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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 11 - Origen

from Part II - PHILO AND THE BEGINNINGS OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT
Summary
Origen was born about 184-5 at Alexandria, probably of Christian parents. He studied Greek philosophy in the lecture room of Ammonius Saccas, with whom Plotinus was later to study for eleven years. Origen's work resembles Philo more closely than Clement's, mainly because its form is almost entirely a series of massive commentaries and expository sermons on the Bible. For Origen the idea is fundamental to his view of revelation. Both the Bible and the Incarnation exemplify the principle that God uses earthly symbols to help people to rise to the spiritual reality that they veil. Origen's doctrine of God unreservedly accepts the traditional Platonic definitions that God is immutable, impassible, beyond time and space, without shape or colour, not needing the world, though creating it by his goodness. Origen's mythological picture of the hierarchy of being as a diversity resulting from free choices is explicable against the Gnostic background.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055147
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521040549
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