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Origen (c. 185—254) Christian scholar and theologian

St Methodius of Olympus (d. c. 311)

St Pamphilus (c. 240—310)

St Athanasius (c. 296—373) Greek theologian and upholder of Christian orthodoxy against Arianism

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The group of theories enunciated by, or attributed to, Origen. Among his earliest opponents was Methodius of Olympus, who rejected his teaching on the pre-existence of souls and his denial of the identity between the mortal and resurrection bodies. The 4th-cent. controversy was concerned mainly with the Trinitarian teaching of the De Principiis. Origen was further accused of teaching metempsychosis and of interpreting the Scriptures only allegorically. The initial attack by St Epiphanius was taken up by St Jerome. In 398 Rufinus issued his Latin translation of the De Principiis, which was designed to vindicate Origen's orthodoxy, but in 400 a Council at Alexandria condemned Origenism, and Pope Anastasius I and the Bps. of Palestine and Syria adhered to the condemnation.

The controversy flared up again in Palestine in the 6th cent. The opponents of Origenism secured the support of the Emp. Justinian, who issued an edict giving a list of Origenistic errors and their refutation. The Origenist monks at Jerusalem then split into two parties. The Second Council of Constantinople (553) finally condemned Origen's teaching.

Subjects: Christianity.

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