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Elizabeth Dively Lauro

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.