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Origen - The Pursuit of the Beautiful Word
12 Oct 10:00 AM
Until 12 Oct, 04:00 PM 6h

Origen - The Pursuit of the Beautiful Word

Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford Ripon College Cuddesdon, Wheatley Road, Cuddesdon, Oxford, UK

Origen (c. 185 - 254 AD) was an ascetic scholar, teacher, priest, apologist and prolific author with a prodigious output.  He was called upon as a theological trouble-shooter to resolve disputes in the world-wide Church of his day and in old age was tortured and died a confessor of the faith and virtually a martyr.  His legacy had an enormous impact, especially on the Eastern Church, with his work being a source of inspiration to many saints and doctors of the early church as well as the nascent monastic movement. In short, he was arguably the most important & influential figure in the early Church between St Paul and St Augustine.

Some scholars, however, also brand Origen as a heretic of the first order - a Platonic philosopher in Christian clothes and the chief cause of the 4th century Arian controversy.  They point to his condemnation by St Jerome at the start of the fifth century, by an Ecumenical Council in the middle of the sixth century, and the fact that his books were ordered to be burned by the Emperor Justinian.

Regardless of the varying opinions of those who study Origen and his works, his influence on later authors and the emerging monastic movement means he cannot simply be ignored or swiftly dismissed.

This course will provide an overview of Origen's life and work, as well as his approach to key topics such as the (allegorical) interpretation of Scripture and the vital importance of human free will and divine Providence.  An overview of his more controversial ideas on cosmology, eschatology and the Trinity will also be provided.

Crucially on this Study Day you’ll also encounter Origen first hand through a selection of his writings, especially from his Commentary on the Song of Songs.  His inspired & beautiful interpretation of the interplay between Bride and Bridegroom in this text laid the foundation for subsequent commentators in the Early Church period such as Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose of Milan and Augustine of Hippo.

This course is the second in a series focussing on four important figures from early Egyptian Christianity, spanning the late-second to mid-fifth centuries.  Each course will provide an introduction to the individual in question, covering their life, work and unique contribution to the issues of their day with the aim to provide inspiration and provoke reflection for us in our contemporary setting.

Do I need to have any previous knowledge?
Absolutely no previous knowledge of Church history or theology is assumed (although clergy or readers with some background knowledge will still find much of interest).  If you’ve read all the way down to this bit and are still interested, you’re sufficiently qualified to attend!

Coffee, tea and a selection of non-caffeinated teas will be provided during breaks, along with a variety of sugary snacks and biscuits.  Please bring a favourite mug on the day.

You will also need to bring your own packed lunch.  Please note that there are no options to purchase food locally!

Course Location
The location for this Study Day is the Davison Room at Ripon College Cuddesdon.

Can I just turn up on the day?
No!  Please book in advance. (We don’t want to run out of sweet treats…)

More Info…
Starting from £25.00
£25.00 - £40.00