Divine Descent: Rhetoric, Linguistics and Philosophical Theology in Origen, Contra Celsum 4.1-22

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Abstract

    In Contra Celsum (‘Against Celsus’), probably written in 248, Origen defends his Christian belief against ‘accusations’ of the Platonic philosopher Celsus. This thesis comments on Contra Celsum 4.1-22, where Origen replies to Celsus’ criticism of the Jewish-Christian concept of a ‘divine descent’. According to Celsus it is shameful to assert that ‘some god or son of god’ will come down, or has come down, to the earth in order to correct the situation up here. Origen defends this concept as essential for his belief. Speaking about this descent he refers to Christ’s coming in the world, but more generally also to God’s governance of the world and to the way God and the Logos come down to the level of human souls in order to illuminate them.
    In 'Divine Descent' the Greek text of this passage is discussed from three perspectives: linguistics, rhetoric and philosophical theology. In the linguistic-rhetorical commentary the focus is on the communication between author and audience, the structure of the discourse and the persuasive strategies used by Celsus and Origen. The second part deals with the conceptions of God and his relation to the world, which form the backdrop to the discussions. The theological conceptions of Celsus and Origen are presented in relation to thoughts of other philosophers in the Greco-Roman age. The final chapter examines how the whole of these ideas can contribute to the interpretation of Contra Celsum 4.1-22.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Wakker, Gerry, Supervisor
    • van Kooten, George, Supervisor
    Award date10-Sep-2020
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-2751-5
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-2752-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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