Saturday, 25 May 2019

Patricia Ciner: The problem of Life after Death in Origen's Theology: Repercussions in Contemporary Neuroscience

Referring to the Commentary on the Gospel of John, the renowned French specialist Henri Crouzel has affirmed that it can be considered "Origen´s masterpiece". Of this great work, which according to Eusebius was written in thirty-two books, we have in Greek only nine books: I, V, VI, X, XIII, XIX, XX, XXVIII, XXXII and a few fragments of Books IV and V. A large number of fragments which Brooke and Preuschen included in the Greek text of the Commentary on the Gospel of John as perhaps penned by Origen were also preserved through the medieval exegetical technique of the catenae. Interest in the authenticity of these fragments is undoubtedly immense for scholars of Origen, since it offers the possibility of recovering some lost material of the Commentary. However, this authenticity has been severely questioned, as the differences between these fragments and the Alexandrian´s thought are obvious. It is R. Heine who has shown that only five of these more than one hundred fragments do not belong to the Alexandrian. With great clarity he has written: Origen's thought could be altered by rewriting in Greek, even while using some of his own words, as well as by translating his Greek into Latin. Following his criterion for not considering most of these fragments as authentic, our paper seeks to show to what extent these fragments have distorted Origen´s thought and, if possible, to point out the real authors of these fragments.

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