The Concept of Time in Origen

Tzamalikos, Panayiotis (1985) The Concept of Time in Origen. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The logical course of this work stands in a kind of correspondence with the very way in which Origen regards the reality of time, its origin and its perspectives. Thus the procedure in treating the problem is: reality before time; time proper; fundamental principles which determine the conception of time proper; certain aspects of function in time, which establish a certain character of it; the conception of eternal; the end of time and the visualization of the eschatological reality. In chapter 1 we argue that Origen holds a notion of God Himself quite distinct from the conception of God as Creator. We argue that there is an ontological priority of the former notion not only to the latter, but also to any conception of God (such as Judge, Provident, etc.). Having seen the extent of timelessness and time (and rebutted any notion of "sacred time"), we then examine time proper in chapter 2. In the first section we expound all those elements which constitute the essence of time proper. Further, we examine fundamental conceptions which are closely related to time proper, namely prolongation of time and causality. Having seen Origen's view of time proper as well as fundamental principles which determine the conception of it, we go ahead with the enquiry of certain functions in time, which establish a certain character of it. This is the subject discussed in chapter 3. The conceptions of prolongation of time and causality raise the question of the existence of human being throughout an aeon. We enquire in the event of Incarnation of Christ and its significance in Origen's thought; that is, we examine how decisive this event is deemed in forming a theology of history, by "history" meaning the origin and ultimate perspectives of the entire world -and not only of human beings. As the question of the divine reality was treated right from the beginning of this work, namely in chapter 1, what we examine in chapter 4 is Origen's conception of the realities denoted by the expressions "eternal life" and "eternal death". We argue that unless this distinction of different realities, predicated by one and the same word (namely eternal), is made, then Origen's views are bound to be misunderstood. The very teleological character of time is determined by the fact that the world is directed towards an end. The actual meaning of this end is enquired in chapter 5. We discuss how Origen comprehends the reality ir. the end of time as well as the reality ensuing, so to speak, this end. What is the final destination of what came into being out of non-being out of God's benevolent decision? How will the end be reached and why will time reach an end, in the sense of termination? We discuss these problems into that section, in an enquiry from which the raison d' etre of time arises; and the final eschatological reality is portrayed to the extent that it is possible. We assert that what Origen regards as having come into being out of non-being will not pass away. We consider certain views about various kinds of eschatology and make some remarks (though not a full assessment) about the simplistic criteria established in order to classify and discern what is "Greek" and what is "Hebrew". We argue that Origen's eschatology is beyond such criteria, as his eschatology contains both rectification of the world and consummation of nature. We finally argue that Origen's conception of time is profoundly determined by a fact which does not exist either in Greek or Hebraic thought, namely the historical fact of the incarnation of Christ and its crucial eschatological implications. And we conclude that the constant eschatological orientation of Origen's thought is vividly present in his conception of time, too. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Divinity, Philosophy of Religion
Date of Award: 1985
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1985-76635
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 14:00
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:00
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76635

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