  ;D

Bottom line, Origen wrote a lot of stuff and had a very active, brilliant mind that was everywhere, isn't it only natural that he would get at least a few things wrong?
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Origen of Alexandria
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 11:27:41 PM »
Origen: proof that not all saints are Saints.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Origen of Alexandria
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 11:33:56 PM »
What exactly is the Church's position on Origen of Alexandria? I know that technically he is considered a heretic, yet so many other Church Fathers were influenced by him, and many Priests even to this day will quote him or recommend reading his scriptural interpretations. What exactly did he teach that was so heretical?

Please see here and here (see also this).

Quote
Bottom line, Origen wrote a lot of stuff and had a very active, brilliant mind that was everywhere, isn't it only natural that he would get at least a few things wrong?

Yeah, I made a similar point about St. Augustine in this thread. Unfortunately the stuff with Origen was treated differently.

Offline Punch

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Re: Origen of Alexandria
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 11:56:35 PM »
Origen is one of the main reasons that I am Orthodox. 
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Origen of Alexandria
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 06:51:01 PM »
"The Scriptures [Origen writes] were composed through the Spirit of God and they have not only that meaning which is obvious, but also another which is hidden from the majority of readers. For the contents of Scripture are the outward forms of certain mysteries and the images of divine things. On this point the entire Church is unanimous, that while the whole Law is spiritual, the inspired meaning is not recognized by all, but only by those who are gifted with the grace of the Holy Spirit in the word of wisdom and knowledge."
-- John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology, 1979, 22; quoting G. W Butterworth, On the First Principles, 1936.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.