Early Church History 23

Origen of Alexandria

Questen: "The outstanding teacher and scholar of the early Church, a man of spotles character, encyclopedic learning, and one of the most original thinkers the world has ever seen."

The School of Alexandria: Pantaeus, Clement of Alexandria

influenced Eusebius of Caesarea, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus

Around 185 A. D. Leonidas

Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria

Platonist Ammonius Saccas

"Desiring to see the most ancient Church of the Romans" 212

215 Julia Mamaea, mother of Emperor Alexander Severus

Caracalla's destruction of the school

Demetrius "was overcome by human weakness when he saw that Origen was prospering and a great man and distinguished and famous in the sight of all."

244 trip to Bishop Beryllus of Bostra, Arabia; died at Tyre in 253

Of his writings: "that alone is to be accepted as truth which differs in no respect from ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition."

Origenist Controversies

15 anathamas at Council of Constantinople, 543.

Eusebius: "for as he dictated there were ready at hand more than seven shorthand writers, who relieved each other at fixed times, and as many copyists, as well as girls skilled in penmanship, for all whom Ambrose supplied without stint the necessary means."

CORPUS: 1) Hexapla, 2) scientific exegesis of Old and New Testament, 3) apologetics, especially Κάτά Κέλσου or Contra Celsum

4) dogmatic works between 220 and 230.

Christ spoke not only "when he became man and was tabernacled in the flesh," but also in Moses and the prophets. "For without the Word of God, how could they have been able to prophesy of Christ?"

"As the teaching of the Church, transmitted in orderly succession from the apostles, and remaining in the Churches to the present day, is still preserved, that alone is to accepted as truth which differs in no respect from ecclesiastical  and apostolic tradition."

5) practical topics like prayer, martyrdom, Easter.

Origen's theology: God, the unbegotten one.  Free of all Matter. God is incomprehensible to creation, but becomes comprehensible through the Logos, Christ.

figura expressa substantiae et subsistentiae Dei.

the Son "is true light, which enlightens every man that cometh into this world, but he has nothing in common with the light of the SUN."

This procession is eternal: Όμοοΰσίος

Jesus is the God-Man, Θέάνθρωπος

Mary is God-bearer, Θέοτόκος "No one may understand the meaning of the Gospel (of John) if he has not rested on the breast of Jesus and received Mary from Jesus, to be his mother also."

The Church is the City of God: Extra hanc domus, id est ecclesiam, nemo salvatur.

Outside of this house, which is the Church, no one can be saved.

Original Sin: "The Church has received from the apostles the custom of administering baptism even to infants... For those who have been entrusted with the secrets of the divine mysteries, knew very well that all are tainted with the stain of original sin, which must be washed off by water and the spirit."

Eucharist: "we also eat the bread presented to us; and this bread becomes by prayer a sacred body, which sanctifies those who sincerely partake of it."

"You who are wont to assist at the Divine Mysteries, know how, when you receive the body of the Lord, you take reverent care, lest any particle of it should fall to the ground and a portion of the consecrati muneris (the consecrated gift) escape you.   You consider it a crime, and rightly so, if any particle thereof fall down through negligence."