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Abstracts

Monday August 26

Opening lecture 16.30-17.30

Bernard Pouderon: La réception d’Origène à la Renaissance: pour une typologie  

 

Tuesday August 27

Morning lecture 9.00-10.00

Ilaria Ramelli: The reception of Origen's thoughts in Western theological and philosophical traditions.

 

Lecture session 10.20-11.20

Mark Elliot: Tracing the Romans commentary of Origen in Abelard’s: appearance and reality

For some reason Thomas Scheck in his Origen and the history of justification (2008) avoided looking directly at Abelard while paying a lot of attention to William of St Thierry. And yet the comparisons with Abelard seem there to be drawn. The Sic et Non reveals Abelard already turning to Origen as an authority on questions where Scripture is open to different interpretations. In Abelard’s Romans commentary, perhaps unsurprisingly, Origen does not loom as large as Augustine but nonetheless gathers over thirty serious references. A good number of these come from Origen’s Romans commentary so we can infer that from an early point Abelard had access to and appreciated the Alexandrian’s exegesis of Paul’s letter (see Buytaert 1964). Origen on Romans is used by Abelard whereas (e.g.) De Principiis is not: Origen the exegete is preferred to Origen the theologia (cf. De Lubac). As Burcht Pranger (Backus 1997/1) demonstrated, both Abelard (‘sic et non’) and Anselm (‘sola ratione’) used the fathers to help them reach their own answer. The latter were thus not ‘authorities’ in that sense: hence Origen also. On a ‘first reading’ of Abelard’s commentary, Augustine in his exegetical ‘question and answer’ works was often the main resource on questions of soteriology and salvation-history, but Origen came in much more useful for giving an account of biblical religion as ‘living’ – and the ethical consequences of this. This lecture will try to probe to see whether there is more to the reality than this appearance.                   

 

Karla Pollmann: The Broken Perfume-Flask Origen’s Legacy in Two Case-Studies

Origen of Alexandria is the most important and foundational early Christian thinker. His wide-ranging and methodical setting up of Christian theology by integrating it firmly into the surrounding cultural and intellectual environment has shaped Christianity in a way that was pervasively influential both in the Eastern and the Western part of the Roman Empire. This stands in sharp contrast to his controversial position in the early church. This, as well as his enormous oeuvre, makes the patterns of his influence on later Christian thinkers particularly intricate. My contribution intends to investigate this in two case-studies, looking at selected texts from Augustine and Kierkegaard.

 

Lecture session 11.30 – 12.30

Theo Kobusch: Die Univozität des Moralischen. Die Wirkung des Origenes in Deismus und Aufklärung 

The so-called Euthyphro dilemma – which seems to be a dilemma only for modern philosophers, but not for Plato himself – has left to posterity the open question whether the good and the just are good and just because the gods intend them, or whether the gods intend them because they are good and just. The Stoics accepted Plato’s position: The good and the just, and virtue in general are the same for God and man. Origen took this doctrine of the unity of the moral world into Christian Philosophy. Whereas late medieval nominalism advocated the contrary thesis, namely that moral standards are due to divine will and are posited by God, English and German Deism, the Cambridge Platonists, Kant, Hegel and others all took up the ancient thesis and professed the univocity of moral standards. Only by this assumption it becomes possible to install a truly universal ethics. The Stoics’ and Origen’s principle has thus become the basis for modern ethics. 

 

Georgios Skaltsas: La question de l’extase mystique chez Origène et Grégoire de Nysse

On observe deux tendances dans la recherche patristique, à propos des rapports sur la théorie mystique entre Origène et Grégoire de Nysse : d’une part, W. Völker et H. Crouzel plaident pour une continuité, tandis que (surtout) J. Daniélou et Lieske proposent une certaine discontinuité de réflexion entre les deux théologiens. Daniélou, contrairement à Völker, pense qu’Origène n’appartient pas aux mystiques, cependant que Grégoire de Nysse est l’initiateur de la mystique en théologie chrétienne, se frayant ainsi la voie pour Denys l’Aréopagite et en suite pour la mystique occidentale médiévale. La méthode de Völker et de Crouzel consiste à retrouver chez Origène tout ce que Daniélou lui refuse. Selon celui-ci, chez Origène il n’y a pas d’extase mystique proprement dite, car la pensée origénienne demeure à jamais intellectualiste, légitimant ainsi ses interprétations rationalistes, tandis que chez Grégoire de Nysse elle devient supra-noétique. Origène, contrairement à Grégoire de Nysse, n’a pas favorisé l’aspect irrationnel, à savoir érotique qui aurait fait sortir l’intellect de soi-même et lui aurait fait  découvrir d’autres mondes. Cela revient à dire qu’Origène, contrairement à Grégoire de Nysse, retranché dans la vie de l’intellect, n’a pas connu l’extase comme expérience psychologique, constituée des vécus exceptionnels, tels l’effroi, la douceur ou l’affectivité en général. Völker et Crouzel, en revanche, croient qu’on peut repérer tous ces points dans l’œuvre origénienne, et que Daniélou est unilatéral quand il attribue le titre de mystique uniquement à Grégoire de Nysse.

En principe, on s’accorde avec la thèse de Völker et de Crouzel, quand ils prônent la dépendance littéraire nysséene du grand Alexandrin, mais on se différencie d’eux, quant aux critères définissant la notion de  mystique et en particulier de l’extase, sur laquelle on focalise ici notre intérêt. Pour nous, Origène et Grégoire s’accordent non pas sur le sens supra-noétique/irrationnel ou psychologique de l’extase, mais sur son rattachement au rationnel, intellectuel ou spirituel. Notre thèse consiste à dire que chez Origène et chez Grégoire de Nysse, nous avons une mystique intellectuelle et non pas une évasion hors du soi. Tant Origène que Grégoire de Nysse ne recherchent pas d’expériences extra-noétiques, car l’esprit en soi est déjà extatique ; cela est dû surtout à sa structure érotique qui écarte toute idée d’intellectualisme. Par cet attachement au logos de la philosophie grecque, Origène et Grégoire ont pu affronter le premier des Gnostiques et le second des Messaliens ou des Eunomiens. Par ailleurs, tous les deux opèrent une distinction importante entre l’esprit en état pur (auquel revient l’activité extatique) et l’esprit en tant que moyen de conceptualisation, répandue dans le platonisme et le néopythagorisme. Ainsi, l’extase comporte tant le passage du sensible à l’intelligible que l’enrichissement infini de l’esprit. Le premier se réfère à la spiritualisation de l’homme n’impliquant, néanmoins, ni une inconscience, ni une dépersonnalisation, ni une perte du sentiment terrestre, mais une manière de voir le sensible et surtout le social autrement. La mystique extatique, comme purification de l’esprit peut aboutir à une critique sociale radicale. Cette extase constitue une critique de la mystique visionnaire ou apocalyptique : au lieu de réaliser des voyages oniriques hors du monde, on entreprend des voyages en soi-même, tout en passant d’un mode de vie aliéné à un autre authentique. Ainsi, le deuxième porte sur la fameuse épectase qui coїncide à une exploration de plus en plus profonde ou renouvelée du νοῦς fixé inébranlablement sur le νοῦς divin infini. L’épectase décrit, enfin, le caractère dilatant et expansif de l’amour. Esprit et amour en état pur sont les modes d’union avec dieu et les hommes. Entre les deux auteurs, des différences apparaissent, relatives soit au contexte historique soit au contexte doctrinal.     

                      

Anders-Christian Jacobsen:The Reception of Origen’s Ideas about Universal salvation in Danish Theology and Literature in the 19th Century.

The 19th century was a rich period in Danish theology and literature. I just need to mention a few names to justify this claim: N.F.S. Grundtvig, Søren Kierkegaard and his brother P.C. Kierkegaard, H.L. Martensen, H.C. Andersen, J.L. Heiberg, and B.S. Ingemann. Some of these theologians and writers are known world-wide others only in Denmark. They all took part in the lively debate in the 19th century about people’s destiny after death. They probably all knew something about Origen and especially about his idea about universal salvation. It is difficult to say whether they were personally acquainted with Origen’s writings, or only knew some of his ideas through others. Some of these Danish theologians and writes were strictly against Origen’s ideas about universal salvation and others were positively inspired by him. In the lecture I will concentrate on H. L. Martensen, B.S. Ingemann and H.C. Andersen who were all positive towards Origen’s idea about universal salvation and P.C. Kierkegaard who were against the idea.

 

 

Workshop session 14.00-16.40

Volker Henning Drecoll and Uta Heil: Origen and Augustine

In the year 414 Orosius from Spain travelled to North Africa to visit Augustine. In this context he delivered his Commonitorium ad Augustinum de errore Priscillianistarum et Origenistarum and requested an answer from him to reaffirm orthodoxy in Spain. The cause for complaint in detail was the theological position of two persons from Spain named Avitus. These two persons read some texts from Marius Victorinus (?) and Origen which had been discovered by them on journeys to Rome and Jerusalem, but though this reading caused a damnation of Priscillian they nevertheless stuck to some heretical ideas of Origen, as Orosius complained. Augustine granted this request and wrote the tractatus Ad Orosium contra Priscillianistas et Origenistas. Though this is the first explicit statement of Augustine about Origen this text has not been in the focus of research yet and many questions are still unresolved.

Uta Heil will focus her paper on the presentation of the errors of Origen in these two texts. Besides she will consider the historical background and the relationship of these events to the so-called first Origenist controversy. It is still a matter of dispute what Augustine knew at which point of time about this controversy, and it can be called into question if Orosius from Spain was able to inform Augustine about the details of this controversy. Because of this it is far from clear whether and how this Origenist controversy influenced the presentation of wrong ideas of Origen in the Commonitorium of Orosius and in the answer of Augustine.

Volker Henning Drecoll will deal with the ideas of Priscillian presented in the Commonitorium of Orosius and their refutation by Augustine. He will focus upon how these ideas can be linked to Gnosticism and Manichaeism. Furthermore the theological profile of the two Aviti who travelled to Rome and Jerusalem shall be reconsidered. In the new bilingual edition of the writing (Latin-German; it will be published in the beginning of 2013; the corrected proofs are already delivered to the publisher; “Augustinus – Opera. Werke” vol. 50, Paderborn 2013) Volker Henning Drecoll developed the idea that the persons who refuted Priscillian by Origen (and Marius Victorinus) were, nevertheless, interested in a specific kind of speculation about the way of the soul. This raises the question whether the reception of Origen and his reputation as “semi-orthodox” author in the Latin West, especially Augustine, is linked to the reception of and the struggle against some ideas that seem to be close to Gnosticism and Manichaeism.

For both papers there will be a short text reader. Further papers on this topic are welcome. Otherwise the workshop shall consist of the two papers and the discussion of the texts presented in the reader by the participants.

 

Workshop session 14.00-16.40

Hugo Lundhaug: Origenist Monks and the Nag Hammadi Codices

Reading the Nag Hammadi Codices in light of monastic and heresiological writings of the fourth and fifth centuries, many of them preserved in Coptic manuscripts from the White Monastery, this paper argues that the Nag Hammadi Codices may have been produced and used by so-called “Origenist” monks in Upper Egypt in this period. The paper discusses how the Nag Hammadi Codices may be seen to reflect the reception of Origen’s theology, and the concomitant controversy, among Egyptian monks and thus shed light on a different historical period than what has usually been the focus of Nag Hammadi studies.

 

Lance Jenott: “Evagrius Ponticus and the Books from Nag Hammadi: Sources of the Anthropomorphic Controversy in Fifth-Century Egypt

Scholars often assume that the Nag Hammadi Codices were manufactured in the mid-fourth century, but were buried shortly thereafter in response to Athanasius’ letter of 367 which banned apocryphal books. In this paper, however, I argue for a later date of the codices, closer to the end of the fourth century and around the time of the anthropomorphic controversy. By comparing similar points of theology regarding ascent to the Unknowable One found in Evagrius' writings and select treatises from Nag Hammadi, I suggest that the likely owners of the Nag Hammadi books were Christian monks influenced by the legacy of Origen, and that these writings should also be taken into consideration as important catalysts of the controversy.

 

René Falkenberg: Comforting Rheginos – Origenism in Treatise on the Resurrection (NHC I,4)

In this short letter from the Nag Hammadi Library we hear about Rheginos who has asked about the resurrection. From an anonymous writer he receives a reply concerning the nature of Christ, cosmos, humankind and the post-mortal body. Almost all earlier studies on the text consider it a 2nd century Valentinian writing. In a new reading of the text another occasion is suggested: Rheginos is a troubled Christian of old age caught in the Origenist controversy of 4th century Palestine.

Paper session 14.00-15.00

Vlad Niculescu: Taking the Bible at Its Word(s) An Assessment of Origen’s Exegetic Method  In Light of Boyarin’s Critique of Spiritual Allegoresis

If one were to seek a maxim of optimal exegetic conduct, what would it be? For Origen, this maxim would state the exegete’s obligation to take the Bible’s words in such a way that they would function as the revelatory signifiers of a ultimate, divine, Word. Thus, the optimal reception of the Bible would consist in taking the Bible at its own Word. The paper reworks Daniel Boyarin’s criticism of Pauline spiritual allegoresis into a criticism of total semiosis, i.e. of a semiosis that claims to reenact Logos’ appropriation of concrete historical texts and historical signifiers as embodiments of a supreme, divine, Signification. After reshaping Boyarin’s criticism of Paul into a criticism of Origen, I shall assess it in light of Origen’s interpretation of the account of Zechariah’s loss and recovery of speech (Luke 1:22-23; 59-63). 

Vít Husek: Origen, Paul Ricoeur and the Absence of Literal Meaning

There have already been attempts to clarify Origen’s interpretation theory in the light Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics. Christopher Potworovski, by way of example, suggests three themes where a philosophical dialogue between Origen and Ricoeur would be fruitful: the absence of literal meaning, the question of truth in interpretation, and the appropriation and the role of subject in interpretation (Origeniana quinta, 161-166). In my paper, I would like to contribute to a discussion on the first suggested theme and to compare Origen’s movement “from the letter to the spirit” with similar concepts in Ricoeur, namely with double-meaning structure of symbol, broken reference of metaphor, and the tension between different temporality of symbol, metaphor and their intermediate degrees.  

Maria Munkholt: Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and the fatherhood of “Our Father”

In this paper the focus will be on a single line of the Lord’s Prayer, namely the address “Our Father who are in the heavens”. Both Origen and Gregory of Nyssa have commented on this formulation in texts on the Lord’s Prayer, viz. Origen’s treatise “On Prayer” and Gregory’s five homilies “On the Lord’s Prayer”. In this paper the purpose is, firstly, to investigate how the two theologians understand and interpret the phrase, and, secondly, to judge whether or not Gregory of Nyssa relies on Origen when commenting on this particular address. 

Anna Usacheva: Mystical identity of an exegete i.d. a perfect Christian

In the Contra Celsum Origenes apart of a vivid polemic with pagan and Judaic attacks defend Christian wisdom, which although had been revealed cannot be easily interpreted. Referring to Apostle Paul Origen speaks about the wisdom announced to the prefect Christians, who only can heed to it and interpret it. As these perfect exegetes are not plural, the rest believers are satisfied with a superficial doctrine, which though belong to a truth is not enough for a beautiful mind. Trying to understand Origen’s points better, we are going to find out: what are the characteristics of a perfect Christian (ὁ τέλειος); how are these characteristics connected with a participation in the holy mysteries (ἡ τελετή / τὸ μυστήριον) and with the purification (κάθαρσις) via God’s favor (χάρισμα); what one should remember speaking to the perfect Christians and to those who are out of community (ἐν τοῖς τελείοις / ἐν τοῖς ἔξω); etc. While in the works of the classical authors and in the Old and New Testaments usage of the term τέλειος we find no direct relation between a perfect status and participation in mysteries, in the Origen’s view it seems to be fundamental. A key to perfectness as well as to a true gnosis was not in human virtues or intellectual abilities and firm views (like in classical tradition: cf. Aristot. Metaph. IV. 1021b. 23–25; Plat. Leg. 653a; Phaedr. 249c; Plut. Stoic. Rep. 1046e-f) but in a cooperation of one’s pray and God’s favor done through a mystery. However clear it was formed by Origen, his thoughts are likely to be developed by Gregory of Nazianzus, whose works (orations 32, 33, 37-40) contain many contextual and lexical parallels with Origenes’ text along with the same references to the passage from Apostle Paul’s 1 Epistle to Corinthians (2.6-7): “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (ἐν τοῖς τελείοις): yet not the wisdom of this world… But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery (ἐν μυστηρίῳ), even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory”.                   

 

 

Paper session 15.20-16.20 

Patricia Ciner: Origen and the exegesis of the different manuscripts of the Gospel of John: Contemporary Discussions

In general most of the contemporary specialists have claimed that the position of Origen against the affirmations made by Heracleon, have depended exclusively on the philosophical, theological and mystical orientation in which the Alexandrian master supported his doctrine. Although this paper does consider this line of research valid, it will try to demonstrate that it is necessary to include another determining factor to have a clear view of the problem. We are making specific reference to the existence of different manuscripts from which Heracleon and Origen read and carried out their exegesis of the Gospel of John. The use of different variables in these manuscripts – though not in a constant or permanent way- might have permitted the consolidation of the Alexandrian master’s position. In this paper we will analyze the evaluation that Origen make of the existence of these different manuscripts, comparing his position with some of the theses of the controversial American specialist Bart Ehrman.                

           

Domenico Pazzini: SAMARITANA (Gv. 4):  ORIGENE / BULTMANN

Dopo preliminari osservazioni sul criterio di storicità nel Commento a Giovanni di Origene e nello JoannesKommentar di Bultmann, l’analisi si concentra su alcuni passaggi. Gv 4, 13-14: all’estesa indagine di Origene (XIII, 3-39) risponde un tratto massai conciso di Bultmann. L’acqua zampillante per la vita eterna è l’inesauribilità della rivelazione (die Uneschöpflichkeit der Offenbarung), che la Samaritana fraintende. Di fronte al fraintendimento (das Missverständis) colto da Bultmann stanno – con la loro diversa valenza – i dogmi fallaci (yeudh` dovgmata) mostrati da Origene. Gv 4,23-24: le intense pagine di Bultmann sulla determinazione dell’ora (“ma viene l’ora ed è questa”) si focalizzano sull’aggettivo ‘escatologico’, che si contrappone al concetto di interiore e spirituale; il linguaggio origeniano, nelle molteplici pagine in cui l’esegesi si contrappone alla gnosi, si consegna più che alla penetrazione dei termini, all’ordine gerarchico delle proposizioni: “non solo nell’ora futura ma anche nella presente ( ouj movnon ejn mellouvsh/ w{ra ajlla; kai; ejnesthkuiva)/ ...  quando (o{tan), dopo la presente (meta; th;n ejnesthkui`an), giunga l’ora futura (ejnsthsomevnh), allora (tovte) …E il confronto si acutizza nel detto: “Dio è spirito”. E il confronto si può intendere come provocazione dell’uno (Bultmann) e risposta dell’altro (Origene)       

 

Illaria Vigorelli: Schesis in Origen: Continuity and Discontinuity between Neoplatonism and Trinitarian Theology

The contemporary situation recognizes a special importance to relation.

The analysis of schesis (σχέσις: disposition, relation) in late antiquity yields a synthesis of the different epistemologies and interpretation of the God-World and immanent-economic relation in different authors. The recurrences of schesis in the Origenian corpus permit a reading of the Cappadocian definition of trinitarian schesis in the light of philosophical premises that the Alexandrian received from Ammonius’s Neoplatonism. The paper analyzes the term in the Origenian context and sheds light on the continuity and discontinuity between Neoplatonic sources and Origenian and Nyssen interpretations of the value of relation.

 

Petr Mikhaylov: Mystery of History in Origen

View about anti-historical character of Origen’s theology is widely spread in studies. For example Russian patrologue F. G. Florovsky wrote about that for many times. In that case philosophy of history in Origen is brought in classical for Antiquity view about time as of epochs sequentially replaced by each other in the order of immutable circle — circle of common return. That’s why figurative (allegorical, tropological or typological) interpretation of New Testament history and of the world time after Incarnation is indispensible. Henri de Lubac expresses quite different approach putting out from exegetical needs of Origen — figurative interpretation communicates to Christian thought its historical character. We can explain this striking disagreement by single thing — theologians do not coincide in the same understanding of history in the heritage of Origen as such. Florovsky names theology of Origen as ‘heresy of time’; de Lubac identifies the history of New Testament with a spiritual sense of Old Testament as a main subject of Origen’s thought. But critics of Origen as well as his apologists are agree in the fact that problem of history in Origen has the only one solution — hermeneutical. Thereby it may be solved by using exegetical key that opens a whole scene of world destinies on the one hand and makes exegetical methodology of Origen more clear on the other.

Paper session 16.40-17.40

Paul Hartog: To Flee or Not to Flee:  The Use of Matthew 10:23 Before and After Origen

Early Christian responses to flight under persecution were ‘neither simple nor systematic,’ as reflected in manifold interpretations of Matt. 10:23 (including various textual variants).  Clement of Alexandria argued that Matt. 10:23 does not command flight but only warns against causing or abetting evil.  Tertullian cautioned against those who used the text to ‘cover up their cowardice.’  By contrast, Origen insisted, ‘If a Christian were to run away, he would not do so for cowardice, but because he was keeping the commandment of his Master.’  Cyprian of Carthage, who himself fled during persecution, tied Matt. 10:23 with biblical texts that counsel separation from uncleanness.  Peter of Alexandria argued that those who fled and then repented were to be received back into communion, partly based upon his understanding of Matt. 10:23.  The Matthean injunction continued to be debated in the post-Constantinian period (Athanasius, Augustine, Jerome, Hillary), especially within discussions of episcopal flight.  By examining these trajectories, this study will place Origen’s interpretation in context and then trace his later influence and reception.   

Thomas E. Hunt: Speechlessness in Jerome’s translation of Origen’s Homilies on Luke

This paper will explore ways of thinking about the reception of Origen by looking at concepts of speechlessness in Jerome’s work between 386 and 393. In 386 Jerome arrived in Bethlehem, having been exiled from Rome. Over the next few years he produced a number of works that engaged with the topography of the holy places. By 393 he had also composed and begun distributing his list of Christian authors and books (De uiris illustribus). Jerome’s works on the topography of the holy places and the literature of Christianity are descriptions of plenitude and abundance that stand as testaments to the universal truth of scripture. But these works also tell of loss, of misplaced or fragmented texts and missing or ruined places. Against this background this paper will examine Jerome’s translation of Origen’s homilies on Luke (392), focusing on the discussion of speechlessness in this work. Jerome’s engagements with ruin and loss (of books; of places; of speech) offer us ways to think about Origen’s fragmentary legacy.  

Andrea Villani: Leo Allatius: editor, translator and commentator of Origen’s Homily on the Witch of Endor

Within his 1629 edition of Eustatius of Antiochia’s Commentarius in Hexaemeron and Dissertatio de engastrimytho adversus Origenem which appeared in Lyon, Leo Allatius published also the editio princeps of the Greek text of Origen’s homily on the Witch of Endor, the famous episode of 1 Sam 28 where the necromancer evokes the prophet Samuel. Allatius, a scholar and theologian of Greek origins working at the Vatican Library as scriptor, and later on as custos, provided this homily, to which Eustatius’ text is an answer, with a Latin translation and an extensive commentary.

This paper aims to investigate editorial methods and the quality of the Greek edition and the Latin translation, as well as to explore the main arguments of the Syntagma de engastrimytho, the long commentary devoted to the history of the ancient exegesis of that particular biblical episode. 

  

Paul B. Decock: The Reception of Origen in the Sermons of Bernard of Clairvaux on the Song of Songs

In sermon 49 and 50 Bernard comments on Song of Songs 2:4b: “ordinavit in me caritatem” (Vulgate). This line is also commented on by Origen as ‘ordinate in me caritatem’ as translated by Jerome (Hom. Cant. 2:8) and by Rufinus (Comm. Cant. 3:7) reflecting the LXX, a form in which it was known and used by Augustine. This line from the Song of Songs became the expression of an important spiritual theme in the West and Bernard developed it in his own way.

                                          

Margaret A. Schatkin: The Origenism of St. John Chrysostom in the West from St. Jerome to the Present

This paper examines the putative charge of Origenism made against St. John Chrysostom by Theophilus of Alexandria and transmitted to the West by St. Jerome. On the occasion of receiving the Long Brothers (Egyptian monks of unusual height), whom Theophilus of Alexandria had expelled as heretical Origenists, John, the bishop of Constantinople, became subject to the charge of being a crypto-follower of Origen, an allegation which indirectly contributed to his ultimate deposition. At this time Jerome was converted from an ardent admirer into a zealous opponent of Origen, and broadcast the conflict, which so far had been limited to the East, to Western readers.  To assess the part played by St. Jerome in the case against Chrysostom, an analysis will be made of the ancient sources and contemporary scholarly interpretations (Clark, Kelly, Elm, etc.) of this series of events, which also involved the anti-Origenist monk, Epiphanius. Special attention will be paid to St. Jerome’s Latin translations of the writings of Theophilus of Alexandria against Origen and Chrysostom and their influence in the West.  Given that Jerome’s literal Latin translation of Origen’s De principiis is lost, his translations of Epiphanius and Theophilus, including the “liber innormis,” written against Chrysostom and partially preserved by Facundus of Hermiane, gain in importance. It is hoped that this investigation will clarify the relation of Origen, Chrysostom, and Jerome and the notion of Origenism in the West to this day.                                      

      

Filip Outrata: Freedom of the will in Julian of Aeclanum and possible Origenian influences

Julian of Aeclanum laid in his polemic with Augustine strong emphasis on the freedom of the will. Man, good creation of a good Creator, is endowed with reason and free will. Freedom of the will belongs to his nature and no „sin of the nature“ (peccatum naturale) can destroy it. Some of the most important components of Julian´s theological conception show remarkable similarity with Origenes: central importance of human free will, imitation as a way of becoming like God, grace as a continuous progress toward God. Is there a link between Origen´s theology of freedom and Julian´s later polemical theology? The paper will examine Julian´s sources, philosophical (Aristotelian and Stoic ethics) as well as Christian (anti-manichaean writings of 4. ct, theology of baptismal catecheses of Antiochene tradition). What were the ways by which the Origenian concepts found its way to the thought and works of the Pelagian polemist?        

         

Andrew Selby: The Athlete and the Squire: Origen and Kierkegaard on Christian Suffering

Suffering is perhaps one of the most difficult theological topics, as it is clearly an evil plaguing human existence, and yet the New Testament writers turn it to a good, as in James 1:2, “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy.” Origen and Søren Kierkegaard might be helpful to compare as two theologians who devoted careful attention to suffering and the Christian life. However, a comparison between Origen, a theologian from third century Alexandria, writing in Greek before Nicaea, with Kierkegaard, a philosopher and theologian from post-Reformation 19th century Denmark, entails the difficulty of reconciling vast distances of time, space, and culture. But these very differences make the endeavor worth the risk, because studying them together will illuminate similarity and diversity within Christian theology of suffering that might otherwise be missed. This paper invites evaluation of two important theologians’ doctrines of suffering though without rendering a definitive judgment itself. It will deal with 1) their definitions of suffering, 2) the proper disposition of the Christian when suffering, 3) their rhetorical strategies in exhorting fellow believers to suffering, and 4) it will conclude by characterizing them both as theologians of appearance versus reality, encapsulating their theologies of suffering in images drawn from their respective writings: for Origen the athlete and for Kierkegaard the squire.                                  

Giulio Maspero: The logos in us and the Logos in the Principle: Origen's contribution to the development of the psychological analogies of the Trinity

It is commonly believed that Augustine is the inventor of the psychological analogy of the Trinity, an argumentation that is considered a hallmark of Western theological approach. But analogical connections between the inner structure of the human person and the triune God can be found also in the Greek Fathers, viz. Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus and Anastasius Sinaita. These analogies are characterized by the couple logos-pneuma that plays the role of the Western oneintellectus-voluntas. Origen's discussion of the logos in man and in God is a key-step in the theological development that made these analogies possible. 

Jakob Engberg: Origen in Danish (church) historiography ca. 1900 to 2012;

This presentation will explore how Origen and his theology has been received and depicted in Danish historiography ca. 1900 to 2012. In broad depictions of World History or European History he is almost absent. Turning to broad depictions of church history and more specifically the early church it is clear that even here relatively (compared to other ancient theologians) little attention is paid to Origen. Given that, it is interesting to explore which aspects of his life, character and theology that has caught the attention of the Danish Church historians.

 

Wednesday August 28

Morning lecture 9.00-10.00

Andrew Louth: The reception of Origen's thoughts in Western religious experience / mysticism

 

Lecture session 10.20-11.20

Görgy Heidl: Origen, Hyppolitus and the Mysticism of St. Ambrose

The presence and absence of the bridegroom is considered to be an integral part of the dramaturgy of the Song of Songs. In Ambrose's works we find basically two kinds of explanation as to why the groom left the bride. Both were exhausted from tradition, but Ambrose combines the sources according to his own spiritual theology. If this particular Scriptural book tells us something about the wedding of Israel and God, or the Church and Christ, then, Ambrose says, after the arrival of Christ God is absent from the synagogue and is present in the Church. This collective-ecclesiastical interpretation directly comes from Hyppolitus. In such work, however, as De Isaac et anima, Ambrose prefers a more personal understanding that goes back to Origen. As usual, Ambrose combines the ideas of the great predecessors in highly creative manner. It is his conviction that the two kinds of spiritual interpretation are closely related. Only as a member of the Church the soul can unify with Christ, and the Church represents the community of people cleansed and reborn through Baptism. Ecclesiastical interpretation more clearly reveal the liturgical framework in which it is conceived and can fulfill its purpose as the mean of the sacramental initiation. In contrast to this, while reading the fascinating personal exegesis of the Song of Songs, e. g. that of Origen, we easily forget the close relationship between the collective and individual meaning, and tend to classify that what is said about the ascent of the soul and her unity with Christ as mysticism. Ambrose assists us in understanding an important Origenian spiritual theology within sacramental and liturgical framework.

 

Monica Tobon: From Evagrian Prayer to Centering Prayer

In the first part of this lecture I outline the apophatic elements of Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Moses, then undertake a close examination of Evagrian prayer, drawing attention to the common ground between them. In part two I turn to the fourteenth century English text on prayer, The Cloud of Unknowing, which, inspired by its author’s reading of Pseudo-Dionysius’ Mystical Theology, has roots in both the Life of Moses and Evagrius. I suggest that although the Cloud author would not have known Evagrius’ teachings on prayer, his interpretation of Dionysius leads him to formulate a method of prayer which has significant parallels with that of Evagrius. The prayer of the Cloud was the primary inspiration for Centering Prayer, a form of apophatic prayer developed in the 1970s at St Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts by the Trappist monks Frs Thomas Keating, William Meninger and Basil Pennington, and in the third part of the lecture I describe the method and practice of Centering Prayer and suggest that although Evagrius’ teachings in prayer were not a direct part of its inspiration, it too has significant parallels both with Evagrian prayer and, via John Cassian and John of the Cross, with Evagrius’ emphasis on the psychological dimensions of spiritual practice. 

Lecture session 11.30 – 12.30

 

Eirini Artemi: The influence of Origen on John Scotus Erigena

One of the most criticized doctrines held by Origen is his belief in a universal salvation. For Origen, to affirm a belief in an eternal hell over which the devil had dominion was to become dualistic by making the devil a god in his own right. Because Origen was very concerned with Gnostic beliefs and sought to counter them, when he speaks of salvation he does not do so in a way that would allow for an evil that is in any way equal to good or God. For him, the focus is on God and the individual. Within Christian theology, especially of the medieval period, there has been dialectic between those thinkers who attempt to follow Aristotle and those who see greater promise in neo-Platonism. Within Christian theology, especially of the medieval period, there has been dialectic between those thinkers who attempt to follow Aristotle and those who see greater promise in neo-Platonism. the works of John Scotus Eriugena and demonstrate that Eriugena was strongly influenced by Origen and his thoughts. to find the influence from Origen’s work on John Scotus Erigena. Line by line will be demonstrated the basic differences and similarities of the work of John Scotus with the works of Origen. John was not only influenced by Gregorius of Nyssa but in fact by Origen. For this reason, the both theologists refer to the return of all things to God. Origen’s thought through the works of Augustine had influenced for one more time John Scotus.

Marie-Odile Boulnois: La bouchée de Judas (Jn 13, 26-30) d'Origène à Thomas d'Aquin

Dans l'évangile de Jean, Jésus annonce qu'il a va désigner celui qui le livrera en lui donnant une bouchée. "Trempant alors la bouchée, il la prend et la donne à Judas, fils de Simon Iscariote. Après la bouchée, Satan entra en lui" (Jn 13, 26-27). Ce texte suscite nombre de questions : quel est le rapport entre l'entrée de Judas et le don de la bouchée ? Cette concomitance signifie-t-elle que la bouchée est une sorte de poison ? Quelle interprétation donner au fait qu'elle soit trempée ? Judas a-t-il participé à l'eucharistie et si c'est le cas comment expliquer qu'il n'en ait tiré aucun profit ? Faut-il distinguer la bouchée et l'eucharistie ?

Les difficultés que suscite ce verset se redoublent du fait que l'évangile de Jean est à la fois le seul à présenter l'entrée de Satan après la bouchée et le seul à ne pas rapporter l'institution de l'eucharistie, ce qui pose le problème de l'harmonisation avec les synoptiques. Derrière ces questions exégétiques se profilent également des enjeux sacramentels et ecclésiaux : faut-il donner la communion à ceux qui en sont indignes ? Quelle est l'efficacité de l'eucharistie ?

Origène étant le premier à soulever certaines de ces questions dans son Commentaire de l'évangile de Jean nous chercherons à voir quelles sont ses réponses et dans quelle mesure il ouvre la voie à plusieurs débats qui traversent les siècles jusqu'aux exégètes modernes. Notre enquête se limitera cependant à quelques jalons dans la réception orientale et surtout occidentale. Ainsi Guibert de Nogent dans sa lettre Sur la bouchée de Judas et Thomas d'Aquin dans la Somme Théologique évoquent la diversité des réponses données par les Pères à la question de la participation de Judas à l'eucharistie. Même si Origène n'est pas nommément cité par ses successeurs, Jean Chrysostome qui prend position contre lui sera invoqué par les auteurs médiévaux et inversement des hypothèses origéniennes se retrouveront chez d'autres comme Rupert de Deutz.

 

Wednesday afternoon: Excursion

Thursday August 29

Morning lecture 9.00-10.00

Christoph Markschies: The reception and transformation of Origen's works in modern editions and translations: Some comparative views on Editions in Britain, France, Italy and Germany.    

 

Lecture session 10.20-11.20

Franz Xaver Risch: Zur lateinischen Rezeption der Scholia in Psalmos von Origenes

Das Unternehmen der kritischen Edition der Psalmenkommentierung des Origenes an der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften hat es nicht nur mit längst bekannten Texten zu tun. Neben dem Psalmenkommentar und den Psalmenhomilien ist von Origenes eine umfangreiche, erst zum Teil publizierte Sammlung von Scholia in Psalmos erhalten, die sich am besten als Vorarbeiten begreifen lassen. Wie Kommentar und Homilien fanden auch sie im vierten Jahrhundert den Weg in den Westen. Ich stelle ihre Rezeption in zwei Schwerpunkten vor:

1) Die umfangreichen Predigten der sogenannten expositio psalmi cxviii  des Ambrosius von Mailand. Zu ihren Quellen gehören auch der tractatus super Psalmos von Hilarius und der Psalmenkommentar des Origenes. Die Kenntnis der Scholia in Psalmos erlaubt eine genauere Bestimmung des philologischen Verhältnisses von Ambrosius zu Origenes. Dabei ist aber auch das Verhältnis von Ambrosius zu Hilarius zu erörtern.

2) Eine bislang in der Origenes-Forschung unberücksichtigt gebliebene lateinische Predigt aus dem vierten bis sechsten Jahrhundert. Sie verarbeitet die Scholia zu Ps 149. Hier stellt sich vor allem die Frage, ob nur die Scholia benutzt wurden oder nicht sogar die ansonsten verschollene Homilie zu Ps 149.

 

Blossom Stefaniw: Noetic Exegesis: Origen, asceticism, and anti-foundationalist hermeneutics

A substantial stream of contemporary hermeneutics is connected to foundationalist philosophy, while a second stream draws its view of the text and appropriate modes of interpretation from non-foundationalist philosophies such as neopragmatism and post-structuralism. On the foundationalist view, a statement of interpretation is taken to be valid if it accurately reflects the truth held in the text.  In biblical hermeneutics, the text of scripture is taken as the foundation for truth-claims about the basic tenants of Christian belief. That means statements of interpretation, if they accurately reflect the truth held in the text, also reflect truths about the world and about relations between the divine and the human.

In traditional analyses of Origen's exegesis of Scripture, the tendency has been to approach his exegetical work as if he had the same notion of text-as-foundation which has been prevalent in the west. The resulting focus on Origen's conviction that there are layers of meaning in Scripture, and the tendency to see allegory as his primary hermeneutical tool, obscures the full complexity of his textual practices.

Two years ago, I completed research committed to taking up an ethnographic stance towards Origen whereby it became possible to see more clearly the radical difference between foundationalist concepts of the text and Origen's textual practices. That project  served both to complicate our picture of Origen's hermeneutics and to clarify the particularities and singularities of the noetic exegesis practiced by Origen, his circle, and his intellectual heirs.

In this lecture, I will present that research for the first time. I argue that Origen's exegesis is driven by a very different notion of what the text is, of where truth can be located, whence truth can be derived, and what mode of engagement with Scripture is necessary to perceive that truth. This textual practice, closely connected to the ascetic imperative of cultivating and liberating the nous, I have named noetic exegesis. In noetic exegesis, nous constitutes both the medium and the object of the hermeneutical endeavour. The lecture will explain the notional and performative characteristics of noetic exegesis, and will then explore its relationship to other, non-foundationalist modes of interpretation current in our own day.

Pier Franco Beatrice: The Apostolic Writings in Heracleon’s “Hypomnemata”

Of the fifty-one surviving fragments of the lost Hypomnemata of the gnostic Heracleon, forty-eight are known thanks to the quotations found in Origen’s Commentary on John. In these fragments Heracleon quotes some works to which he ascribes a particular “apostolic” authority. Besides the Gospel of John, he knows and appreciates the so-called Kerygma Petrou, which he considers as a writing reporting the authentic teaching/preaching of the apostle Peter, and several epistles of the apostle Paul. Nevertheless, the strong contamination of the Gospel of John with Synoptic materials in Heracleon’s fragments raises many problems of interpretation which so far have not yet been solved.

It is thanks to Clement of Alexandria that we know a fragment in which Heracleon quotes and discusses at length a saying of Jesus on confession and martyrdom. The analysis of this fragment, here translated and interpreted for the first time in a completely new way, in the light of an overall reconsideration of Heracleon’s place in early Christianity, allows us to claim that Heracleon knew and highly appreciated the Gospel according to the Hebrews. In a certain sense, these four apostolic writings, the Gospel of John, the Kerygma Petrou, the Gospel according to the Hebrews and the epistles of Paul, form Heracleon’s archaic New Testament canon.

Lecture session 11.30-12.30

Peter W. Martens: Origen’s Biblical Scholarship: its Modern Receptions

Origen’s biblical scholarship has been received in various ways. Nearly all of his exegetical writings have been critically edited and most of these have enjoyed translations into a number of languages. Among contemporary biblical scholars, there is also the occasional engagement with Origen’s own interpretations as if they are, at least in theory, viable exegetical options. But it is a different reception that will serve as the focus of this lecture: how Origen’s biblical scholarship has been studied in the modern world, particularly since Henri de Lubac’s Histoire et Esprit (1950). In this lecture I will propose a map of the often unwieldy terrain, highlighting the differing motivations, topics, trends and achievements of the Origenian scholarship to date. It is certainly impossible to capture all the relevant research, nor will everyone agree with how I draw this map. The goal here is more modest: to provide an orientation to an already large and still-growing area of Origenian studies.

 

Elena Rapetti / Marco Rizzi: The French 17th century debates on Origen's biography

In the French  17th century, age d’or de la patristique, the Greek Origen was rediscovered by scholars, who produced a great amount of studies about the life and the thought of the Alexandrian master both within more general histories of the early church and also in specific monographs. Moreover, in 1659 Henri de Valois published a new edition of Eusebius’ Historia ecclesiastica, after Estienne’s editio princeps in the previous century; in this way,  de Valois’ learned annotations in Eusebius’ book 6 relaunched  the debate about Origen’s personality. In these 17th century  scholarly works historical insight goes along with moral judgement in order to evaluate Origen’s biography, even if frequently in a not unbiased view. The aim of the paper is, on the one side, to show how some of the most representative 17th century  scholars reconstructed the key episodes of Origen’s youth; on the other side, to investigate how they made use of Origen’s troubled biography within the theological debates of their times. At the end of  this recognition it would be clarified how the results of these debates still affected 19th and early 20th centuries scholarly reconstruction of the first phase of Origen’s biography.

Gerald Bostock: Origen and Celtic Christianity

Egyptian influence on Celtic Christianity, seen in its art and liturgy, was channelled theologically by the Origenian tradition. This tradition, followed by Hilary of Poitiers, strengthened western monasticism in its opposition to Augustine. Pelagius, reflecting Origen in his Commentary on Romans, led this monastic opposition, which was later supported by Cassian, Vincent of Lerins and Faustus of Riez but was gradually overcome by the political and ecclesiastical dominance of Augustine. In Britain Gildas and Celtic monasticism, as found in Columbanus, sustained the tradition inspired by Origen and Pelagius. The Celtic Church developed a distinctive theology, indebted to Origen, in three critical areas, namely the place of penance, the importance of creation, and the value of Judaism, and in some cases had a lasting influence.

   

14.00-17.40 Workshop session

Cordula Bandt: The reception of Origen’s Homilies on Psalms in the Psalm Catenae

Certainly, the discovery and identification of 29 of Origen’s homilies on Psalms in Munich by Marina Molin Pradel and Lorenzo Perrone has been the most important recent event in the history of Origen studies. This discovery became a challenge to Catenae studies as well, because these homilies have obviously been sources for a number of Psalm Catenae. The paper will try to investigate the circumstances of this reception process, especially when and where it might have taken place.

 

Lorenzo Perrone: The find of the Munich Codex: A Collection of 29 Homilies of Origen on the Psalms

 

Antonio Cacciari: From Tura to München. Seventy years of Origenian discoveries

 

Emanuela Prinzivalli: Rufinus and Jerome as translators of Origen

The recent discovery of Origen's homilies on the Psalms contained in the Cod. Mon. Gr. 314 allows to compare, for the first time, a complete Origen's homily and its translation by Rufinus. In fact, amongst the twenty nine homilies, four, on Psalm 36, had already been known thanks to Rufinus. Thus, it is now possible to study not only Rufinus' translation technique, but also to evaluate it in comparison with Jerome’s translation of the homilies on Jeremiah.

Barbara Villani: Zu den Auszügen der Psalmenhomilien des Origenes  in der Bibliotheca Gallandiana

Schon lange ist bekannt, dass in der Bibliotheca veterum patrum antiquorumque scriptorum (1765-1781) von Andrea Galland, nachgedruckt in der PG 17, Auszüge aus den origeneischen Psalmenhomilien zu finden sind. In diesem Beitrag soll ein Blick auf die Entstehung der Edition sowie auf die darin enthaltenen Fragmente und die zugrunde liegenden Quellen (Katenenhandschriften) geworfen werden

Giulio Maspero: The logos in us and the Logos in the Principle: Origen's contribution to the development of the psychological analogies of the Trinity

It is commonly believed that Augustine is the inventor of the psychological analogy of the Trinity, an argumentation that is considered a hallmark of Western theological approach. But analogical connections between the inner structure of the human person and the triune God can be found also in the Greek Fathers, viz. Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus and Anastasius Sinaita. These analogies are characterized by the couple logos-pneuma that plays the role of the Western oneintellectus-voluntas. Origen's discussion of the logos in man and in God is a key-step in the theological development that made these analogies possible.  

14.00-16.20 Workshop session

Samuel Fernandes: Towards a New Critical Edition of De principiis. Titles, Chapters and Structure in Western Tradition.

One hundred years ago, Paul Koetschau offered the first critical edition of De principiis, which remains an obligatory reference point. This work has been praised for its thoroughness and its completeness. It has been criticized by many scholars by the criteria with which reconstructed the text, but only few scholars criticized the lack of a critical examination of Περὶ ἀρχῶν's division into chapters. This paper presents a new critical study of the titles, divisions and chapters of the text in the Latin manuscript tradition, and its impact on the printed editions and in the interpretation of the treatise.

 

Andrew Harmon: Motion, Education, and Care: Free Will in Origen’s Peri Archon

In his article, “Origen and Stoic Logic,” Louis Roberts insists, “how deep in debt Origen was to Stoicism has not yet been determined.” That this question was up-for-grabs in the years following Roberts’ publication in 1970 precipitated important contributions from John Rist and Ronald Heine (among others) in the years following. This paper is an effort to build on some of the key insights from that scholarly trajectory, as well as Brad Inwood and Michael Frede, to unpack Origen’s idea of free will (αὐτεξούσιον). More specifically, I show Origen’s understanding of free human agency as a decidedly Stoic formulation, albeit with some unique reconfigurations. Scholars have explored Origen’s indebtedness to Stoic logic and method in his Contra Celsum and Commentary on John,

but few attempts have been made to uncover those same themes in Peri Archon (PA). Indeed, PA III offers the one of the most sustained and systematic treatments of Origen’s ideas on freedom and free will, a topic Origen himself says is “of the utmost urgency” to discuss (ἀναγκαιοτάτου ὡς ἔνι μάλιστα προβλήματος). In what follows, I highlight the themes of motion, education, and care pervading PA III to reveal some Stoic sources for understanding freedom and free will.

 

Paper session 14.00-15.00

Miriam Adan Jones: "Origen as Auctor? Exegetical borrowings and doctrinal departures in Gregory the Great's Expositio in Canticum Canticorum"

What does Gregory the Great's use of Origen in his Expositio in Canticum canticorum reveal of the authority accorded to Origen as exegete and theologian? This paper first surveys the literature positing the reliance of Gregory the Great's Expositio on Origen's commentary and homilies on the Song of Songs. It discusses both general hermeneutical principles and specific themes shared by Gregory and Origen. Next, it describes doctrinal differences that become apparent from the texts, highlighting in particular the themes connected to the accusations of heresy directed at Origen and origenism in the fourth and sixth centuries. The final section of the paper discusses what Gregory's use of Origen tells us about his understanding of Origen's authority, arguing that Gregory's critical use of Origen reflects his general understanding of scripture as inexhaustible and human teachers as fallible.                         

 

Marcin Wysocki: ESCHATOLOGICAL ASPECTS IN THE INTERPRETATIONS OF ISRAELITES’ WILDERNESS WANDERINGS. TWO SIDES OF ONE STORY: ORIGEN’S 27. HOMILY ON THE BOOK OF NUMBERS AND JEROM’S LETTER 78.

The writings of Origen and Jerome, mentioned in the title, but in a different literary form - a homily and a letter – written for a different purpose and at different times, both are exegesis of the chapter 33 of the Book of Numbers in which the stops of the Israelites in the desert on the road to the Promised Land are described. Both texts are the classic examples of allegorical interpretation of the Scripture. Both authors interpret the 42 “stages” of Israel’s wilderness wanderings as God’s roadmap for the spiritual growth of individual believers and as the stages of the eschatological road of a soul. In the proposed paper there will be presented the eschatological ideas of both authors included in their interpretations of the road of the Chosen People to the Promised Land, sources of their interpretations, similarities and differences, and the dependence of Jerome on Origen in the interpretation of the stages. Also the idea of realized eschatology, present in both works, will be shown in the course of the presentation.

Lenka Karfiková: Origen and Augustine: Nature accomplished through the Will

(section 2: The reception of Origen's thoughts in Western theological and philosophical traditions)

Die Vollendung der Natur durch den Willen bei Origenes und Augustin

Bei Origenes und Augustin finden wir eine für die Antike eher ungewöhnliche Vorstellung, nach der das vernunftbegabte Wesen seine Natur durch seinen Willen vollendet oder modifiziert. Beide Autoren geben jedoch diesem gemeinsamen Grundgedanken einen unterschiedlichen Sinn. Nach Origenes bestimmen die vernunftbegabten Wesen ihre ontologische Stellung durch ihre Freiheit und diese Möglichkeit scheint ihnen für alle Zeitalter der Welt offen zu bleiben. Nach Augustin ist es Gott selbst, der den Willen der vernunftbegabten Wesen beeinflusst und sie definitiv in zwei Gruppierungen der Erwählten und der Verworfenen teilt.                         

                   

  

Augustine Marie Reisenauer: AugustineGgathering the Cosmic Person Origen Scatters

In his Ad Orosium contra Priscillianistas et Origenistas, De civitate Dei, and De haeresibus, Augustine responds to the Origenist cosmic scheme as mapped out in Origen’s De principiis (Περὶ ἀρχῶν). Augustine not only denies the hierarchical constitution of visible reality as a consequence of sin, along with denying personality and rationality to the celestial bodies. He also positively constructs a way of return for the elements of the universe in the resurrected human person. Augustine articulates his doctrine of man as microcosm through his exegeses of certain of the same scriptural texts upon which the Origenist position founds itself, specifically, 1 Cor 15:24-28, Is 65:17 and 66:22, Rom 8:19-23, and Job 25:4-6. In contrast to the Origenist anthropology which scatters persons downward through the corporeal universe, Augustine views the composite human person in the economies of creation and salvation, as the intentional microcosmic locus of a kind of generic restoration of the entire elemental cosmos.

 

Paper session 15.20-16.20                

                   

Jane Schatkin Hettrick: Musical Treatment of the Text Sub tuum praesidium in Connection with Marian Worship in Viennese Liturgical Practice of the Eighteenth Century

Sub tuum praesidium is believed to be the oldest Christian prayer offered to the Virgin Mary. The Greek text of the prayer is found in Rylands papyrus 470, dated by E. Lobel and others to the mid-third century. There is a later Coptic version, apparently made from the Greek. Of great theological importance is its use of the term Theotokos. It is this usage of the term Theotokos that connects this early prayer to Origen, for the church historian Socrates attests that Origen gave a fulsome explanation of the term in his commentary on Romans. The prayer appears to reflect the rich liturgical background of Alexandria /Egypt. For example, Origen’s predecessor, Clement, wrote about the Word as symphonist who structured the universe into a melody. In Latin translation, it was received in the West in the ninth century in a musical manuscript (Antiphonary of Compiègne , c. 870). In later centuries, it acquired chant melodies and then, composed polyphonic versions. Musical settings flourished in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Austrian practice, when Mariology rose to renewed prominence, and the Habsburg court celebrated numerous Marian feasts. Dozens of composers (including Michael Haydn and Mozart) contributed to the repertoire of Sub tuum praesidium settings, and hundreds of compositions were written. These served as final movements of the Litany of Loreto and also as independent pieces, offertory or gradual. In this paper an investigation will be made into the Mariology of Origen, with special reference to the term Theotokos, and the relation of Origen to the Sub tuum praesidium prayer. It will also examine the poetic qualities of the prayer as they have been expressed musically and demonstrate how composers tried to represent the Mariology of Origen in musical form. Musical examples will be presented.  

 

Christos Synodios: The Impact of the Origenist Controversy in a Instance of Pastoral Pronoia in Sixth Century Gaul

The topic of this paper is the relationship between Jerome’s treatise against John of Jerusalem Contra Ioannem Hierosolymitanum (PL 23, 355A-396A) and Ps - Basil’s  work De consolatione in adversis (PG 31, 1687C-1704B). The Contra Ioannem is written against the alleged Origenism of John of Jerusalem. One of the main subjects of Jerome’s discussion in this work is the nature of the resurrection body. Jerome takes issue with John on this subject, claiming that the bishop of Jerusalem is a supporter of Origen’s doctrine of the resurrection in the form of a spiritual body. Ps-Basil’s Cons., which I now ascribe to St. Radegundis of Poitiers (c. 520-587), is a pastoral work transmitted in Latin. It has no Greek original known. The evidence for the ascription of Cons. to St. Radegundis of Poitiers is documented in my PhD dissertation A Critical Edition of Ps-Basil De consolatione in adversis with Introduction (Boston University, 2010).

The connection of Cons. to Origen derives from the fact that Radegundis appears to reference Jerome’s treatise Contra Ioannem in addressing a group of lepers on the subject of the resurrection. St. Radegundis of Poitiers appears to be following Jerome in her teaching of the resurrection of the flesh (caro). The connection of Ps-Basil’s Cons. and Jerome’s Contra Ioannem is enhanced by the fact that they are transmitted together in the MS tradition.

My paper will examine the connection of these two works with special reference to Theophilus of Alexandria, John of Jerusalem, St Jerome, St Radegundis and, of course, Origen.

Ovanes Akopyan: In Defence of Origen: Pico della Mirandola’s Apology and The Culture of Self-Representation in Renaissance Italy

The repercussions of Origen’s legacy on the Renaissance thought, especially on Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s works, has been studied by a number of prominent scholars, including Edgar Wind, Henri Crouzel and Henri de Lubac. The question of Pico’s attitude towards Origen, however, still remains unanswered. The motivation of French Catholic thinkers, who tried to restore the status of Origen among Church Fathers, and, hence, their focus on the theological aspects, seem to obscure Pico’s own position. Using the text of Pico’s Apology, published in 1487 as a reply to an accusation of the Papal commission, in a larger context of other works by Pico, especially the so-called Trilogy, I‘ll try to show that count of Mirandola’s interest in Early Christian debates on Origen should be regarded as an outstanding example of self-representation in the Renaissance culture.

   

Vladimir Cvetkovic: Maximus the Confessor’s Reading of Origen between Origenism and Anti-Origenism

The history of St Maximus’ reception in the West is deeply marked by his attitude toward Origen and Origenism. In the first extensive study Liturgie Cosmique (1947) of this Byzantine author, Hans Urs von Balthasar described Maximus as an adherent of Origen and Origenism. Less than a decade later Polycarp Sherwood in his Earlier Ambigua (1955) convincingly demonstrated that Maximus was rather a severe critic than a follower of both Origen and Origenism. Sherwood’s position has been widely accepted and was not challenged until recently, when Gregory Benevich proved that Maximus’ real adversaries in the seventh century were not the Origenists, but the radical anti-Origienists. Thus, Maximus was critical both of sixth century Origenists and seventh century radical anti-Origenists. Morover, the recent studies of Blowers and Becker demonstrate that Maximus did not only read Origen, but also that he heavily relied on Origen’s scriptural exegesis. Against this background, this paper aims to investigate Maximus’ dependence on Origen in his development of the idea of the Mystery of Christ that opposes equally the stances of Origenists and anti-Origenists.  

             

Paper session 16.40-17.40

Andrew Selby: Ambrose and Origen on the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Luke

Both Origen and Ambrose composed sermons on the Gospel of Luke (Origen c. 233–244; Ambrose c. 377–389). Since among New Testament writings the Third Gospel has a particular emphasis on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, it should not be surprising that both church fathers comment on the identity of the Spirit and his role in the life of the Church and the individual Christian in their addresses to their congregations. Furthermore, Ambrose derived a fair amount of his exegesis in Books I and II of the Expositio in Lucam from Origen’s homilies. This situation provides a perfect opportunity to compare pre- and post-Nicene theologies of the Holy Spirit. Given Ambrose’s extended reflection on the nature of the Holy Spirit in De Spiritu Sancto, the question arises: Does Ambrose’s confession of the Holy Spirit as consubstantial with Father and Son affect the way he appropriates the content of Origen’s homilies? By focusing on the exegesis of the angel’s prophecy of John the Baptist’s birth to Zechariah, the difference between John’s baptism and Jesus’, and the event Jesus’ baptism itself, this paper will show that Ambrose’s Nicene theology emphasizes the grace and condescension of God to sinners who need the power, peace, and purification the Spirit brings so they can begin imitating Christ, while Origen, though not denying the agency of the Spirit to effect sanctification, tends to exhort his congregants to moral striving in order to gain—or to avoid losing—the Holy Spirit.                   

 

John Gavin: “Nothing is liable to destruction”: John Scottus Eriugena’s use of an Origenian Principle

John Scottus Eriugena, the brilliant and controversial Irish monk in the court of Charles the Bald (840-877), drew upon both the Latin and Greek patristic traditions in order to present a bold and original Christian vision.

In his Periphyseon, Eriugena cites several times an essential point from Origen’s De principiis III, 6, 5: “For it was on this account that God made all things, that they might exist, and those things which were made in order to exist cannot cease to exist”. This paper examines Eriugena’s use of this principle in three different contexts regarding the preservation of human nature, demons and all of creation. In particular, this paper will show how Eriugena grounds Origen’s principle of imperishability in a) the teaching that all essences are eternal in God and b) in the divine plan to save the fallen effects through the Incarnation of the Son. It also reveals Eriugena’s capacity to interpret and adapt Origen’s ideas for his Western audience.                  

 

Georges Tobias:  “Summus Christianorum philosophorum” – Origen as Christian philosopher in Peter Abelard

While Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux, is famous for using Origen in his sermons on the Song of Songs, Peter Abelard is often quoted as a scholastic criticising Origen – in the line of thought: During the 12th century, Origen was appreciated by monastic exegesis, but not by scholastic reflection. Indeed, in his “Theologia”, Abelard criticises Origen, like many other authorities. But Abaelard can also call Origen “a great” or even “the greatest Christian philosopher”, as he does in his “Historia Calamitatum” and in his letter 8. This seems to be meaningful, as Abelard understood himself as a Christian philosopher. In letter 8, Abelard also quotes long passages from Origen’s homilies 12 and 13 on Genesis (in Rufinus’ translation). Hence the question: Is there an overall attitude towards Origen to be found in Abelard, and how is Abelard’s attitude situated in the context of his time? Based on Abelard’s references to Origen, my paper shall scrutinize this question.

Friday August 30

Paper sessions 8.30-9.30             

Olga Alieva: Origen's protreptics to philosophy: the testimony of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus in the Oratio Panegyrica, VI

The scope of this paper is to review the sixth chapter of the Oratio Panegyrica, ascribed to St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, against the background of the tradition of philosophical exhortation dating back to at least IV century BC. The situation of radical choice, in which, according to St. Gregory, Origen’s exhortations took place, is characteristic of protreptic literature (Jordan 1986); the protreptic character of this chapter is also marked textually (6.31: προτρέπων φιλοσοφεῖν). We argue that St. Gregory endows his master’s image with features of Plato’s Socrates. Thus, he emphasizes the benignant and affectionate disposition of Origen towards his listeners and points out that his own conversion was not only the result of sophisticated reasoning, but also of eros that ‘was kindled and burst into flame within us’. At the same time, the eros of the classical protreptics (cf. Gaiser 1959 on logoi eroticoi and their influence on Plato) is understood here as love to the divine Logos (cf. Hadot and Davidson 1995, 160). This transformation might have been influenced by Clement of Alexandria, who speaks of the protreptic function of the divine Logos in the beginning of his Paedagogus (cf. Glad 2004). Finally, we focus on the protreptic motifs of this chapter, some of which (like that of self-knowledge) can be found in the Corpus Platonicum and in later Platonists. In conclusion, we maintain that St. Gregory’s text is a piece of important evidence on the genre of philosophical protreptic in the III AD and its transformation.

 

Róbert Somos: The question of the innate ideas in Origen

Kellen Plaxco: Didymus the Blind’s Reception of Origen on ‘Participation’

Scholars have characterized Origen’s theology as displaying a general debt to the Platonizing concept of “participation”—both in terms of how creatures relate to the divine, and in terms of how the Son and Spirit relate to God the Father (e.g., Balás and Cadiou).  It is widely accepted, if not uncontroversial, to read Origen’s trinitarian theology as given to a subordinationist hierarchy: God the Father is true God, God the Son is divine in an impermanent way, and the Holy Spirit’s divinity is quesitonable.  Moving to the fourth century, Origen’s influence on Didymus the Blind’s use of participation terminology is evident in a number of his writings (e.g., On the Holy Spirit, Commentary on the Psalms).  Didymus’ Commentary on Genesis shows obvious affinities to Origen’s “Homily 1” on Genesis, especially in terms of spiritual participation and theological anthropology.  However, Didymus resists the “intra-trinitarian” participation model of Origen’s trinitarian theology.  This paper addresses Didymus’ complicated reception of Origen’s model of “participation.”  Didymus’ own trinitarian model resolves some of the problems left in the wake of Origen’s genius without abandoning the grammar of “participation” so dear to Origen.

 

Bogna Kosmulska: Photius on Maximus the Confessor

Photius in his famous Bibliotheke reproached the style of Maximus the Confessor’s Quaestiones ad Thalassium, as well as of his Capita theologica et œconomica. However, this unfavourable opinion did not concern other works of the great theologian and philosopher of the seventh century. Is this critique related merely to the literary style of these two writings? I am convinced that it is not – actually, in these two cases he particularly did not like the allegorical – so Origenian as a method – way of thinking which was plainly expressed in them. Inspired by the very interesting hypothesis of Frances M. Young who treated the tension between the so called “Antiochene” and “Alexandrian” approaches to biblical exegesis as a battle in the everlasting war between rhetoric and philosophy, I propose to consider Photius’ reaction to Quaestiones ad Thalassium as yet another episode in this struggle.

Lucian Dinca: La reception d'Origene par Athanase dans la defence de l'homooussion niceen

Le concile œcuménique de Nicée I, en 325, a condamné la doctrine promue par le prêtre-bibliste Arius, en affirmant la consubstantialité du Fils avec le Père. Aux slogans ariens: "Il y eut un temps où le Fils n'existait pas" et "le Fils est dissemblable a l'infini de la substance du Père", les conciliaires répondent par deux affirmations dogmatiques fortes: "Le Fils est né du Père avant tous les siècles" et "Le Fils est consubstantiel-homoousios au Père". Bien que le Symbole de Nicée soit signé par la majorité de participants, de retour dans leurs évêchés, ils ont eu de la difficulté à mettre en pratique cette profession de foi. Athanase, participant au concile en sa qualité de secrétaire de l'évêque d'Alexandrie, Alexandre, devenu évêque en 328, est réticent quant à l'emploi de ces deux expressions dans ses écrits doctrinaux, tout en utilisant d'autres expressions apparentées. Cependant, en 352, le "Pape d'Egypte", après avoir subi plusieurs exils au nom de sa foi, publie une des œuvres dogmatiques majeures de sa vie, De Decretis Synodi Nicaenae où il affirme explicit la naissance du Fils depuis toute éternité du Père et sa consubstantialité avec le Père. Parmi les arguments majeurs qu'il apporte en faveur de la doctrine nicéenne, il cite incontestablement le grand maître du Didaskaleion alexandrin, Origène.

                   

Olga Nesterova: La corbeille de Moïse chez Grégoire d’Elvire et chez Origène

L’histoire de la naissance de Moïse et en particulier l'épisode de la corbeille dans laquelle l’enfant Moïse a été découvert par la fille de Pharaon est examiné par Grégoire d’Elvire dans le Tractatus de libris SS Scripturarum VII. Le fait même d’une dépendance directe de Grégoire à l'égard de la traduction latine des homélies d’Origène sur le Pentateuque est établi depuis longtemps, et la présence des motifs origéniens dans l’exégèse de Grégoire n’est pas surprenant. Mais tandis que pour Origène la corbeille enduite de bitume représente les sens vils de la lettre de la Loi, cf. In Ex. hom. 2, 4, Grégoire s’en tient à l’assimilation plus traditionnelle de l’enfant Moïse à Jésus, non pas à la Loi. En outre Grégoire met en rapport le thème de la corbeille et le thème de deux genres de feu, provenant respectivement du diable et de Dieu. Une lacune dans le texte du traité de Grégoire occulte le lien entre deux sujets aussi lointains (à savoir la corbeille flottante sur l’eau et les flammes eschatologiques), mais on peut suggérer une reconstruction du contenu du passage manquant en s’appuyant sur les textes des autres traités de Grégoire. Simultanément, nous parvenons à mettre en relief les lignes principales ainsi que les bornes d’appropriation de la méthode exégétique origénienne en Occident.

 

Paper sessions 9.40-10.40      

Joseph Trigg: The Oxford Movement 

 

Aleksey Kamenskikh: Origen in Russian philosophy: from G.Skovoroda to N.Berdyaev

Observing the history of reception of Origen’s intellectual heritage by Russian theological and philosophical authors of some last centuries one can make out some main aspects. First of all we may note crucial significance of Origen’s exegetical method for ontology of Gregory Skovoroda – Ukrainian and Russian religious philosopher of XVIII c.: symbolic nature of the Bible allows it, according to Skovoroda, to be “a third word” or “a sea” which mediates between two “shores” – this immanent word and God.

Another point of comparison with Origen may be found in writings and personality of Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900), “Russian Origen of the XIXth century”, as he was attested by one of his first researcher, A. Nicolsky.  Really, in spite of rather critical judgments on some Origen’s teachings (on subordinationism first of all) which might be found in Soloviev’s texts, we may note concept of ἀποκατάστασις in Soloviev’s “Lectures on God-manhood”, where the aim of universal process (both cosmic and historical) is claimed as recovery of primordial unity of God and his creature – all variety of rational beings, – in the one “theanthropical” organism. One could recognize also “an Origenian trace” in Soloviev’s eschatological concept of spiritualized matter similar to idea of “body of resurrection” in De Principiis.

Rather complicated question is that of reception of Origenism by Sergiy Bulgakov (1871-1944), one of the leaders of so called “sophiological movement” in Russian religious philosophy of the beginning of XXth c. Bulgakov criticizes Origen’s excessive spiritualism, but appreciates his negative theology and – with many reservations, – recognizes apocatastatic eschatological perspective and final universal salvation. Appreciation of Origen’s teaching on individual freedom in context of philosophy of history we meet in writings of Nicolay Berdyaev (1874-1948), Russian Christian personalist.

Finally in the reception of Origen in Russian religious philosophy in XVIII-XX c. we may note one more aspect: Origen was perceived as “a Christian philosopher” par excellence, as a paradigmatic image of religious philosophy.

Ercole Erculei: Origen´s presence in the philosophy of Giordano Bruno

Origen represents without a doubt an important source for the thinkers of the Renaissance: for example, his influence on authors as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola or Erasmus of Rotterdam is so tangible that it cannot be overlooked. Less evident, but not less significant, is the presence of typical Origenian topics in such a radical thinker as Giordano Bruno, especially in his “Dialoghi Italiani”, where the antichristian polemic is particularly virulent. Nevertheless, one can find among these works a book as “De gli eroici furori” which emerges as a sort of Bruno’s Canticum Canticorum: the reference to themes of Origen and his “Commentary on the Canticum Canticorum” is constant, and the Alexandrine philosopher is explicitly praised as an excellent, “great” philosopher among the theologians. The aim of my paper is to reconstruct and to situate the Origenian presence in the thought of the philosopher of Nola.        

 

Jon F. Dechow: Origen’s Shadow over the Erasmus/Luther Debate, Part 2.

When I presented Part 1 in 1993 at Chantilly, I analyzed Luther’s references to Origen (1) to 1523, (2) in 1524-1527, and (3) from 1528 on. But I have ever since felt somewhat incomplete because, as I mentioned in that piece, there were still “some 100 passages and/or contexts with significant reference to Origen” from 1528 to Luther’s death in 1546 that await examination (p. 755), in order to round out my study. There is much more to say on Origen’s “allegorical” and Luther’s “literal” interpretations, especially with reference to the modern interpretive dilemmas of critical and popular scholarship on our ancient religious traditions. Also, there are affinities between Origen and Luther that belie the fact that Melanchthon, as I mentioned (p. 740 n. 7), accepted Epiphanius’ heresy charges against the Alexandrian. The ecumenical aspirations of Christianity are mirrored here in many respects, and the challenging scope of your conference theme draws me back to the overall subject and its implications for the future.

Roberta Franchi: L'influenza di Origene nel De libero arbitrio e nel De creatis di Metodio d'Olimpo

La praefatio dell'Apologia di Panfilo di Cesarea, scaturita da reale indignazione nei confronti degli avversari di Origene, testimonia le tensioni sorte agli inizi del IV secolo, in quegli ambienti raggiunti dall'insegnamento origeniano. Se già al momento della pubblicazione dell'opera su I Principi nascono dubbi e perplessità in merito alla trattazione da parte di Origene di alcune problematiche, alla sua morte il clima di conflittualità generato dalla sua impostazione culturale e dalla sua dottrina, cominciando ad avvertirsi con maggiore intensità, dà luogo a vivaci polemiche e controversie tra sostenitori e avversari del sistema origenista, costretti a tenere in considerazione, nonché a interagire con il ruolo e il peso di un'eredità culturale ormai imprescindibile. Il primo a muovere delle critiche, destinate fra l'altro ad influenzare quelle rivolte successivamente soprattutto in rapporto all'escatologia e alla natura del corpo risorto, è stato proprio Metodio d'Olimpo.

Dalle testimonianze di autori cristiani antichi (Gerolamo, Socrate) si ricava come lo scrittore licio sia stato un seguace e un ammiratore del maestro di Alessandria, di cui ha subito l'influenza del suo insegnamento, divenuto in seguito uno dei suoi critici più influenti, pur continuando a seguirne i principi esegetici. Non solo. Su un punto sembrano concordare le fonti antiche: il De libero arbitrio e il De resurrectione sarebbero stati scritti contro Origene. Fozio aggiunge alla lista anche il dialogo De creatis. Il rapporto con Origene si impone, pertanto, quale passaggio obbligato nello studio della dottrina metodiana.

Scopo della presente comunicazione sarà quello di individuare i richiami tra il De libero arbitrio e il De creatis di Metodio, tenendo presente il pensiero origeniano, e dimostrare come lungo tutto il trattato del De libero arbitrio Metodio abbia subito l'influsso di Origene e della dottrina origenista.

 

Manabu Akiyama: Il significato misterioso della profezia nelle Omelie su Ezechiele di Gregorio Magno

Nella catena esegetica sul libro di Ezechiele si trovano alcuni Padri della Chiesa: Origene, Teodoreto di Ciro, Girolamo e Gregorio Magno. Fra loro l'esegesi di Gregorio Magno si distingue per la particolarità che sottolinea la misteriosità, oppure, il carattere sacramentale della profezia. Rispetto a questo punto, vorremmo dire che Gregorio è più vicino ad Origene che a Girolamo, in quanto guarda al significato mistico del testo biblico. Ad esempio, nell'Omelia seconda del primo libro su Ezechiele (I, II, 5), circa il significato di “tricesimo anno” (Ez 1,1), Gregorio segue Origene che avvicina il profeta tipologicamente al nostro Redentore nell'atto del battesimo nel fiume Giordano (Mt 3,13-17). Girolamo invece esclude che nel testo di Ezechiele si tratti dell'età del profeta. In questo modo l'esegesi di Gregorio fa sì che la visione della Chiesa futura descritta da Ezechiele diventi lo spazio dove gli ascoltatori di queste Omelie possono ora partecipare al corpo di Cristo risorto.

                                            

Lecture 11.00-12.00

Alfons Fürst: Origen’s legacy to modern thinking about freedom and autonomy.