Origen and the Life of the Stars
A History of an Idea
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 206
Width: 13.6 cm
Height: 21.4 cm
It was widely assumed by intellectuals from antiquity to the Middle Ages that the beauty and regularity of the heavens was a sign of their superior life. Through this belief the stars gained an important position in Greek religion, and speculations on their nature figured prominently in discussions of human psychology and eschatology. In the third century AD the influential Christian theologian Origen included Hellenistic theories on the life and nature of the stars in his cosmology. This marked an interesting episode in the history of the idea, but it also had important implications for early Christian theology. Although he was condemned as heretical for these (and other) speculations, he was successful in incorporating traditional philosophical theories about the stars into a biblical theology.
`a welcome addition to a meagre literature on the relationship between theology and science in the early centuries of the Christian era ... This is a very good study ... It is clearly and elegantly written and presented' Metascience 'Scott provides us a distinctive perspective on Christian attitudes to the natural world and awareness of the natural sciences. Scott shows a solid grasp of classical and Patristic sources and secondary literature.' Joseph W. Trigg, Journal of Early Christian Studies, 1:2, June 1993 'a most useful piece of work ... Scott's exposition of Origen's doctrine is generally ezxcellent. He has also much that is useful to say on Origen's views on the resurrection body.' John Dillon, Trinity College, Dublin 'This is a very good study ... It is clearly and elegantly written and presented.' Barry Brundell, Metascience, Issue 3, '93