THE

SCHOOL OF ALEXANDRIA

Book two

 

The Deans of the School of Alexandria

ORIGEN

1995

 

Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty

St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
427 West Side Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07304

 

English text is revised by
ROSE MARY HALIM


 

CONTENTS

1. HIS LIFE

Principal sources of information about Origen, Origen’s boyhood, Leonides’ martyrdom, teacher of literature, Origen and the School of Alexandria, Origen learned the Hebrew language, Origen’s self-mutilation, Origen’s journeys, Origen’s condemnation, a new School, Origen’s teaching as seen by a disciple, Origen as a preacher, Origen’s attitude toward his admirer, Maximin’s persecution, the date of his death.

 

2. ORIGEN'S WRITINGS

Ambrose and Origen's writings, his voluminous writings, the Latin translation, the features of his writings, Origen’s main sources, Origen and the Aggadah.

1. Textual Studies (The Hexapla), its contents

2. Biblico-Exegetical Writings, kinds of exegetical works: I. Scholia, II. Homilies, Homilies on 1 Samuel, Homilies on Luke, Homilies on Exodus, Homilies on Leviticus, Homilies on Joshua. III. Commentaries: Commentary on the Psalms, Date And Composition, Commentary on Genesis, Commentary on the Gospel Of St. John, Commentary on the Song Of Songs, Commentary on Lamentations, Commentary on St. Matthew, Commentary on the Epistle To the Romans, Commentary on Ephesians.

3. Apologetical Works: Contra Celsum (Against Celsus), Celsus, the "True Discourse" (Alethes Logos), Origen’s response,

4. Dogmatic Writings: De Principiis, Peri Archon, Or On First Principles, De Principiis, the Latin translation, its contents, On Natures, Discussion With Heraclides, its division, the Dialogue With Candidus, On the Resurrection (Peri Anastasius - De Resurrectione), Miscellanies or Stromata (Carpets).

5. Practical Writings: On Prayer (De Ortione), Exhortation to Martyrdom (Exhortatio Ad Martyrium), On the Pasch (Peri Pascha), its division, letters, the Philocalia, the exegetical Catenae, Quotations In Later Writings.

 

3. ORIGEN AND THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

The Holy Scriptures, the Book of the Church, Origen as an interpreter of the Scripture, interpretation of the Scripture as a divine gift, allegorism, the theological justification of spiritual exegesis, the Gospel, the unity of the holy Scriptures, the harmony of the old and new testaments, Jesus Christ and the Scriptures, sweetness of the spiritual meaning of the law, preparation for hearing the word of God, the word of God and unfaithfulness, the word of God is within us, hearing and fulfilling the word of God, the fire of the holy Scripture, the word of God and union with God, the word of God and joyful life, allegorism after Origen.

 

4. ORIGEN AND ORIGENISM

The Anti-Origenists.

The Origenists And the Tragedy Of St. Chrysostom: the Origenists and monasticism, Pope Theophilus and the Origenists, Pope Theophilus and Isidore, the tall brothers in Palestine, a council in Cyprus, the tall brothers in Constantinople, Chrysostom intercedes for the monks, Chrysostom finds Theophilus implacable, the monks appeal to empress Eudoxia, Theophilus summoned to Constantinople, the son of the empress and St. Epiphanius, conference between the tall brothers and Epiphanius, St. Epiphanius in Constantinople.

The Origenist Crises Of the Sixth Century: Origen and Origenism, Origenism and emperor Justinian, the anathemas against Origen.

False Doctrines Attributed To Origen:

1. The Pre-Existence Of Souls, its source, the main basics of the "pre-existence of souls," the pre-existence of souls and the heavenly Church, the soul of Christ.

2. The Apokatastasis, the word "apokatastisis," Origen’s denial of this doctrine, biblical basis, scholars’ defense.

3. The Mode Of the Resurrection, scholars defense, treatise on the resurrection, the destiny of the body, final dissolution or change of bodies, the risen and glorious body, the risen body and the wounds of Christ.

4. Subordination, objections, Origen and Arianism, Origen and Nestorism.

 

5. HIS THEOLOGY

 

6. THE GREEK PHILOSOPHY, KNOWLEDGE, AND FAITH

1. Knowledge, thirst for knowledge, knowledge and Church life, knowledge as the assurance of salvation, knowledge as the assurance of salvation, knowledge and freedom, human knowledge and divine providence, human knowledge and Church tradition, the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world, our continuos progress in knowledge.

2. Knowledge Of God, human language, God is incomprehensible, knowledge of God and grace, revelation of God, vision of God and His angels, God is love.

3. Philosophy, Ammonius Saccas And Middle Platonism, what could have persuaded Origen to follow such a Platonism?, what did the Neoplatonists believe?, Origen and Plotinus, mystical knowledge, why has God spoken to men in symbols and why has he only given them the truth in this obscure form?

4. Faith, how great is the faith!, the purpose of faith, faith and knowledge, faith and victory over hostile powers, faith and prayer, faith in the cross!, faith and God’s gifts, faith as a divine grace, faith as the measure of attaining grace, faith and works, faith and the Holy Trinity.

 

7. GOD AND THE TRINITARIAN FAITH

God, the negative attributes, positive attributes, God’s holiness

The Trinitarian Faith: Relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the holy trinity and simplicity of God, unity in divine will, unity in work, the role of the Holy Trinity.

God’s Goodness and Love: God is Love, God is Love, Lover of the repentant, does God know the sinner?, God uses evil for the advantage of the just, God of the impossibilities, God’s dwelling in the hearts of men.

God’s Anger: Concept of God’s anger, divine chastisement, God’s repentance, divine providence and temptations.

The Divine Providence: God’s providence and our creation, divine providence embraces everything, divine providence embraces even the animals, God's providence and holy Scripture, God's providence and man's sanctification, God's providence and man's sanctification, divine providence and the revelation of truth, divine providence and demons, divine providence and God’s Fatherhood, divine providence for mankind, Church and every person, divine providence and the goodness of creation.

Divine Grace: The concept of grace, grace and reward, grace and works, grace and the works of the Holy Trinity.

Divine Grace in the Life of Believers: Grace as God’s Self-Giving, grace as God’s self-revelation, grace and our perfection, grace of renewal (deification), grace of adoption to the Father, grace and the heavenly life, grace and sharing in the crucifixion of Christ, the holy Bible as a divine grace, divine grace and praising God, grace and satisfaction, grace and attributing God to believers, free grace, the growth or the loss of grace, the measure of His grace.

 

8. GOD THE FATHER

Eternal Father and eternal Son, Fatherhood of God, ho Theos, the good and just Father, the Father is not creator of evil, Christ reveals His Father in the old and new testaments, the role of the Father in our salvation, the Father gives us to His beloved Son, His dwelling in the souls.

 

9. JESUS CHRIST

Christ as a Lover of mankind.

The Divinity of Christ: Eternal Son of God, Eternal Wisdom of God, His Divinity is not limited by a place.

The Incarnation: The incarnation and Christ’s divinity, Jesus Christ became true man, the shape of His body, Christ has a human soul, the purposes of the incarnation, continuity of the goodness of Jesus, incarnation and angels, the two advents of Christ.

Jesus Christ and Our Salvation: The need of salvation, concept of salvation, the death of Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christ and animal sacrifices, Christ’s sacrifice for sin, the nature of the sacrifice offered by Christ, Christ as the high-priest, the mystery of the cross.

Jesus Christ and Our Satisfaction: The titles of Christ, sufficiency to beginners and to the spirituality mature, Christ is all good things, Christ is the beginning and end, Christ as the logos, Christ is the light, Christ is the truth, Christ as the wisdom of God, Christ as the way, Christ as the king, Christ is our kingdom, Christ as the heavenly bread, Christ as the servant, Christ is the Jordan, Christ as our hidden treasure, Christ as the sun of righteousness, Christ, the source of true joy, Christ is our protection, Christ, the source of victory, Christ is the rest of the soul, Christ, the groom of the soul, Christ and revealing the mysteries of the Scriptures, prophets and the fullness of Christ, Jesus and the spirit of prophecy, carrying Jesus Christ, the growth of Christ, seeking for Christ, be a relative to Christ!, how do we do greater works than Jesus Christ (john 14:12)?

 

10. THE HOLY SPIRIT

The divinity of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit in the old testament, the Holy Spirit and God’s dwelling in our hearts, the renewal of our nature through baptism, the renewal of our nature through baptism, the Holy Spirit and victory, the Holy Spirit is our advocate, grace and praising God, the Holy Spirit, source of joy, the Holy Spirit our comforter through tribulations, love as the first "fruit of the spirit", the Holy Spirit and sacrament of penance, the Holy Spirit and marriage, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, strong in spirit, quench not the spirit, take the mina from him, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

 

11. THE PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION

Philosophy of creation, creation and the creator, the origin of matter, is evil created?, presentation of creation in the mind of God, innumerable worlds, the whole universe is God's temple, the world as a place of purification, creation serves the righteous men.

The Stars: St. Clement and the stars, Origen and the stars.

Rational Creatures: Angels, demons, and souls of men, the pre-existent Church.

Man: Greatness of man, man’s soul as a dwelling-place of God, man as an image of God, Christ, the unique image of the Father, the image of God is continuously magnified or decreased in us, Adam’s sin or individual sin?!, goodness of man is accidental, man as a trichotomy, mind and soul, the soul of Jesus Christ, the body, inner purity, the relation between the body and the soul, man's effect on the congregation.

Angels: Their good will towards God, angels’ free will, Church of angels, angels and people of God in the old testament, the angels and the ministry of the new testament, angels and the nations, the angels of the nativity, the angels of the ascension, angels and the last advent, the angels are evangelists, the angels and sacraments, angels, the guardian angels, the angels and spiritual life, angels grant spiritual illumination, angels rejoice for our victory, the angels at the moment of our death, angels and spiritual union with the souls of men, the food of angels.

Demons: The authority of the demons upon the wicked, baptism and our authority on the demons, the authority of believers upon the demons, perpetual Fatherhood of the devil and that of God, trusting in the demons, devil’s currency, demons as evil guardians, the salvation of the devil, the devil as the blinder.

 

12. FREE WILL

Free will of rational creatures, freedom as a Church doctrine, freedom as a scriptural doctrine, man's free will and divine grace, free will and God's providence, philosophical basics of freedom, free will and conversion, free will and good and evil powers, freedom and welcoming Christ.

 

13. THE CHURCH

A Churchman.

Concepts of Church: 1. Church, house of the Son of God, 2. The Church, the assembly of believers, 3. The Church, house of faith, 4. The Church, the Bride of Christ, 5. The Church, the Body of Christ, 6. The House of salvation, the Church has a power to remit sins, 7. The community of love, 8. Gates of Zion, 9. New Israel, 10. Church, the ark of Noah and the mystery of forgiveness, 11. The Church as our mother, 12. The Church as an interpreter of the Scriptures, 13. The Church, an adornment and light of the world.

The Features of the Church: 1. One Church, 2. The Church admits believers of different degrees, 3. The Church loves all mankind, 4. The Church possesses the risen life of Christ, 5. The Church grieves for sinners, 6. The Church lives in unceasing victory, 8. The Church, never ceases from preaching all over the world, 9. The Church is ancient and new, Origen’s grief on account of the Church (of Caesarea).

Church Tradition: Tradition and sanctified reason.

Church Discipline: Discipline and ranks of believers, order of discipline, reaction of some of the excommunicated ones, heavenly excommunication, not to be in a hurry in excommunication, need of repentance.

Priesthood and Laity: Priests, successors of apostles, priests as interpreters of the Scriptures, priesthood and ability of teaching, the priests and teachers as pillars of the Church, a hierarchical power, inner priesthood, authority and purity, misusing authority, bishops and vainglory, priesthood and trading in the temple of God, true leadership, priesthood and inner incorruptibility, priesthood and dwelling in the house of God, priesthood and life of prayer, the priest’s Fatherhood, priests as physicians, spirit of leadership, priesthood and grace of God, general priesthood, Church democracy.

 

14. CHRISTIAN WORSHIP AND LITURGIES

Worship: Its meaning, worship and rituals, 1. The orientation, 2. Stretching hands and lifting up the eyes, 3. Special place for prayer, 4. The Great Lent, 5. Concept of fasting, 6. True feasts, 7. The Lord's Day, 8. Offering the sacrifice of preaching the Gospel, 9. Thanksgiving, 10. Women’s heads are covered through prayers.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist: The Eucharist, the Body of Christ, Eucharist and allegorism, merit of receiving the Eucharist.

Baptism: Christ’s baptism, preparation for baptism, blessings of baptism, baptism and the adoption to the Father, three kinds of baptism, baptism of blood, difference between baptism of Moses and that of Joshua, baptism of infants, baptism and constant spiritual struggle, sinning after baptism.

 

15. SPIRITUAL LIFE

Master of Spiritual Life.

Spiritual Life or A Journey of the Soul: discovering oneself, soul's journey and return to God, I. A Journey, Stages of The Spiritual Journey, 2. The growth to maturity, 3. Struggling in a spiritual battle, positive attitude of struggles, grace and spiritual struggling, struggling without despair.

Spiritual Life as a Festival and Joyful Life: 1. Practising heavenly life, 2. Spiritual life as a festival life, 3. Spiritual life as a joyful life, 4. Spiritual life as a sabbatical life, 4. Spiritual life as a sabbatical life.

Christian Virtues: Jesus Christ is our Virtue, God, the Source of Virtues, the Sanctification of the senses, the inner senses, hunger for the Word of God, meditating in the New and Old Testaments, spiritual love, love of enemies, humbleness, helping weaker persons, sobriety, hospitality, almsgiving, overcoming temptations.

Sin: Concept of sinning, bitterness of sins, fire of sins, fruits of sins, evil soul and the ten plagues, escape from evil, cutting sin at its beginning, adultery, pride, drunkenness, lie, anger, envy, wicked words.

Penance and Confession: Penance and the Holy Trinity, moderate way of penance, unceasing repentance, repeated penance, confession, confession of secret sins, public confession, exomologesis, baptism and forgiveness of sins.

The Characteristics of Believers: 1. participating in the divine nature, 2. A believer establishes an inner tabernacle for God, 3. Feeling the presence of God, 4. Believers are the Lord’s lot, 5. A believer has a kind of spiritual parenthood, 6. Participation in the crucifixion of Christ, 7. Believers are kings and princes, 8. Believers become equal to angels, 9. Orthodoxy in knowledge and life, 10. Witnessing to Christ, 11. Believers are rocks, 12. Believers attain the transfiguration of Christ, 13. Full of strength.

Spiritual Sacrifice and Cult: Sacrifice in the writing of Origen, spiritual sacrifices and cults, 1. Christ’s self-sacrifice, 2. Believer’s self-sacrifice, martyrdom and purity as the best sacrifices, spiritual worship as a self-sacrifice, our body, the temple of God, suffering as a spiritual sacrifice, offering spiritual sacrifice in the sight of God.

Mysticism: Mysticism and theology, is Origen a mystic?, the mystical themes, 1. Mystical marriage, 2. Mystical motherhood of the soul, 3. The inner world, 4. The inner Jerusalem, 5. The inner altar and temple, 6. The inner transfiguration, 7. The inner senses, 8. The inner ascent, 9. The inner treasure, 10. Inner joy, 11. The inner light, 12. The mystical food, 13. The inner battle, 14. Education of wilderness, asceticism.

 

16. PRAYER

On Prayer (De Ortione), Its contents, the work of the holy trinity in prayers, prayer and renewal, how great is prayer?!, the blessings of prayer, answers to prayer, kinds of prayer, prayer and tears, prayer and piety, praying through silence, preparation for prayer, thanksgiving, angels pray with us, the contemplative life and the active life, prayer and reading the Bible, prayer and preaching.

 

17. THE JEWS IN THE WRITINGS OF ORIGEN

The Jews, Dialogue with the Jews, the Jews and the Gentiles, the Jews and the Church, Judaism in Alexandria, Jewish prophets, Jewish Scripture, Jewish feasts, Jewish sacrifices, Moses’ law, circumcision, Jewish wars in the old testament, Jewish allegories, Jewish Pascha and Christian Pascha, The Meaning of The Passover, kind of Paschas, The Passover (Exegesis of Exodus 12).

 

18. MARTYRDOM

Exhortation to Martyrdom (Exhortatio ad Martyrium), Its Contents, martyrdom according to Origen and St. clement, martyrdom according to Origen and Tertullian, Origen’s longing for martyrdom, concepts of martyrdom, martyrdom and evangelism, rewards of martyrdom, the arena of the battle, mortification and martyrdom, martyrdom as aversion sacrifice.

 

19. MARRIAGE AND VIRGINITY

Sanctity of marriage, concept of marriage, second marriage, marriage and the fall, sexual relations, sexual relations and devotion to worship, marriage and order of love, equality of husbands and wives, mixed marriages, dissolution of marriage.

Virginity: How great is virginity!, St. Mary, the patroness of the virgins, virginity and spiritual marriage between Christ and the soul, virginity of faith and heart, virginity as a divine gift, virginity as a sacrifice, virginity and marriage.

 

20. ESCHATOLOGY

Eschatological Attitude.

1. The resurrection of Christ: Christ’s resurrection and the resurrection of believers.

2. Death: Kinds of death:

1. Death in sin, the death of the soul
2. Death to sin
3. Indifferent death.

3. Transformation and final unity of the universe.

4. The kingdom of God: Eschatology and the kingdom of God, eternal glory, glorious bodies, degrees of glory, the shape of the glorious body, notion of Eidos, the Paradise

5. Outer darkness and eternal fire: Meaning of last darkness, punishment of eternal fire, Hades and Gehenna

6. Man’s rank in heaven.

7. Knowledge after death.

 

21. OTHER THOUGHTS

The meaning of the "Gospel," witnessing to Christ, Adam, John the Baptist, the saints, a saintly life, a comparison between sinners and saints, the true beauty, natural law, the problem of evil, the doctrine of election, mariology, new names, signs and miracles, the cross, casting a lot, the commandment, Christians and the state, men and women, the honor of women, grace of prophecy, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, racism.