"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).

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Spirit and Soul of Origen

Elizabeth Ann Divley Lauro, who has written for North America's leading scholarly revue of Eastern Christianity, Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, has added to the ever-burgeoning study of the great Origen of Alexandria with her The Soul and Spirit of Scripture within Origen's Exegesis (Society of Biblical Literature, 2010), 266pp.

About this book we are told:
Elizabeth Ann Dively Lauro discusses the theologian Origen's employment of three distinct senses of scriptural meaning within his exegetical theory and practice: somatic (bodily, factually historical), psychic (pertaining to the soul, a figurative call to shun vice and grow in virtue), and pneumatic (spiritual, revealing God's plan of salvation through Christ's Incarnation). Lauro first establishes that a correct understanding of the mechanics of Origen's exegesis is vital to an informed reading of his works, then cites Origen's theoretical foundations for each sense. She ultimately demonstrates how the relationship between the two "higher senses" (psychic and pneumatic) is central to Origen's exegetical efforts and facilitates his audience's spiritual transformation. 

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