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The Concept of Time in Origen

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.