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Title: Origen and prophecy
Author: Hall, Claire
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is an attempt to understand prophecy in the thought of Origen of Alexandria. There is no speculative theological work of Origen (or, indeed, of any other Church writer of his period) on prophecy as a theological category in its own right. Yet prophecy lies at the heart of Christian understandings of the world, as a topic which intersects with all of the most complex questions of theological philosophy - free will, foreknowledge, eschatology, soteriology, cosmology. To understand the thought of Origen, who is frequently characterised as the first systematic theologian, we must have some understanding of his concept of prophecy. The overall argument of the thesis is that Origen was the first Christian writer to attempt to unite disparate notions of prophecy - as future-telling, ethical instruction, and mystical revelation - in order to counter the challenges to Christianity put forward both by breakaway Christian movements and by Jewish and pagan critics. To do so I propose a new framework for understanding how Origen thought about prophecy. I argue that Origen understood prophecy as tripartite in the same way in which he understood scripture as tripartite: that is, as a layered phenomenon of 'somatic' or bodily readings, 'psychic' or moral readings, and 'pneumatic' or spiritual readings. In demonstrating this tripartite structure, I make the case that prophecy and exegesis are, in Origen's thought, mirror-images of one another, reflected in the mirror of Christ.
Supervisor: Edwards, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Christian literature, Early ; Prophecy ; Origen ; Ancient Philosophy