"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, June 8, 2020

Ronald Heine on Origen's Life and Thought

One of the several interesting "rehabilitations" we have seen in the last several decades of previously controverted figures is of course Origen. We've already seen, thanks to Augustine Casiday, that Origen's supposed "disciple" Evagrius has been exonerated of various charges against him. Now it seems increasingly hard to sustain some of the charges against Origen as well.

For an overview of his life, which has been much studied in the last 15 years or so, we have a new book by Ronald Heine: Origen: An Introduction to His Life and Thought (Cascade, 2019), 182pp. I previously interviewed Heine here about an earlier work on Origen.

Heine is a well-known Origen scholar, and author, editor, and/or translator of such previous works as The Commentary of Origen on the Gospel of St Matthew as well as Origen's Commentary on the Gospel According to John, Books 13-32.

About this new book of his, the publisher tells us this:
The late second and early third century was a turbulent time in the Roman Empire and in the relationship between the empire and the church. Origen was the son of a Christian martyr and was himself imprisoned and tortured in his late life in a persecution that targeted leaders of the church. Deeply pious and a gifted scholar, Origen stands as one of the most influential Christian teachers in church history, and also one of the most controversial. This introduction to Origen begins by looking at some of the circumstances that were formative influences on his life. It then turns to some key elements in his thought. The approach here differs from that taken by most earlier studies by working from the central position that Scripture had for Origen. Heine argues that Origen’s thought, in his later life especially, reflects his continual interaction with the Bible.

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