Origen of Alexandria (c. 185-245), a catechist, presbyter, and confessor of the ancient church was a foundational figure in the establishment of early Christian theology. Today he is commonly referred to as "the first Christian theologian," and is widely known as a master of biblical exegesis, rational inquiry, and spiritual formation. Yet his legacy remains somewhat ambiguous in part because of the posthumous condemnation of certain propositions from his works. Become Like the Angels explores Origen's legacy and, in particular, his teachings about the origin, nature, and destiny of the human person. By way of historical critical approach, Benjamin P. Blosser discusses the influence of Middle Platonic philosophy on the human soul and then compares it with Origen's teaching. This study finds that, while Origen was highly aware of Middle Platonic speculations on the soul and does borrow extensively from their vocabulary, he never accepts their underlying, philosophical assumptions and is in fact subtly critical of Middle Platonic theories of the soul. His anthropology remains from first to last a biblical, Christian, and even mystical one, the fruit of a remarkable effort to synthesize faith and reason in the ancient Church.
Become Like the Angels
Catholic University of America Press
Origen's Doctrine of the Soul
Mind, Body & Spirit