Elizabeth Ann Dively Lauro discusses the theologian Origen’s employment of three distinct senses of scriptural meaning within his exegetical theory and practice: somatic (bodily, factually historical), psychic (pertaining to the soul, a figurative call to shun vice and grow in virtue), and pneumatic (spiritual, revealing God’s plan of salvation through Christ’s Incarnation). Lauro first establishes that a correct understanding of the mechanics of Origen’s exegesis is vital to an informed reading of his works, then cites Origen’s theoretical foundations for each sense. She ultimately demonstrates how the relationship between the two “higher senses” (psychic and pneumatic) is central to Origen’s exegetical efforts and facilitates his audience’s spiritual transformation.
Elizabeth Ann Dively Lauro, Ph.D. (2002) in Theology, University of Notre Dame, is currently a Research Scholar living in Los Angeles. She has published various articles on Origen's exegetical method and eschatological theology.
"the book is valuable for highlighting the significance of the moral dimension of meaning that Origen finds in the text and explicating the rationality behind Origen’s exegesis. I highly recommend this book for seminary and graduate classes on patristic exegesis or theology." – Mark Reasoner, in: Early Christianity, 3/3 (2012)
All those interested in historical theology, church history, the history of biblical exegesis and Christian homiletics, and the interplay between theology and Scriptural interpretation.