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Panayiotis Tzamalikos

A courageous and well-executed attempt to eliminate long-standing miscomprehensions about Origen's thought. The enterprise is understanding this thought on the basis of Origen's concept of Time, all the more since this view of time has never been ad hoc studied before. The author shows how essential facets of an entire theology and philosophy are related to a view of time: Anthropology, cosmology, eschatology, theology, the attitude to death, moral ideas are aspects both determining and determined by a certain view of time.
There is a thorough reassessment of the relation between Hellenism and Christianity, both in general and as this is demonstrated in Origen's work. The author takes the opportunity to exonerate the Alexandrian from the traditional charge that he compromised his theology by mingling it with much of the substance of Platonist and Stoic philosophy. This old fallacy has resulted in Origen being regarded as one of the chief architects of the Hellenization of Christianity.
Against any ancient or modern account, it is proven that Origen did not hold any notion such as the so-called «eternity of creation»: a revolutionary thesis, which though is substantiated and confirmed through Origen's own texts in Greek, most of which have remained unstudied hitherto.
Equally original is the thesis that Origen does have an eschatology, which is expounded in detail in this book. As a matter of fact, this is the case of an intensely and fervently eschatological thought, determined by notions such as providence - prophecy - promise - expectation - realization - faith - hope - waiting - fulfilment - end. A thought earnestly oriented towards a promised, and thus expected, end.
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Origen and Hellenism

The Interplay between Greek and Christian Ideas in Late Antiquity

Panayiotis Tzamalikos

This book elucidates and engages in critical discussion of the Greek philosophical background to the work of Origen, the great third-century scholar and theologian. The author, Professor Panayiotis Tzamalikos, has long argued that Origen was in many respects an anti-Platonist, and that the clauses in Origen’s official anathematisation in AD 553 were based on misreadings by unschooled and fanatical drumbeaters. Tzamalikos has refuted those charges and demonstrated that they had nothing to do with Origen’s real thought. Origen and Hellenism continues the argument by placing Origen’s achievement in its correct context: Origen may have forsaken his ancestral religion and converted to Christianity when he was advanced in years, but he implicitly made much use of his Greek intellectual inheritance in composing his ground-breaking theological work, which paved the way to Nicaea.

The author’s thesis is that, in the quest to discover the real Origen, scrutiny of this background is vital. In the history of philosophy, Origen is uncategorisable as an author: his thought constitutes an unexampled chapter of its own, revealing a perfect match between Christian exegesis and Greek philosophy, which gave later episcopal orthodoxy the gravamen of its anti-Arian doctrine.