Origen — Cosmology and Ontology of Time


Origen's Cosmology and Ontology of Time constitute a major catalyst and a massive transformation in the development of Christian doctrine. The author challenges the widespread impression about this theology being bowled head over heels by its encounter with Platonism, Gnosticism, or Neoplatonism, and casts new light on Origen's grasp of the relation between Hellenism, Hebrew thought and Christianity. Against all ancient and modern accounts, the ingrained claim that Origen sustained the theory of a beginningless world is disconfirmed. He is argued to be the anticipator and forerunner of critical notions, with his innovations never having been superseded. While some of the accounts afforded by subsequent Christian writers were more extended, they were not fuller. Of them, Augustine just fell short of even accurately echoing this Theory of Time, since he introduced affinity with Platonism at points where Origen had instituted a radical dissimilarity. With his background fruitfully brought into the study of these questions, Origen's propositions are genuine innovations, not mere advances, however massive.

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Panayiotis Tzamalikos is Professor of Philosophy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He studied at this University (MSc, MPhil) and at the University of Glasgow, Scotland (Ph.D., in the Faculty of Divinity). He is the author of seven books, and several articles among which, Origen: The Source of Augustine’s Theory of Time, Origen and the Stoic View of Time, Creation ex nihilo in Origen, and The Autonomy of the Stoic View of Time.
"Professor Panayotis Tzamalikos has become a recognised authority on Origen’s understanding of Time. This erudite and closely argued new study sheds further light on a pivotal theme in Origen’s thought, uncovering generalised misapprehensions about ‘Platonism’ and ‘Greek views’ of complex issues. A fine achievement." – George Newlands, Professor of Divinity, University of Glasgow
"The aim of this erudite book is to rescue Origen from the ‘tragic’ misunderstandings which arise sometimes from too credulous a use of Latin renderings from lost archetypes, and sometimes from the obtrusion of other men’s libels into printed editions of the De principiis. [...] All students of antiquity will derive profit from the masterly review of ancient theories of time in the second half of the volume." – M.J. Edwards, in: Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 2007
"This is a very exciting book; Tzamalikos has admirably succeeded in providing the definitive exposition of Origen's cosmology and ontology of time, and has done so with confident enthusiasm. It will appeal to many readers, not simply students of Origen. ..those who have read this book will certainly eagerly anticipate its successors." – Shawn W.J. Keough, in: Toronto Journal of Theology, 2007
All those interested in Early Christianity and the history of religion, the origins and evolution of Christian doctrine, Ancient and Modern theories in Philosophy of Time, Classical Philosophy and its relation to the formation of Christian Dogma, relation between Hellenism, Hebrew thought and Christianity, relation between Gnosticism and Christianity.
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