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Angelic humans, glorious flesh : Jerome's reception of Origen's teachings on the resurrection body

Pålsson, Katarina LU (2019) In Zeitschrift fur Antikes Christentum 23(1). p.53-81
Abstract

One of the most important theological questions in the first Origenist controversy was that of the resurrection of the dead. Jerome accused both Origen and contemporary “Origenists” of speaking only of the resurrection of the body, and not of the flesh, and he claimed that an idea of resurrection without the flesh could not guarantee the identity between the body living on earth and the resurrected body. I argue that although Jerome attempted to maximize the difference between himself and Origen by speaking of flesh instead of body, and by emphasizing the sameness of the body, it is clear that he, too, thought that the resurrection would imply a profound change. At closer scrutiny, Jerome's way of understanding this change, namely as... (More)

One of the most important theological questions in the first Origenist controversy was that of the resurrection of the dead. Jerome accused both Origen and contemporary “Origenists” of speaking only of the resurrection of the body, and not of the flesh, and he claimed that an idea of resurrection without the flesh could not guarantee the identity between the body living on earth and the resurrected body. I argue that although Jerome attempted to maximize the difference between himself and Origen by speaking of flesh instead of body, and by emphasizing the sameness of the body, it is clear that he, too, thought that the resurrection would imply a profound change. At closer scrutiny, Jerome's way of understanding this change, namely as the nature remaining the same while the glory increases, shows striking similarities to Origen's explanation of change. I argue that Jerome was dependent on Origen's ideas about the resurrection, even in his polemics against him. Jerome's heresiological strategies, I argue, have had consequences for modern historical reconstructions of his eschatological thought, which is often presented in opposition to Origen's more spiritual understanding. Awareness of the rhetorical strategies used by Jerome in the context of controversy is crucial, I claim, in assessing a continuing reception of Origen in his theology.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Angelic life, Body, Heresiology, Hierarchy, Jerome, Origen, Resurrection, Sexual difference
in
Zeitschrift fur Antikes Christentum
volume
23
issue
1
pages
29 pages
publisher
De Gruyter
external identifiers
  • scopus:85064461773
ISSN
0949-9571
DOI
10.1515/zac-2019-0004
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e104969a-47fc-42f8-84a4-1ba8076b8e2c
date added to LUP
2019-05-03 12:54:59
date last changed
2019-05-21 04:21:57
@article{e104969a-47fc-42f8-84a4-1ba8076b8e2c,
  abstract     = {<p>One of the most important theological questions in the first Origenist controversy was that of the resurrection of the dead. Jerome accused both Origen and contemporary “Origenists” of speaking only of the resurrection of the body, and not of the flesh, and he claimed that an idea of resurrection without the flesh could not guarantee the identity between the body living on earth and the resurrected body. I argue that although Jerome attempted to maximize the difference between himself and Origen by speaking of flesh instead of body, and by emphasizing the sameness of the body, it is clear that he, too, thought that the resurrection would imply a profound change. At closer scrutiny, Jerome's way of understanding this change, namely as the nature remaining the same while the glory increases, shows striking similarities to Origen's explanation of change. I argue that Jerome was dependent on Origen's ideas about the resurrection, even in his polemics against him. Jerome's heresiological strategies, I argue, have had consequences for modern historical reconstructions of his eschatological thought, which is often presented in opposition to Origen's more spiritual understanding. Awareness of the rhetorical strategies used by Jerome in the context of controversy is crucial, I claim, in assessing a continuing reception of Origen in his theology.</p>},
  author       = {Pålsson, Katarina},
  issn         = {0949-9571},
  keyword      = {Angelic life,Body,Heresiology,Hierarchy,Jerome,Origen,Resurrection,Sexual difference},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {53--81},
  publisher    = {De Gruyter},
  series       = {Zeitschrift fur Antikes Christentum},
  title        = {Angelic humans, glorious flesh : Jerome's reception of Origen's teachings on the resurrection body},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/zac-2019-0004},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2019},
}