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The Westminster Handbook to Origen (Westminster Handbooks) [Paperback]

By John Anthony McGuckin (Editor)
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Item description for The Westminster Handbook to Origen (Westminster Handbooks) by John Anthony McGuckin...

The Westminster Handbooks to Christian Theology series provides a set of resources for the study of historic and contemporary theological movements and Christian theologians. These books are intended to assist scholars and students and students find concise and accurate treatments of important theological terms. The entries for the handbooks are arranged in alphabetical format to provide easy access to each term. The works are written by scholars with special expertise in these fields.

Publishers Description

This book provides ready access into and sure guidance through the marvelous, often convoluted, invariably rich world of Origen: the man, the ecclesiastical dynamics of his day, his extant works, the range of his theological explorations, his influence, and the controversies associated with him in life and in death. Included are recommendations for use and clear presentation of topics which enable the reader, whether novice or specialist, to engage Origen in ways that address the reader's interest.

The Westminster Handbook to Christian Theology series provides a set of resources for the study of historic and contemporary theological movements and Christian theologians. These books are intended to help students and scholars find concise and accurate treatments of important theological terms.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.82 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2004
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
Series  Westminster Handbooks to Christian Theology  
ISBN  0664224725  
ISBN13  9780664224721  

Availability  68 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 03:34.
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More About John Anthony McGuckin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Anthony McGuckin is a Professor of Early Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a priest of the Orthodox Church. Born in Newcastle, England, he is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of nine books, including "Standing in God's Holy Fire: The Byzantine Tradition " and "At the Lighting of the Lamps: Hymns of the Ancient Church. "

John Anthony McGuckin has an academic affiliation as follows - Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University Union Theological S.

John Anthony McGuckin has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Westminster Handbooks to Christian Theology

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > General Interest > General Topic > Reference

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Westminster Handbook to Origen (Westminster Handbooks)?

Very handy handbook  Feb 12, 2004
This series, the Westminster Handbooks to Christian Theology, provides a good resource for students, clergy, academics and other interested readings on key movements as well as key individuals in the history of Christianity. These books are mini-encyclopedic in nature - much more than a dictionary with short definitions, these focused books concentrate on a particular theme and develop it in worthwhile articles akin to those found in encyclopedic texts.

This book on Origen, edited by John Anthony McGuckin, is an excellent text for reference and study. Together with an international team of 35 scholars, McGukin has produced a very readable and useful volume for one of the early controversial figures in Christian history. Origen lived in the second and third centuries, well before the formulation of the Nicene Creed (the most common and most ecumenical of the creedal statements from the early church). He was noted in his own lifetime as brilliant and occasionally troublesome. He grew up in Alexandria, one of the major urban and intellectual centres of the world at that time, and developed both in terms of theology and philosophy into a first-class thinker. Origen traveled widely, becoming increasingly alienated from the Alexandrian church, forcing him to relocated to nearby Palestine, where he remained a controversial and embattled figure. Eventually imprisoned and tortured, Origen's thought, while crucial to the early church, remained unorthodox and problematic for the church of that time and the future. As a result, during various times in the church's history, his works were purged. Much was lost.

Origen was a neo-Platonic thinker, and perhaps the first great systematic theologian of the church. Origen took on the Gnostic frameworks when they were powerful, resisting the dualistic structure; Origen was also very humanistic, believing in some ways toward universal salvation as a possibility, even for the devil himself. Origen is also the father of the allegorical interpretation of scripture in the Christian church. Origen's unorthodox thinking (which is difficult to describe as such, given the lack of consistent orthodoxy throughout the church at the period of Origen's life) was seed for later Origenist Crises, which are covered in the Westminster Handbook, in addition to troubles in his own life. Origen seemed to believe in the possibility of reincarnation and the pre-existence of souls (neither of which fit with the mainstream Christian theologies, then or now). There is an extent to which we don't know all of the causes of the official disapproval of Origen - that he was a controversial figure in many respects is evident from his self-castration to avoid temptations of the flesh (he was disappointed to find that the desires were still there, after the act).

The two articles, one on the life and one on the work of Origen, at the opening of the book are interesting and worthwhile scholarship, particularly for the person new to Origen, Church Fathers, or Orthodox history. There is a good list of critical editions of Origen's works (with annotation), then general lists of works in translations and anthologies. The handbook articles refer directly to Origen's work (referenced via abbreviations found in the front of the book). Articles look primarily at his theological, philosophical and exegetical work, but there are some more general pieces as well.

Overall, this is a good reference and a handy volume for any student or reader interested in early church history or Orthodoxy.


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