THE LEGACY OF ORIGEN
Origen (185–253/54) was the first Christian theologian who took part in the theological, philosophical, religious, social and political debates of his time on a high intellectual level. He set standards by thinking in an academic way and by developing original ideas about central topics like freedom, history and justice. Even though his ideas were posthumously condemned as heretical by the official church, Origen’s influence upon Christian theology as well as the intellectual history of the subsequent centuries in general was profound and decisive throughout. One cannot understand the history of the Christianity in late antiquity or the cultural change of this period which has deeply shaped the eastern and western world of the Mediterranean and Europe to this very day without the manifold impulses of the ancient Christian polymath Origen. His ethos of finding the truth in open dialogue, which corresponds so closely to the discursive style of current scientific research and teaching, and his concept of Christian universality, which is principally and consistently nonviolent, combined with a theory of the state and of society, continue to make him one of the most rewarding historical conversation partners in the fields of topical religious-cultural and theological problems .