Origen of Alexandria—Homily I on Genesis

By James T. Majewski ( bio - articles - email ) | Jul 30, 2020 | In Catholic Culture Audiobooks (Podcast)

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“In accordance with the view of the apostle Paul, let us give attention to the text—that we can, as he himself says, receive ‘the mind of Christ’ and know ‘the things that are given us by God.’”

Origen of Alexandria could be considered the most titanic intellectual figure of the first three centuries of Christianity after St. Paul.

In the breadth of his writings and in the depth of his influence, he is equaled by few among the Church Fathers. He brought the Catechetical School of Alexandria to its height after succeeding Clement as its head. He was the first to make Scriptural exegesis into a science. His works were copied by Sts. Jerome and Ambrose among many others, and he influenced great medieval mystics like St. Bernard and Meister Eckhart. He dared to go where no Christian thinker had gone before—and though he fell into some theological errors, he nevertheless submitted all his thought to the judgment of the Universal Church, and attained something very close to a martyr’s death.

Origen’s homilies are simple, conversational and spiritually edifying. One is struck by his conviction that every word, every grammatical construction of Scripture has a purpose, and by his care not to let any meaning God intended go to waste. His interpretations give the lie to contemporary mischaracterizations of how early Christians understood the bible, especially with regard to the creation texts.

Notes

Translation courtesy of Catholic University of America Press: https://verbum.com/product/46619/origen-homilies-on-genesis-and-exodus

Way of the Fathers, Ep. 19—Origen: The Most Controversial Christian Ever? https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/life-origen-most-controversial-christian-ever/

Way of the Fathers, Ep. 20—Origen, Part 2: Hero, Heretic—or Hybrid? https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/origen-part-2-hero-heretic-or-hybrid/

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James T. Majewski is a stage, film, and voice actor based in New York City, holding a BA in Philosophy and an MFA in Acting. He is the host and narrator for Catholic Culture Audiobooks. See full bio.

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