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Origen Essay, Research Paper

ORIGEN

- born c.185

- was one of the most learned and most original Christian teachers of our time

- he served as a teacher of the Catechumens in the church in Alexandria

- he was the most prolific writer of the pre-Nicene church

- providing much

- he dictated around 2,000 works

- Origen produced doctrinal and apologetic works as well as commentaries on most of the books in the Bible

- he traveled a lot allowing him to become well known among the Christian leaders of the world

- his writings reflect brilliant spiritual insights, however some show unsound theological speculations

- it is believed that Origen was excommunicated from the church as a heretic

- a person who holds a belief that is different from that of the church

- but evidence does not support that claim

- what is known was that he was expelled from Alexandria by his Bishop, Demetrius

- not because of his teaching of heresy, but because the bishop was jealous of Origen’s effect on others

- Origen was therefore only a layman, but was the most celebrated Christian teacher of his time and better known then Demetrius, his Bishop

- the high point of Demetrius’ jealousy came when Origen was ordained as a presbyter by the Bishop of Caesarea, during his travels

-an elder in the early Christian Church

- this caused Origen to be unable to serve in the Church of Alexandria

- the remainder of his life was spent as a presbyter at Caesarea, which is located in Palestine

- there he taught, preached, and defended the church against heretics and Pagan accusers

- he was very well known for his scholarly achievements

- it was said that either friend or enemy could escape Origen’s influence

- no other author made such a controversy during Christian times long ago

- many followed in his footsteps and appealed to him

- he taught teachers

- Origen wanted to be an Orthodox Christian which is proven from the fact that he attaches such importance to the doctrinal teaching of the church and considers an error of doctrine worse then that of moral guilt

- his output surpasses many other writers of Christian history

- a lot of his writings are a product of the moment

-sermons and lectures copied by stenographers

- Origen wrote in two ways

scholia- which are brief notes on difficult passages or words

homilies- which are popular and uplifting lectures that are often delivered without preparation

- this explains the enormous amount of his output and the

peculiarities of language and style, due to his lack of literary talent

- Origen came up with many theological speculations

that most Christians did not believe

- he taught that most Scripture passages could be interpreted

on three levels

-the literal, the moral, and the spiritual

- he correlated these levels to the threefold composition

of man: body, soul, and spirit

- Origen speculated that souls existed in another world prior to the birth of humans

- he did not believe in reincarnation, like many modern detractors do

- person who belittles another

- he focused a lot on God’s love

- he speculated that through God’s unfailing love and His just and wise discipline, all God’s creatures might eventually be reconciled somewhere in eternity, even Satan.

- this is not to be confused with today’s belief that we will be forgiven no matter what we do or believe

- Origen’s teachings were very strict

- an example of one of Origen’s many documents is

It might be maintained that if all things were made through the Logos, and evil is a part of all things, then the whole matter of sin-and everything that is wicked-were also made through the Logos. But we must regard this as false…. In respect that he is the devil, he is not the work of God. Yet, he who is the devil is a created being. Since there is no other Creator but our God, he is a work of God. It is as if we should say that a murderer is not a work of God. However, we would also say that as to his being a man, God made him. He received his existence as a man from God. However, we do not say that he received his existence as a murderer from God.

- this document did not have a name but it was written in c.228

- it was trying to solve the conflict of our beliefs

- even today it is hard for us to understand where evil comes from

- knowing that God is our only creator, evil must have come from him

- but how? When God is all loving

- my understanding is that God did create all beings, and evil

- but he also created choice and that is where there is disobedience towards God and where evil evolves

In conclusion, Origen was a key figure in mystic and aesthetic traditions, the study of spirituality, early church history, and medieval studies. He discovered new insights into the early Christian Church. His works have been used from the east to the west and have spread throughout the Christian community. He later died in c.251, as a confessor in the communion of the church.


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