Origen: Reading as Discipline and as Sacrament




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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


The work of Origen, an Alexandrian Father of the Church, falls in the first half of the third century A.D., before the Council of Nicaea established a firm rule of faith. Origen's work at Alexandria and Caesarea helped establish Christian Bible study as an alternative to Greek philosophy and Jewish scriptural study and interpretation, while drawing heavily on both these rival traditions. Origen's three great surviving commentaries on the Gospels of John and of Matthew and on the Song of Songs show subtly differing ways of integrating Christian, Greek, and Jewish culture and knowledge, both sacred and secular, within the framework of allegorical interpretation. Origen interpreted not only the Old, but also the New Testament allegorically and thus, at least in his late Commentary on Matthew, was able to arrive at an open (to the future) definition of the interpretive community as in the process of growth and learning.




Becker, Christopher. "Origen: Reading as Discipline and as Sacrament." Issues in Integrative Studies 5 (1987): 105-128.