Philanthropia, God’s Love for Mankind in Origen


in Eros Unveiled

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780198267669
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683336 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Philanthropia, God’s Love for Mankind in Origen

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This chapter turns to a third route of enquiry and asks whether it is really correct to say that Origen has very little to say about love that is directed from God towards humankind. It argues that there is far more material on God's love for humanity than we might suppose and that error arises from looking for the term agape, since Origen rarely uses that term. Indeed, Origen does not use the term Eros very much. The chapter examines the occasions on which God is said to show philanthropia, since these reveal that there are certain consistent features that characterize God's love in Origen. It also claims that while there is some background in Platonic and Stoic thought for ascribing philanthropia to God, among others, Origen does something markedly different from his philosophical predecessors.

Keywords: Origen; love; God; humankind; agape; Eros; philanthropia

Chapter.  8226 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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