Friday, 17 May 2019

Elena Rapetti: Between history and hagiography: Origen in French Jansenism

In the second half of the 17th century, Jansenist scholars seemed to show a particular interest for Origen, despite Cornelius Jansen's severe judgment on Origen and his doctrines in the Augustinus.In this context, Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de Tillemont dedicated some pages of his Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire ecclésiastique de six premiers sièclesto discuss Origen's life and works and Pierre-Thomas du Fossé specifically wrote a biography of the Alexandrine: the Histoire de Tertullien et d’Origène (1676). This paper explores the reasons behind this particular interest in Origen through an examination of the controversies surrounding Jansenism, taking into account the wider theological context. It analyses also the strategies that these two historians, theologically close to Port-Royal, employed to convey to their contemporaries the portrait of an "unfairly persecuted" Origen.

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