Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
August 13th, 2015 by Joel Watts

Origen was a true innovator 

 

in case you don’t get this… origen made himself a eunuch because he took a certain portion of scripture very literal

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

9 Responses to “Origen was a true innovator ”
  1. Literally* 😛

  2. I’m glad he wasn’t as demonstrative as Luther, and nailed them to a door! Wall! Whatever…

  3. I don’t believe Origen actually did this. It was just a rumor spread about him by his enemies.

    “Eusebius identifies jealousy as the motive for what happened next. Demetrius evidently began to circulate the story that, in a moment of rash, youthful zeal following his father’s martyrdom, Origen had not only embraced celibacy, but had taken Matthew 19: 12 too far by castrating himself. Since tradition forbade the ordination of eunuchs, the ordination, he insisted, was invalid. Once again, Demetrius recalled Origen. This presented Origen with the most difficult cross of his life, and his greatest fear was that he would be tempted to lash out in bitter resentment against the injustice. The Lord helped him to hold his tongue and forgive from his heart; he humbly submitted and said not a word in his own defense.”

    D’Ambrosio, Marcellino (2014-07-17). When the Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers (pp. 91-92). Franciscan Media. Kindle Edition.

    • I heard that the story was a rumor. However, I didn’t know the details. But from what you quoted,
      “Once again, Demetrius recalled Origen. This presented Origen with the most difficult cross of his life, and his greatest fear was that he would be tempted to lash out in bitter resentment against the injustice”…

      This seems to imply that the rumor was actually floating around during his lifetime, and that it was tied into the church structure. This doesn’t seem to make sense. It is a simple thing to disprove. (Lift his robe).

      I just thought that if it was a rumor, it was floated around after Origen was dead. In which case, it would have been impossible to prove, or disprove. The quote you provided came from whom? Is it a modern quote from the book you referenced? Or is it a quote from an ancient source? I don’t have access to the kindle book.

      • Maybe you can provide the Eusebius quote source, so I can check it out. I don’t have it.

        • I don’t know if this is valid…
          From
          http://www.dacb.org/stories/egypt/demetrius.html

          But by virtue of that youthful indiscretion which had resulted in Origen’s self-emasculation [H.E.VI.8.1-2], though perhaps also as a consequence of his enhanced theological reputation and prestige, including its method and content coming under increasing scrutiny, when Origen was ordained presbyter [at a time when “presbyter” was often thought equivalent to “bishop”; see a nearly comparable ordination situation arising with respect to that by Valerius, bishop of Hippo, of Augustine, according to the latter’s biographer Possidius, Vita Augustini, 4-5, 8], by bishops outside his own jurisdiction and in contrast to the normative procedure relative to eunuchs, then Demetrius turned from this acquiescence of the fact [H.E.VI.8.3] to that denigration of Origen, which required the latter’s departure from Alexandria to Caesarea in Palestine in 231. And this was accomplished by means of an encyclical letter which “spread grave scandal about the deed that he [Origen] had committed long ago when a boy” but also including “in his [Demetrius’] accusations those who raised him [Origen] to the presbyterate” [H.E.VI.8.4-5; cf. J54.3].

          • There is a footnote in D’Ambrosio’s account saying this:

            “Eusebius simply accepts this as a fact. But he wrote seventy years after the events he was recording and could very well have uncritically accepted as true a bit of slander spread by Origen’s enemies. There is no record of Origen either affirming or denying this allegation. However, when he interprets Matthew 19 in his writings, he encourages people not to take Jesus’s words literally and do what he was accused of doing.”

            D’Ambrosio, Marcellino (2014-07-17). When the Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers (p. 101). Franciscan Media. Kindle Edition.

          • of he no longer takes it literally… Origen has had literalism cut away from him 😉

  4. I think Origen not taking scripture literally is a weak reason to believe he did not do a “youthful indiscretion”, as all of us have done stupid things when young. He certainly didn’t seem to be a shrinking violet in his writings. And if the rumor was floating around when he was alive, I would expect him to simply “show his package to his buddies”, as in, “take this, suckers”. D’Ambrosio looks to be a Catholic apologist. Nothing wrong with that. But questionable logic to defend his faith, if that is all the evidence he has. I would indeed believe it was simply a rumor, if it occurred after Origen was dead. But it appears it was floating around while he was alive. Supposedly, if it was a Roman crime to castrate yourself, I would not think Origen would hesitate to prove differently. Also, Origen was outspoken about Valentinius, Gospel of John not being literal, and other controversial subjects against orthodoxy, so the picture of him…
    “The Lord helped him to hold his tongue and forgive from his heart; he humbly submitted and said not a word in his own defense”,
    Does not fit a direct attack on his man-parts.

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: