Author Topic: Origen  (Read 4524 times)

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Offline paul2004

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Origen
« on: August 17, 2004, 11:37:27 AM »
How is Origen accepted in the OO tradition? There are many Orthodox works which quote Origen, but there is also an understanding that Origen is a heretic. Catholic Encyclopedia says that Origen left Egypt because of issues with Patriarch Demetrius, because Origen received ordination as priest in Greece without the knowledge of Patriarch Demetrius.

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Offline lellimore

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Re:Origen
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2004, 03:50:35 PM »
Related question (or perhaps more of a debate-starter), why does Origen get such bad press in the Orthodox Church?  If his condemnation as a heretic at the council of Constantinople was a forgery (as Grigorii said on the universalism thread) and other very "hellenizing" theologians (such as Clement of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa) are not only not condemned, but accepted as saints, what grounds are there to condemn Origen?

Offline Doubting Thomas

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Re:Origen
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2004, 09:13:48 AM »
I thought it had something to do with Origen's view of the "preexistence of the soul".
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Offline Stavro

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Re:Origen
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2004, 08:16:32 PM »
Related question (or perhaps more of a debate-starter), why does Origen get such bad press in the Orthodox Church?  If his condemnation as a heretic at the council of Constantinople was a forgery (as Grigorii said on the universalism thread) and other very "hellenizing" theologians (such as Clement of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa) are not only not condemned, but accepted as saints, what grounds are there to condemn Origen?
Some of his writings that are alleged to him made him excommunicated. I will summarize the points in a later post, but I have to say that the authenticity of his writings are not confirmed and might have been added to it. Many in the Coptic Church held this view. But if they are his true writings, then there is a very solid basis of excommunication.
In any case, the man had an extremely ascetic life, is a mastermind and maybe the Master of all theologians.
One thing:
Two of the immediate Popes of Alexandria after St. Demetrius The Vine Dresser, who excommunicated Origen, were Origen's pupil's and disciples, yet they ratified the excommunication. All the Popes of Alexandria who came afterwards, like St. Athanasius and St. Peter the Seal of Martyrs, did not reverse the decision although they might have used some of his orthodox work in their own theological writings.

To open this case again, one has to examine his work again and there is a great part of it lost in the burning of Alexandria's library by the Arabs. Will be a very difficult task.

Peace,
Stavro
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Offline Grigorii

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Re:Origen
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2004, 04:10:29 AM »
Dearest to Christ Lellimore,

Origen was excommunicated by his own Bishop (as Stavro related) but not for heresy. He was excommunicated for two reasons: 1) self-mutilation 2) illegal ordination. Later his memory has been profaned by influential figures such as Sts. Methodios and Epiphanios.

Emperor Justinian sought to have Origen condemned due to his struggles with "origenist" monks in his Empire. There were several versions of "origenism" at that time and none of them are loyal to Origen himself, his name is simply used as a final authority. Origen's name carried great authority for a while,.. and this is whay heretics have always attempted to claim his authority, and sadly, some have succeeded in attaching his name to heresies he had no part of whatsoever (of which the teaching of reincarnation was one, the doctrine of successive worlds was one, and the idea of spherical bodies another one, etc).

Origen's theology suffers from common pre-Nicene deficiencies;
1) a kind of subordinationism (yet acknowledging the consubstantiality) in his trinitarianism
2) a onesided identification of Wisdom and Logos (leading to a conflicting theology of creation and again subordinationism)
3) an insufficient clarity concerning original sin and "the doctrine of man" (anthropology), including what is generally (but erroneously) called the pre-existence of the soul
4) and to an almost unique degree for Origen, his theology suffers from misquotation by heretics and his "guilt by this association"

I have a personal interrest in Origen, cos he has been the one God used to save me from the Protestant-Evaneglical fundamentalism, that was destroying my very soul and spirit. When I found out about his "condemnation" I started a long lasting search about the issue, and to my joy found out that Origen can be cleared of heresy, tho not of all weaknessess in his theology.  But as for many in his own time, Origen is a father to me in Orthodoxy, and I am grateful to him.

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Offline paul2004

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Re:Origen
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2004, 11:45:40 AM »
Dearest to Christ Lellimore,

Origen was excommunicated by his own Bishop (as Stavro related) but not for heresy. He was excommunicated for two reasons: 1) self-mutilation 2) illegal ordination. Later his memory has been profaned by influential figures such as Sts. Methodios and Epiphanios.

Emperor Justinian sought to have Origen condemned due to his struggles with "origenist" monks in his Empire. There were several versions of "origenism" at that time and none of them are loyal to Origen himself, his name is simply used as a final authority. Origen's name carried great authority for a while,.. and this is whay heretics have always attempted to claim his authority, and sadly, some have succeeded in attaching his name to heresies he had no part of whatsoever (of which the teaching of reincarnation was one, the doctrine of successive worlds was one, and the idea of spherical bodies another one, etc).

Origen's theology suffers from common pre-Nicene deficiencies;
1) a kind of subordinationism (yet acknowledging the consubstantiality) in his trinitarianism
2) a onesided identification of Wisdom and Logos (leading to a conflicting theology of creation and again subordinationism)
3) an insufficient clarity concerning original sin and "the doctrine of man" (anthropology), including what is generally (but erroneously) called the pre-existence of the soul
4) and to an almost unique degree for Origen, his theology suffers from misquotation by heretics and his "guilt by this association"

I have a personal interrest in Origen, cos he has been the one God used to save me from the Protestant-Evaneglical fundamentalism, that was destroying my very soul and spirit. When I found out about his "condemnation" I started a long lasting search about the issue, and to my joy found out that Origen can be cleared of heresy, tho not of all weaknessess in his theology.  But as for many in his own time, Origen is a father to me in Orthodoxy, and I am grateful to him.

IC XC

Grigorii

What is the fundamental difference between Protestant and Orthodox experience? I am not familiar with the Protestant experience, except my understanding (based on tele-evangelism) that they have a different view of Old Testament and they are Judeo-centric in their approach.  Which aspect of Orthodoxy is more clear in Origen's works?

-Paul

Offline Grigorii

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Re:Origen
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2004, 04:21:51 PM »
Dearest to Christ Paul,

The experience of God in Protestantism (in its fundamentalist TV-preacher-type) is "legallistic" and "aggressive" ,.. quite foreign to the Orthodox experience of God. As a Protestant my mind was consumed by guilt and so much so that I would rather kill myself and run away from God as far as possible in order to never have to face Him who would condemn me. Origen opened the eyes of my heart to see that God did not wish to confirm my fear, but He wanted to heal me, not condemn me but set me free, not destroy me but save me.

Origen helped me see that God cannot but love me, and that it is not God who denies me salvation, but it is me who can do that. God wants to save me. I think the article written by Dr. Alexander Kallomiros has a very good point in his distinguishing and separating of Western experience of God and the Orthodox experience of God. He describes it in "The River of Fire" tho I do not agree to all that he says,.. the basics of what he says is absolutely true in my experience. I have yet to see a better article about the differences between the Orthodox and the Western experience of God.

IC XC

Grigorii
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Offline Fr. David

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Re:Origen
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2004, 07:11:22 AM »
What is the fundamental difference between Protestant and Orthodox experience?

So I won't bunny trail, I started a thread in the convert section that specifically addresses this more than it does Origen...I'm probably not well-read enough re: Origen to take this on from a pov that would benifit this present thread.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2004, 07:12:13 AM by Pedro »
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Offline Thomas Daniel (Reji)

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Re:Origen
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2004, 09:42:45 AM »
Origen is considered a heretic especially for his extreme views on celibacy. But also respects him as an apostolic father, and a great scholar and that is why OO church often quotes him on occasions.
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Offline francis

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Re:Origen
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2004, 12:14:40 PM »
Quote
Some of his writings that are alleged to him made him excommunicated. I will summarize the points in a later post, but I have to say that the authenticity of his writings are not confirmed and might have been added to it. Many in the Coptic Church held this view. But if they are his true writings, then there is a very solid basis of excommunication.
In any case, the man had an extremely ascetic life, is a mastermind and maybe the Master of all theologians.

I do not believe he was excommunicated in his lifetime for his writings. As someone else stated, he was excommunicated for 1) self-mutilation 2) illegal ordination.

Quote
One thing:
Two of the immediate Popes of Alexandria after St. Demetrius The Vine Dresser, who excommunicated Origen, were Origen's pupil's and disciples, yet they ratified the excommunication. All the Popes of Alexandria who came afterwards, like St. Athanasius and St. Peter the Seal of Martyrs, did not reverse the decision although they might have used some of his orthodox work in their own theological writings.

Actually, I believe that Demetrius' successors, Heraclas and Dionysius, did NOT ratify the excommunication, and in fact pardoned Origen and asked him to return to Alexandria (he was in Caesarea) to return as Dean of the Alexandrian school.

It was only after his death that his writings came into question.


Offline Stavro

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Re:Origen
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2004, 11:37:23 PM »
St.Heraclas and St.Dionysius ratified the excommunication and there is no evidence of asking him to come back, although both and specially Pope Heraclas , his disciple, had personal ties to Origen. St.Dionysius sent a letter to him to encourage him during Dacius persecution period in which Origen was captured and tortured.

Neither did any of the Popes afterwards reverse the excommunication. There are grounds for his excommunication that were seen valid by St.Peter, the seal of martyr, St.Alexander, St.Athanasius, St.Cyril, St.Timothy,........ .

In any case, he remains a great teacher.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2004, 11:38:27 PM by Stavro »
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Origen
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2004, 08:21:20 PM »
But I thought that Origen was only excommunicated after his death?  How could there be any evidence of "asking him to come back"?  He couldn't.  Or was there an earlier excommunication?
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Offline Stavro

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Re:Origen
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2004, 03:38:09 AM »
He was excommunicated during his life.
In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)

Offline Fortunatus

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Re: Origen
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2004, 01:58:44 PM »
+Irini nem ehmot


Francis says:
"Actually, I believe that Demetrius' successors, Heraclas and Dionysius, did NOT ratify the excommunication, and in fact pardoned Origen and asked him to return to Alexandria (he was in Caesarea) to return as Dean of the Alexandrian school."

This is correct - though it is not clear (to me) whether they actually lifted the excommunication or not. They certainly *did* make the offer to and asked him to return to Alexandria and resume his position at the Theological school. Origen declined.

He was excommunicated, again as mentioned, for accepting ordination outside of his diocese and without the permission of his Bishop. He also allegedly self-mutilated himself, which would have been reason for him not to be ordained.

It is worth noting, however, that he was not excommunicated in our church for his "heresies". He was excommunicated (not anathematised) for what we mentioned previously. The Great Athanasius himself also said that Origen was a great man, but not free from error. It is very hard to judge someone on his Theology, when it was he who really was the founder of Theology! We developed what he gave us and then turned the finger on him. It continues to surprise me that someone like Gregory of Nyssa is called a Saint, when he took "Origenism" further than Origen himself!

At any rate - it won't shock me if, assuming I get to see heaven, I get to see him there.
:)

We will obey the Church, of course - and he who might have been Saint Origen we will only call Master Origen.

Pray for me.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2004, 02:00:16 PM by Fortunatus »
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Offline CopticSoldier

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Re: Origen
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2005, 07:36:36 PM »
At any rate - it won't shock me if, assuming I get to see heaven, I get to see him there.
:)

It wouldn't be a shock to me either but for him to be there would mean that he either repented or was unjustly excommunicated (if God judged only by the canons).  ;)

God bless,

CS

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Origen
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2005, 08:37:24 PM »
Origen was not just condemned locally, but was also condemned by the 5th Ecumenical Council.

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Origen
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2005, 08:44:42 PM »
Origen was not just condemned locally, but was also condemned by the 5th Ecumenical Council.

Yes, Paradosis. But that is our council, not an OO council.
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Re: Origen
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2005, 10:03:25 PM »
Yes, but how shall we have communion if they refuse to accept it? ;)

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Origen
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2005, 10:34:01 PM »
Don't you have a new calendarist parish to visit? :P

Happy New Year! 
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