Tag Archives: Origen

#410 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict over Origen – Round Three

Pope Theophilis of Alexandria and the monks of Nitria clash violently over the orthodoxy of Origen.

Links:

Image of Pope Theophilus of Alexandria.

Synodal letter of Theophilus condemning Origenism

Letter of Jerome to Theophilus on Origen

OCA commemoration of 10,000 Martyred Fathers

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#410 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict Over Origen – Round Three

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#407 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict over Origen – Round Two

The peace between Jerome and Rufinus did not last long as the controversy over Origen erupts in the West. Friendships are broken and the faithful are divided.

Links:

Image of Rufinus by Frederick Bloemaert.

Rufinus:
Selections from Rufinus’ Apology for Origen
Rufinus’ letter to Pope Anastasius I

Jerome:
Friendly letter to Rufinus
Hostile letter about Rufinus
Apology against Rufinus

Pope Anastasius I:
Letter on errors of Origen

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#407 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict over Origen – Part Two

#406 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict over Origen – Part One

Origen was one of the most prolific and influential theologians of the Early Church. But not everyone felt that his influence was positive. This week, we see why Origen was so controversial.

Links:

Image of Origen.

Attacks on Origen:
Bishop Methodius of Olympus:
On the Resurrection

Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis:
394 Letter to Bishop John of Jerusalem

Jerome:
398/399 Letter on Bishop John of Jerusalem

Defenses of Origen:
Gregory Thaumaturgus:
Oration to Origen

Pamphilius:
Defense of Origen

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#406 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict over Origen – Part One

#330 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Thundering Legion

thunderinglegion

The ascension of Diocletian as Emperor brought with it significant changes in the political structure of the Roman Empire – changes that would affect the nature and structure of the Church as well. Christians will wrestle over whether service in the Roman Army is acceptable.

Links:

Image: Image of the Thundering Legion from the Column of Marcus Aurelius by Cristiano64

Eusebius on the Thundering Legion

John Helgeland, “Christians and the Roman Army A.D. 173-337”, Church History, Vol. 43, No. 2, June 1974, pp. 149-163

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#330 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Thundering Legion

#329 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Manifestation Of Our Lord

solinvictus

The History of Religions and the Chronology Theory attempt to explain why Christians in the Roman Empire began to celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th and whether there is a relationship between the celebration of the birth of Christ and the pagan celebration of the birth of Sol Invictus. The origins of Christmas and Epiphany are somewhat murky, but do shed light on the life of early Christians.

Links:

Image: Image of the Adoration of the Magi from 4th century sarcophagus

History of Religions Theory presented by Joseph F. Kelly in “The Birth of Christmas”

The Calculation Theory presented by Andrew McGowan in “How December 25 Became Christmas”.

Pope Benedict presents his support of the Calculation Theory in “The Spirit of the Liturgy” pp. 107-109.

Kurt Simmons in The Origins of Christmas and the Date of Christ’s Birth argues against both the History of Religions and Calculation theories – instead asserting that Biblical and historical evidence show likelihood of 25th of December date for Christ’s birth.

Susan K. Roll, “Towards the Origins of Christmas”, 1995.

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#329 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Manifestation of our Lord

#325 – A History of the Catholic Church – If You Wish To Be Perfect

anthonyofthedesert

The Little Peace of the Church meant a near forty year pause in the empire wide persecution of the Christians. During this time, the number of Christians continued to grow, but it meant a end, at least temporarily, to the possibility of martyrdom. Thus, Christians like Paul of Thebes and Anthony of the Desert will seek new opportunities to seek God and wrestle with the Devil.

Links:

Image: Cave of Saint Anthony of the Desert by LorisRomito

Saint Jerome’s Life of Saint Paul the Hermit

The Monastery of Saint Paul of Thebes

Statue of Saint Paul in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint Athanasius’ Life of Saint Anthony

Saint Anthony Resource Page

38 Sayings of Saint Anthony

Statue of Saint Antony in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica

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#325 – A History of the Catholic Church – If You Wish To Be Perfect

#321 – A History of the Catholic Church – All Things Within Its Compass

oransandphilosopher

Continuing our look at the importance of faith and reason in the Early Church, we move to the Theological Library of Caesarea Maritima and the importance of Sextus Julius Africanus and Anatolius of Laodicea.

Links:

Image: Orans and Philosopher from Santa Maria Antiqua Sarcophagus

Andrew James Carriker “The Library of Eusebius of Caesarea”

Christopher Jones “The Life and Works of Sextus Julius Africanus”

Resources on Sextus Julius Africanus

Resources on Anatolius of Laodicea

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#321 – A History of the Catholic Church – All Things Within Its Compass

#308 – A History of the Catholic Church – May All Be Saved?

origen

Origen was the foremost theologian of his time – writing on an enormous variety of theological topics, publishing scriptural commentaries and the first work on Christian prayer. His influence will run the gamut from the Cappadocian Fathers in the Early Church to theologians such as Benedict XVI today.

He will also be condemned as a heretic – chiefly due to his views on the afterlife and the question of whether all, even Satan, might one day enter into everlasting life.

Links:

Origen article from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Origen on Prayer

Anathemas against Origen

Benedict XVI’s comments on Origen can be found here and here.

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#308 – A History of the Catholic Church – May All Be Saved?