Apocryphal Anthropology and the Philosophical Treatise of Origen «De Principiis»

  • Olena Syrtsova
Keywords: Origen, «De principiis», Apocalypses, Assumption of Theotokos, apocryphal anthropology

Abstract

The article explores the particular character of the early Christian anthropology, reflected in the apocryphal Apocalypses, as well as in the Greek version of Dormition of Theotokos ( G 1) in comparison with the anthropological conception elaborated in the philosophical treatise of Origen «De Principiis», where psyche is represented as a state of nous, fallen away from God, and respectively nous is seen as psyche, that have returned to God. In the Greek version (Vat. gr. 1982) of Dormition, date of which is under discussion now in the diapason from II c. to V — VI c., one could find the image of the lamp with three lights, symbolizing a man with his three constitutive parts: body, mind and spirit (τÕ σîμα, Ð νοàς καˆ τÕ πνεàμα). A. Wenger, who published this text, has proposed the following translation in French: «le corps, l`âme et l`esprit», (i. e. «body, soul and spirit»). In remark he noted: «Instead of ψυχ» «soul» Greek text gives νοàς «mind». It seems to be the error». But the context shows, that the apocryphal formula, containing νοàς instead of ψυχ», does not contradict to the main idea, proclaimed by the apostle, speaking about the immaterial celestial fire near Mary the Theotokos. Origen (De Princ. 2. VIII. 3) represents clear conceptual explanation, why the mention of the soul would be inappropriate, when it is a question of immaterial fire. That’s why the appearance of the particular anthropological formula in the apocryphal Assumption looks like more probable in the context of the doctrinal variety of the Christian thought of III c., then in more definite context of the IV century, when formula «body, soul and spirit» could be regarded as more acceptable, than «very origenian» one: «body, mind and spirit», not to say about still more distant theological context of V — VI c.

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Published
2017-05-08
How to Cite
Syrtsova, O. (2017). Apocryphal Anthropology and the Philosophical Treatise of Origen «De Principiis». Filosofska Dumka, (3), 111-119. Retrieved from https://dumka.philosophy.ua/index.php/fd/article/view/115