The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen

The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen

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The Oratio Panegyrica in honour of Origen describes in detail that master's pedagogical methods. Its literary value consists less in its style than in its novelty: it is the first attempt at autobiography in Christian literature. This youthful work is full of enthusiasm and genuine talent; moreover, it proves how fully Origen had won the admiration of his pupils, and how the training Gregory received influenced the remainder of a long and well spent life. Gregory tells us in this work (xiii) that under Origen he read the works of many philosophers, without restriction as to school, except that of the atheists. From this reading of the old philosophers he learned to insist frequently on the unity of God; and his long experience of pagan or crudely Christian populations taught him how necessary this was. Traces of this insistence are to be met with in the Tractatus ad Theopompum, concerning the pasibility and impassibility of God; this work seems to belong to Gregory, though in its general arrangement it reminds us of Methodius. A similar trait was probably characteristic of the lost Dialogus cum Aeliano (Pros Ailianon dialexis), which we learn of through St. Basil, who frequently attests the orthodoxy of the Thaumaturgus (Ep. xxviii, 1, 2; cciv, 2; ccvii, 4) and even defends him against the Sabellians, who claimed him for their teaching and quoted as his formula: patera kai ouion epinoia men einai duo, hypostasei de en (that the Father and the Son were two in intelligence, but one in substance) from the aforesaid Dialogus cum Aeliano. St. Basil replied that Gregory was arguing against a pagan, and used the words agonistikos not dogmatikos, i.e. in the heat of combat, not in calm exposition; in this case he was insisting, and rightly, on the Divine unity. he added, moreover, that a like explanation must be given to the words ktisma, poiema (created, made) when applied to the Son, reference being to Christ Incarnate. Basil added that the text of the work was corrupt.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 70 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 4mm | 109g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514700204
  • 9781514700204