Works on Origen and His Heritage

Prof. Dr. Dr. Fürst's collected writings on Origen and his heritage can be seen here.

REcent Publications

© Mohr Siebeck
© deGruyter

Origenes – Die Homilien zum Buch Levitikus

Das Buch Levitikus mit seinen zahlreichen Vorschriften für Opfer und Kult war und ist für christliche Leser/-innen oft schwer zugänglich. In seinen Homilien zu Levitikus legt Origenes dieses Buch aus einer christlichen Perspektive aus. Er sucht einen Zugang zu den vielfach als veraltet angesehenen kultischen Geboten auf spiritueller Ebene und erschließt so die Texte für seine Hörerschaft und ihr religiöses Leben.

Agnethe Siquans (Hg.), Origenes – Die Homilien zum Buch Levitikus (Origenes Werke mit deutscher Übersetzung Band 3), Berlin/Boston: Verlag Walter de Gruyter, 2021, 508 Seiten, gebunden, Leinen, 102,95€. ISBN: 9783110760347

Review by Maren R. Niehoff, in: Review of Biblical Literature (2023)


Adamantiana 21
© AsV

Perspectives on Origen and the History of his Reception

The present volume contains papers on Origen and the history of his reception which were presented at a series of workshops at the Eighteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies held at Oxford in August 2019. They provide multifarious insights into various aspects of Origen’s thought and his impact on different topics of theology, exegesis and philosophy from Late Antiquity to Early Modern Times. By connecting the Alexandrian’s legacy with recent developments in Patristics and Classics, they open up new perspectives for Origen scholarship in the new millenium. Research on Origen can be connected with studies, e.g., on rhetoric and power, on individuality and diversity, on gender and equality issues, on determinism and freedom and on questions of cultural transfer and transformation. The contributions to this volume can thus be taken as starting points for future studies on Origen within the broader context of contemporary research in science and the humanities.

Alfons Fürst (Hg.), Perspectives on Origen and the History of his Reception (Adamantiana 21), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2021, 368 Seiten, 56€. ISBN 978-3-402-13752-9


Adamantiana 20
© AsV

"Meine Zunge ist mein Ruhm"

Studien zu den neuen Psalmenhomilien des Origenes

Seit der überraschenden Entdeckung des Originaltextes einiger Psalmenhomilien des Origenes (185–253/54) durch Marina Molin Pradel im April 2012 hat sich Lorenzo Perrone (Universität Bologna) intensiv mit dem Münchner Codex Graecus 314 befasst. Die Handschrift aus dem 12. Jahrhundert enthält Predigten über die Psalmen 15, 36, 67, 73–77, 80 und 81 (Septuaginta-Zählung). Die Echtheit der 29 Predigten, die alle dem Alexandriner zuzuweisen sind, ergibt sich sowohl aus äußeren (besonders aus dem Vergleich mit den Exzerpten in den Katenen-Handschriften) als auch aus inneren Kriterien der Sprache, des Stil und des Inhalts. Die Homilien sind ein einzigartiges Zeugnis für die vielfältige Psalmenauslegung des Origenes sowohl in Kommentaren als auch in Predigten. Der Aufsatzband erläutert das außerordentliche Interesse der Sammlung unter verschiedenen exegetischen, spirituellen und theologischen Aspekten und eröffnet einen neuen Zugang zu Origenes als „Mann der Bibel“.

Lorenzo Perrone, "Meine Zunge ist mein Ruhm". Studien zu den neuen Psalmenhomilien des Origenes (Adamantiana 20), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2021, 416 Seiten, 62€. ISBN 978-3-402-13750-5

Notification of Adamantiana 20 on the Homepage of Biblindex [fr] (5th October 2021).





Adamantiana 19
© AsV

Die Frau am Jakobsbrunnen in altkirchlicher Johannesexegese

Erkenntnis, Pädagogik und Spiritualität bei Origenes, Johannes Chrysostomus und Augustinus

Die Studie untersucht die altkirchlichen Auslegungen der Begegnung Jesu mit der Samaritanerin am Jakobsbrunnen (Joh. 4,1–42) im Johanneskommentar des Origenes sowie in den Homilien des Johannes Chrysostomos und des Augustinus. Diese Begegnung steht für die Kirchenväter für die Begegnung zwischen Gott und Mensch und ist damit paradigmatisch für die Beschäftigung mit der altkirchlichen Exegese, da auch in der Bibel und in der Exegese der Mensch dem Wort Gottes und mittelbar Gott begegnen kann.
Die Dissertation fragt: „Wie lesen die drei Exegeten die Perikope?“ und „Warum lesen sie die Perikope so?“ Für die Beantwortung dieser Fragen ordnet sie die Auslegungen in die Biographien der drei Autoren, in den historischen Kontext sowie schließlich in die altkirchliche Bibelhermeneutik ein. Damit leistet sie einen Beitrag zur altkirchlichen Auslegungsgeschichte des Johannesevangeliums.

Monnica Klöckener, Die Frau am Jakobsbrunnen in altkirchlicher Johannesexegese. Erkenntnis, Pädagogik und Spiritualität bei Origenes, Johannes Chrysostomus und Augustinus (Adamantiana 19), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2021, 324 Seiten, 58€. ISBN 978-3-402-13747-5



Adamantiana 18
© AsV

A Complex Relation

Reading Anne Conway from a Process Theological Perspective

How does spirit relate to body? In this book, Karen Felter Vaucanson presents two adverse answers to this fundamental question, and she gives a detailed description and evaluation of the philosophies from which they stem. Whether we conceive of being in terms of static and isolated units or as processual and inherently relational, the answer to the spirit-body problem has implications for how we understand God, the universe, and ourselves. The work of seventeenth-century philosopher Anne Conway is the fulcrum of Karen Felter Vaucanson’s analysis of the intellectual struggle between these competing world-views. She shows how these two philosophical paradigms have existed side by side through centuries, from Platonism until present day process philosophy. In this systematic theological analysis, she traces the implications of Conway’s thought for the question of the God-world relation, and that of personal identity.
This book offers a combination of detailed analyses of concrete texts and general perspectives on intellectual history. It wrestles with major problems, which no theologian or philosopher can avoid, and is therefore of general interest for all who study theology and philosophy.

Karen Felter Vaucanson, A Complex Relation. Reading Anne Conway from a Process Theological Perspective (Adamantiana 18), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2021, 267 Seiten, 52 €. ISBN 978-3-402-13743-7


Adamantiana 17
© AsV

Heterodoxy and Rational Theology

Jean Le Clerc and Origen

Despite his controversial reputation, Origen of Alexandria (185–253) was very much present in 17th- century religious debates. His official condemnation by the Church was a stain on his theological and exegetical reputation, yet his work remained a source of inspiration for some. For others, he was a heretic to be refuted. In Jean Le Clerc (1657–1736), a Swiss born Dutch Biblical scholar and literary journalist, we find elements from both camps although their opinions are not given equal weight, and he made a clear-cut assessment of Origen’s condemnation. As a member of the Arminian Church, Le Clerc had to defend his religious affiliation throughout his life, especially rejecting the predominating Reformed views on such hotly debated topics such as human freedom, divine agency and predestination. He also had to protect his theological reputation from other accusations of heterodoxy, especially Socinianism. Surprisingly, Origen became a key ally in Le Clerc’s struggle, despite the fact that he had to utilise the Alexandrian’s thought in nuanced ways and to communicate it with great care in order to discourage frontal attacks on himself based on Origen’s reputation and work.

Andrea Bianchi, Heterodoxy and Rational Theology. Jean Le Clerc and Origen (Adamantiana 17), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2021, 320 Seiten, 46 €. ISBN 978-3-402-13733-8


© AsV

The Sacramentality of the World and the Mystery of Freedom

Hans Urs von Balthasar, Reader of Origen

Hans Urs von Balthasar’s interest for Origen can be placed within the movement of Ressourcement: until the very end of his life, the Swiss theologian declares his preference for the Alexandrian, among the Church Fathers. This book offers the first in-depth study of the Alexandrian’s presence in the life of Balthasar. This is achieved not only considering his two specific books on Origen, Spirit and Fire and Le Mysterion d'Origène, but also analyzing specific Origenian ideas that played a decisive role in shaping Balthasar’s own theological building.
The book starts from a reconstruction of the context that brought Balthasar to study the Fathers and of the main polemical references in his interpretation, specifically facing the challenges posed by such movements as Neo-Scholasticism and the Idealistic interpretation of Neoplatonism. Balthasar’s study of Origen emerges not as a disinterested, ahistorical reading, but rather as connected to the main issues facing 20th-century Catholic theology. The task of a historical reconstruction is accomplished also through to the analysis of theologians who played a fundamental role in Balthasar’s interpretation of Origen: Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, and Karl Barth. The book moves then to analyzing the main theological elements traceable in the relationship between Origen and Balthasar: Eros, spiritual senses, freedom, and universal salvation. Throughout these ideas, Balthasar’s attitude towards Origen emerges as dynamic and multifaceted. Against the charge of uncritical retrieval, his approach can be schematically understood with the help of five categories: silence, critique, enthusiasm, appreciation, and inspiration. Each category is approached and explained in correspondence with certain works within Balthasar’s corpus. This dynamic approach to Origen, united to a familiarity with the Fathers that Lubac called “connaturality”, makes Balthasar an example of the possibility of rethinking the role of the Church Fathers today.

Elisa Zocchi, The Sacramentality of the World and the Mystery of Freedom. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Reader of Origen (Adamantiana 16), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2021, 365 Seiten, 62,- €. ISBN 978-3-402-13741-3


© de Gruyter

Origenes - Die Homilien zum Buch Josua

In den 26 Homilien, in denen Origenes von Alexandria (185-254) das Buch Josua fortlaufend kommentierte und die in der spätantiken lateinischen Übersetzung des Rufinus von Aquileja vorliegen, werden die Kriege Josuas bei der Eroberung Kanaans als innere Kämpfe der Seele zur Überwindung von Begierden und Lastern auf dem Weg des Aufstiegs zu Gott gedeutet. Was von Josua erzählt wird, bezog Origenes durchgängig auf das Heilswirken Jesu. Die Basis dafür bildete die Namensgleichheit von Josua und Jesus im Hebräischen, Griechischen und Lateinischen. Aus seinen Vorbehalten gegen die "wenig ergötzlichen Erzählungen" von Krieg, Grausamkeit und Gewalt machte Origenes hoch sensibel und in aufklärerisch anmutender Weise keinen Hehl. Zu der Spiritualisierung, durch die er diesen Erzählungen einen mit der Friedensbotschaft des Christentums vereinbaren Sinn abzugewinnen versuchte, trat notwendig eine Internalisierung der Gewalt. Der spirituelle Kampf richtet sich gegen die Sünde im eigenen Inneren, nicht gegen die Sünde bei anderen Menschen. Nur so kann verhindert werden, dass auf dem Umweg über die Spiritualisierung die Sünde bei jemand anderem bekämpft und damit doch wieder ein psychischer oder gar physischer Gewaltakt gegen jemanden ausgeübt wird. Die Verinnerlichung der Gottesbeziehung ist ein tragendes Element dieser Exegese.

Marietheres Döhler/Alfons Fürst (Hg.), Origenes - Die Homilien zum Buch Josua (Origenes Werke mit deutscher Übersetzung Band 5), Berlin/Boston: Verlag Walter de Gruyter, 2020, 470 Seiten, gebunden, Leinen, 99,95€. ISBN: 978-3-11-044256-4




© AsV

Condemnation of Origen

Emperor Justinian and the Council of Constantinople 553

At the instigation of the byzantine emperor Justinian I., Origen of Alexandria (185–253/54) was condemned to be a heretic in the sphere of the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople 553. This denunciation had extensive consequences for the further reception of his works, his theology and the picture future generations would get of him. The articles of the present volume analyse the church-political, monastic and theological backgrounds of the debates about Origen and the works attributed to him on the basis of the sources available. These sources are edited at the appendix of this volume with detailed annotations and german translations (mostly for the first time) as a tool for the future research concerning this subject.

Alfons Fürst/Thomas R. Karmann (Hg.), Verurteilung des Origenes. Kaiser Justinian und das Konzil von Konstantinopel 553 (Adamantiana 15), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2020, 396 Seiten, 65,- €. ISBN 978-3-402-13739-0



© AsV

Freedom as a Key Category in Origen and in Modern Philosophy and Theology

Freedom is a key category of concepts of God and men in modern philosophy and theology. In German idealism of the 17th and 18th centuries as well in 20th-century theologies, different concepts of libertarianism between determinism and compatilism were presented. The first to forge a libertarian concept of freedom was Origen of Alexandria. The volume aims at discussing modern ideas of freedom against the backdrop of the paths of thinking which were opened up by Origen in late antiquity.

Alfons Fürst (Hg.), Freedom as a Key Category in Origen and in Modern Philosophy and Theology (Adamantiana 14), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2019, 295 Seiten, 49,- €. ISBN 978-3-402-13731-4


© AsV

Origen's Philosophy of Freedom in Early Modern Times

Debates about Free Will and Apokatastasis in 17th-Century England and Europe

The articles of this volume shed new light on the reception of Origen’s concepts of free will and universal salvation in 17th-century England and Europe. The Cambridge Platonists took up the Alexandrian’s libertarian concept of freedom and discussed his core ideas within the new philosophical developments of their own time. In continental Europe, the Dutch Arminians, Jean Le Clerc and the Pietist couple Johanna Eleonora and Johann Wilhelm Petersen dealt with questions related to Origenism.

Alfons Fürst (Hg.), Origen's Philosophy of Freedom in Early Modern Times. Debates about Free Will and Apokatastasis in 17th-Century England and Europe (Adamantiana 13), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2019, 304 Seiten, 54,- €. ISBN 978-3-402-13729-1


Adamantiana 12
© AsV

That Miracle of the Christian World

Origenism and Christian Platonism in Henry More

The present collection of essays is devoted to the Christian philosophy of the most prolific and most speculatively ambitious of the Cambridge Origenists, Henry More. Not only did More revere Origen, whom he extolled as a “holy sage” and “that miracle of the Christian world”, but he also developed a philosophical system which hinged upon the Origenian notions of universal divine goodness and libertarian human freedom. Throughout his life, More subscribed to the ancient theology of the pre-existence of souls and took issue with the early modern philosophies of Thomas Hobbes, René Descartes and Baruch de Spinoza. His vision of God’s goodness, experienced in his early school years at Eton, became the cornerstone of an Origenist rationalism which envisaged an extended world animated by divine thought and inhabited by self-moving rational agents. More’s philosophy is the crowning attainment of the early modern rediscovery of Origen as well as a neglected major rationalist system in its own right which went on to exert decisive influence upon all subsequent western metaphysics.
The essays collected in the first part provide a detailed introduction to More’s voluminous writings. After a comprehensive general overview of his metaphysical and ethical system, the essays expound More’s historical context and his philosophical development from his early poetry in the 1640s to his mature philosophical and theological prose works of the 50s, 60s and 70s. In addition, the reception of More and Origen in the later Cambridge Origenists and in Isaac Newton is outlined. The second part contains several excerpts from More’s influential Latin works first translated into English by the editor.

Christian Hengstermann (Hg.), That Miracle of the Christian World. Origenism and Christian Platonism in Henry More (Adamantiana 12), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2020, 352 Seiten, 56,- €. ISBN 978-3-402-13727-7



© VdG

Origen - The Homilies on Jeremiah

Origen's homilies on Jeremiah make up a very valuable part of his writings. Beside the homilies on 1 Sam 28, they are the only homilies handed down in Greek and therefore give an impression of the original sound of the preacher Origen. Furthermore, the book Jeremiah was not often interpreted in early Christianity, and the vigour and spirit of Origen's exegesis of the prophet were nowhere else reached. Origen identified his experiences as a preacher with the fate of the prophet Jeremiah, who was rejected by his recipients, and thus found a very personal approach to this biblical text. Moreover, the numerous antijudaic comments and exegeses in which Origen's critical attitude toward the Jews of his time becomes apparent, are noteworthy.
The volume provides a new German translation along with detailed explanations in the footnotes. The handed down fragments are included, too, even though their authenticity is not undubitable. The most important facts of the transmission and the content of the sermons are outlined in the introduction.

Origenes, Die Homilien zum Buch Jeremia. Eingeleitet und übersetzt von Alfons Fürst und Horacio E. Lona (Origenes Werke mit deutscher Übersetzung 11), Berlin/Boston 2018, 726 Seiten, gebunden, Leinen, 119,95€, ISBN 978-3-11-028605-2

Prof. Dr. Dr. Christoph Auffarth wrote a readable review on this OWD-volume. It can be read here.


© AsV

Adamantiana 11 - Origenes Cantabrigiensis

Ralph Cudworth, Sermon preached before the Honourable House of Commons and other writings

Ralph Cudworth's sermon preached before the Honourable House of Commons in 1674 is written in the spirit of Origen's philosophical thinking and contains a determined appeal for doctrinaire openness and religious tolerance. The articles of the present volume analyse this document of Cambridge Origenism which can be seen as pioneering within the context of the political and ecclesiastical confusions of the English Civil War. The volume offers beside the gently modernised text und the first german translation further letters and poems of the young Cudworth, and a sermon of 1664. These texts are vivid documents of his platonic-origenean "Philosphy of Religion" and of his irenic Christianity of interiority in practical ethos of universal love.
Alfons Fürst/Christian Hengstermann (Hg.), Origenes Cantabrigiensis. Ralph Cudworth, Predigt vor dem Unterhaus und anderen Schriften (Adamantiana 11), Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2018, 311 Seiten, gebunden, 54,- €. ISBN 978-3-402-13725-3

© Hiersemann































































Sound biography on Origen by Alfons Fürst

The early Christian theologian Origen of Alexandria (185-253/4) put as a Greek thinker with excellent erudition and yet as a convinced Christian his broad scholarship into the service of the exegesis of the bible. Fürst examines basic aspects of this brilliant thinker like his relaptionship with Gnosticism, Judaism, exegesis and philosophy, and points out his role as one of the founders of Christian philosophy. This systematic biography on Origen ends with a chapter about the reception history.
Alfons Fürst, Origenes. Grieche und Christ in römischer Zeit (STAC 9), Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann Verlag, 2017, 237 Seiten, Paperback, 44,-€.
ISBN 978-3-7772-1723-9