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History and Spirit: The Understanding of Scripture According to Origen [Paperback]

By Henri De Lubac, Anne Englund Nash (Translator) & Juvenal Merriell (Translator)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   507
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.32"
Weight:   1.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2007
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  089870880X  
EAN  9780898708806  


Availability  2 units.
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Item Description...
Overview
Origen (185-ca. 254), one of the most prolific and influential of the early Church Fathers, is best known to us for his Scripture exegesis. Henri de Lubac's History and Spirit is a landmark study of Origen's understanding of Scripture and his exegetical methods. In exploring Origen's efforts to interpret the four different senses of Scripture, de Lubac leads the reader through an immense and varied work to its center: Christ the Word. As Hans Urs von Balthasar said in discussing this seminal work: "The theory of the senses of Scripture is not a curiosity of the history of theology but an instrument for seeking out the most profound articulations of salvation history..." (From the book The Theology of Henri de Lubac.) What the reader finds on this journey is not only, then, a fascinating view of the mind and spirit of an important Father of the Church, but an essential key to a more profound understanding of the way in which Christ speaks to us through Scripture.

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More About Henri De Lubac, Anne Englund Nash & Juvenal Merriell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! His Eminence Henri Cardinal de Lubac, SJ (1896-1991), a French Jesuit, is considered to be one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. He is the author of a number of books, including Catholicism and Theology in History.

Henri de Lubac was born in 1896 and died in 1991.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
De Lubac acquits Origen of his alleged 'allegorical violence' to the Bible  Sep 3, 2007

"The central feature of Origen's spirituality is an absolute and passionate love for the Logos, which has taken on personal lineaments for us in Jesus Christ, suffusing the total cosmos of men and angels. It is precisely the Johannine Logos, which as the incarnate, becomes light, life, truth, and resurrection to all creatures. Origen finds him everywhere, and the entire Old Testament speaks of him only (Job 5, 46f)" Hans Urs von Balthassar




Origen's Conception of Scripture:
Origen's understanding of Scripture, was as means of God's salvific work by returning people to contemplation. Origen's theology and exegesis, in his own view, are not at all separated. Origen is quite indistinct in his delineation of the soulful meaning relative to the literal and the spiritual except to affirm that it is intermediately edifying. Maurice Wiles' gloss of these layers of meaning in "Origen as Biblical Scholar," as literal, moral and spiritual, Origen's employment of these three levels of meaning in exegetical practice may be more apparent. Nevertheless, both in his practice as well as in his subsequent theory, Origen seems to undermine any independent rendering of the soulful meaning as distinct from the spiritual. In any case, the spiritual meaning of the text is of foremost importance for Origen; he does not neglect to detail his method for its determination. In practice, however, Origen does not limit himself in delving for the spiritual meaning of a text to those passages which seem to him to be literally unlikely. Rather, even those passages 'not only possible but true' are subject to such investigation. "For with regard to divine Scripture as a whole we are of the opinion that all of it has a spiritual sense" (Homilies on Genesis 1.14).

Allegory in Origen's Exegesis:
The word allegory is instantly associated with Origenian exegesis, which is certainly not wrong, but is necessary to have a good understanding of its meaning. It is a historically developed exegesical method with a variety of meanings. Being more precise about its characteristics designated in Origen's case, the idea many think eludes any orderly discussion, goes earlier to Philo of Alexandria. Philo used allegory to harmonize Greek philosophy and Judaism. His method followed the practices of both Jewish exegesis and Stoic philosophy. His work was not widely accepted by Jews of his time but was later enthusiastically received by the early Christian catechists. When pro-Antiochian literal scholars speak of an 'excess of symbolism' or 'exaggerated allegory', it is merely an allegation of a 'lack of sobriety' due to an extreme utilizatuion of symbolic typos. "On the other hand, is it a question of some corrosive principle that sound exegesis is obliged to reject? It has been my desire to try to clear up a question that has become so obscure by, first of all, forcing, so to speak, the accepted judgments to be more explicit. I have sought, not to 'defend' Origen, but simply to know what in fact he thought and said." Henri De Lubac, Introduction

Origen's Theological Exegesis:
The work of both Peter Brown, and Rowan Williams shows the degree to which Origen has integrated his platonic and scriptural heritages, such that we no longer need to pit the one against the other. They both help us to see that Origen's particular combination of askesis, cosmology, and mystical progress all combine to explain his theology and exegesis of Scripture. Jason Byassee when comparing the exegesis of the Song of Songs done by Origen of Alexandria and Ellen Davis of Duke Divinity School, wrote, "We are reminded here of several important animating principles to Origen's theology and practice of exegesis. First, Scripture is a kind of vast script for a drama, a play written down so that we may enter into it. The point of the play is to teach everyone "how to hear love's language in purity and with chaste ears."
"A true Christian theologian is the one who is able to be silent until the Holy Spirit touches the strings of his soul. And it is only when the human word falls silent and the word of the Spirit emerges from his soul, that true theology is born. From this moment `a lover of words' is transformed into `a lover of wisdom', a rhetorician into a theologian." Bishop H. Alfeyev

Origen's Historical Event:
"Origen was not the mad 'allegorist' he is so often thought to be! The error is so deep-rooted, it has so many authorities for it, it concurs, ... with so many of our prejudices, that even today we find good historians reviving it without a closer look. Even those who every now and then rise to combat it make concession to it again in spite of themselves." H. De Lubac
René Cadiou himself, in the course of an excellent essay, "La Jeunesse d'Origene," writes on Origenian symbolism, "The Alexandrians easily sacrificed history in their desire to impose symbolism, even though Christian revelation is, in the first place, a historical event." Nevertheless, as paradoxical as this might appear to a modern mind, was not one of the motives for this symbolism, in the Christian thinking of the first centuries, precisely to assure history a meaning that pagan antiquity had denied it? And did not Origen, perhaps better than any other, comment on this verse from the Letter to the Hebrews that, in its uniqueness, so well confirms the value of the 'historical event' in which we believe: [Christ] has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself?

Origenes Adamantius Alexandrinus:
Origen (185-ca. 254), one of the most prolific and influential of the early Church Fathers, is the most distinguished of all the theologians of the ancient church, admired for his amazing Scripture exegesis. Of all the Church fathers, none has been more misunderstood than Origen. As the founding theologian, he is admired and attacked for composing his treatise On First Principles, the seminal work of Christian Neoplatonism. Origen lived through a turbulent period of the Christian Church, when persecution was wide-spread and little or no doctrinal consensus existed among the various regional churches. Origen was an astute critic of pagan philosophy of his time, but he mastered it, adapting its most edifying issues to an elucidation of the Christian faith. Origen was the first philosophical master in the refutation of Gnosticism, who offered an alternative Christian system, more philosophically rigorous than the mythological speculations of the Gnostic sects. Although Origen did go on to compose numerous biblical commentaries and sermons, his importance for the history of Christian philosophy rests on two works, "On First Principles," and "Against Celsus," his response to the pagan philosopher Celsus' attack on Christianity.

De Lubac's Seminal Study:
Henri de Lubac's History and Spirit is a landmark study of Origen's understanding of Scripture and his exegetical methods. In exploring Origen's efforts to interpret the four different senses of Scripture, de Lubac leads the reader through an immense and varied work to its center: Christ the Word. De Lubac's fascinating view of the mind and spirit of Origen, the greatest teacher within the Fathers of the Church, guides the reader on this journey to a more profound understanding of the way in which Christ speaks to us through Scripture. "The theory of the senses of Scripture is not a curiosity of the history of theology but an instrument for seeking out the most profound articulations of salvation history..." Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Theology of Henri de Lubac.
"The great French Jesuit Henri de Lubac acquits Origen of the superficial charges against him for his alleged 'allegorical violence' to the Bible. This book is a monument in revisionist scholarship, one that will liberate Origen for our time. It will also nourish the believer's reading of the Bible as God's word, not just man's." Fr. Edward Oakes, SJ

Henri Cardinal De Lubac
Henri De Lubac, S.J., was one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century Together with other towering theologians, his students and friends, Cardinals Danielou and Hans Von Balthasar, (La Nouvelle Theologie) were influential in changing the face of Roman Catholicism during Vatican II.
The writings of Henri De Lubac stand out as crucial theological works of twentieth century. Among his works are; Catholicism: Christ & The Common Destiny Of Man, The Splendor Of The Church, The Christian Faith, and Motherhood Of The Church.

* Presented to Origen's Advocate, my learned friend Dr. John Uebersax

The Theology of Henri De Lubac: An Overview (Communio Books)
The Soul and Spirit of Scripture within Origen's Exegesis (Bible in Ancient Christianity) (Bible in Ancient Christianity)
 

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