(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

302 The Egyptian Contribution to Christianity
veneration for his work Basil and Gregory Nazianzus compiled
an anthology from his writings—Philocalia—which has come
down to us. This excellent compilation includes extensive and
precious fragments from the Greek original of Origen's great
work on Christian religious philosophy, 7repl apx&v, a book
which survives as a whole only in the faulty Latin paraphrase
of Rufinus. It is no doubt significant that Basil and Gregory
selected extracts from the third and fourth books only, dealing
with the relatively uncontroversial subjects of free-will and the
method of Scriptural interpretation, while the first two books,
wrhich contain the more daring of Origen's speculations on the
Godhead, the world, and the origin and destiny of man, were
not represented. It was not only in the East that Origen's
influence endured; in the West, too, through the writings of
Hilary of Poitiers, of Ambrose, and of Jerome, Origen's exegetical
labours remained current.
The tradition of Christian Platonism had already struck roots
in Alexandria before Origen appeared upon the scene, and the
earlier phase is represented for us in the writings of Clement,
Origen's predecessor and teacher. Clement, who was probably
himself a native of Athens, had been converted to Christianity
in mature life and brought with him a wide, if somewhat de-
sultory, acquaintance with the achievements of Greek literature
and Greek philosophy. He had wandered in quest of wisdom
through Greece, southern Italy, and the East, but it was an
Alexandrine Christian, Pantaenus, who brought to him the
religious and the intellectual satisfaction for which he craved.
Pantaenus is known to us only through the writings of others,
especially of Clement. He is reported to have been a Stoic in
philosophy and he is said to have journeyed as far as India as a
missionary of the Christian faith. To us he is chiefly of impor-
tance as Clement's forerunner at Alexandria and Clement's
father in the Faith. In the writings of Clement we gain for the
first time a direct reflection of the life of the Christian Church