Ilaria L.E. Ramelli (this is the best webpage I could find), professor at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, recently published a very interesting article arguing that Origen was, contrary to some books (i.e., Hanson’s The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God, but I found many others to take the same line), very clear in his understanding of hypostasis as individual existence differentiated from ousia as being in general. Indeed, Ramelli even provocatively proposes that Origen had an indirect influence on Plotinus heritage through Porphyry who used hypostasis in Origen’s sense when he compiled the Enneads. If you have access to an online database, or subscribe to the Harvard Theological Review, go check it out. Below I list the bibliographic information of this article (the first one listed) along with some other articles by Ramelli on Origen that I found interesting (or look forward to reading). It’s just the type of scholarship I’m interested in: the early Christian adoption and adaptation of Greek Philosophy in the formulation of Christian doctrine.

  • Ramelli, Ilaria L. E. 2012. Origen, Greek Philosophy, and the Birth of the Trinitarian Meaning of Hypostasis. Harvard Theological Review 105 (3): 302-50.
  • Ramelli, Ilaria L. E. 2009. Origen, Bardaisan, and the Origin of Universal Salvation. Harvard Theological Review 102 (2): 135-168.
  • Ramelli, Ilaria L. E. 2009. Origen, Patristic Philosophy, and Christian Platonism: Re-Thinking the Christianisation of Hellenism. Vigiliae Christianae 63 (3): 217-263.
  • Ramelli, Ilaria L. E. 2007. Christian Soteriology and Christian Platonism: Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Biblical and Philosophical Basis of the Doctrine of Apokatastasis. Vigiliae Christianae 61 (3): 313-356.
  • Ramelli, Ilaria. 2011. The Philosophical Stance of Allegory in Stoicism and Its Reception in Platonism, Pagan and Christian: Origen in Dialogue with the Stoics and Plato. International Journal of the Classical Tradition 18 (3): 335-71.

2 thoughts on “Origen Redux

  1. Thank you for your post. Do you know if he deals with anything about Philo and his bad influence on the early Christian church.

    1. Chuck: Good question (although, “bad influence” assumes too much before we’ve even dealt with the evidence, so I’ll stick with just talking about influence in general). I did a quick search of her articles and didn’t see anything that specifically dealt with the influence of Philo, though he comes up for comparative reasons when she deals with issues of allegory or, for instance, the development of the meaning of the term hypostasis. Did you have something specific in mind when you think of Philo’s influence on early Christian thinkers?

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