Origen of Alexandria is the most influential thinker and writer of the Christian church after John the Evangelist and Paul the Apostle. This book charts his momentous impact on the structures, mindset, and doctrines of Christianity, from the third century when he wrote to the twenty-first century when his work has been enthusiastically revisited. It has been a long and enduring influence that has seen his star rise and wane many times over past centuries, but at each critical juncture of Christian reflection over the ages, he has been rediscovered and invariably offered important insights to contemporary issues.
John Anthony McGuckin is an archpriest of the Orthodox Church in the Patriarchate of Romania’s Archdiocese in Western Europe, and the rector of St. Gregory’s Chapel in St. Anne’s on Sea, in northwest England. He is also a professor in the Theological Faculty of Oxford University.
PART ONE. Origen’s Life and Thought: A Brief Introduction
1.A Short Biography
2.Aspects of Origen’s Thought World
PART TWO. Origen’s Contested Legacy
4.The Ancient Origenist Crises
5.Origen in Medieval Times and in the Age of Reformation
6.Modern Re-discoveries of Origen
Appendix 1. The Origen volumes in the Sources Chrétiennes Series
Appendix 2.The Origeniana Series volumes
This masterful summary of the legacy of one of the masters of ancient Christian thought was written by one of the masters of the subject. McGuckin is an Orthodox clergyman and a professor at the Univ. of Oxford, UK, and he has established a reputation as one of the foremost scholars and expositors of the thought of Origen in the English-speaking world. He is editor of The Westminster Handbook to Origen (2004), already a staple on the bookshelves of Origen scholars…. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.
Fr John McGuckin presents us with a very accessible introduction to Origen’s life and works and a comprehensive survey of his legacy which demonstrates that, despite his ancient condemnations and later misrepresentations, Origen indeed was, remained, and still is, in the words of St Gregory the Theologian, ‘the sharpening stone of us all’.
John A. McGuckin proposes a sound monograph on Origen in which he researches equally his biography and teaching as well as his historical reception. Particularly valuable is the research on Origen`s reception in medieval times, in the age of Reformation, and in modern times when Origen was rediscovered by the Christian tradition. As an authentic theologian of the nepotistic movement, McGuckin used primary sources and allows Origen to speak for himself. An easy-to-read monograph which stimulates the interest on the case of Origen both to specialists and those interested in the history of the Early Church.
Professor McGuckin provides a lucid survey of Origen's thought which brings to light its fundamental presuppositions, showing it to be genuinely biblical and Christian, but without ignoring the subtle interplay between his doctrinal allegiance and his philosophical speculations. He offers clear and unprejudiced discussions of controversial topics such as Origen's postulation of pre-existent human souls. His reconstruction of Origen's life is vivid and convincing, while his narrative of the influence of Origen on later thinkers is probably the fullest that is currently available in English.
A relatively concise and simple but profound and insightful outline of Origen’s thought and its massive (although often undeclared) reception until our day. It takes into account Origen’s “correction” of Platonism (more than of Plato himself — and Origen attacked much more other philosophical trends and Christian “heresies”). It receives many new, important elements from recent research into Origen, such as his anti-subordinationism, his doctrine of apokatastasis, and the Origen-Augustine relationship.