The sacramental word: Origen's Eucharistic exegesis

Richard Gerard Smith, Fordham University


This dissertation is proposes that, for Origen of Alexandria, an encounter with Sacred Scripture is not merely pedagogical, but sacramental and ultimately Eucharistic in a twofold sense: (1) the eternal Logos is present in Sacred Scripture and consumed by the Christian reader / hearer of Scripture; and (2) the "consumed" Scriptural word as such has a transformative effect on the Christian who encounters the Word of God with faith; such effect is commensurate with the word itself (i.e., an encounter in faith with the Sacred Scripture brings about the reality the words signify). Origen's sacramental / Eucharistic approach to Scripture shapes the whole of his exegetical practice. Origen offers modern Scriptural exegetes a sacramental approach to the reading of Sacred Scripture. The study proceeds in five stages: chapter 1 presents an analysis of the twentieth century rehabilitation of Origen's exegesis and method, beginning with de Lubac, and situates the present work in the context of recent Origen scholarship. Chapter 2 presents relevant Christological considerations from Origen's speculative theology and later homilies. Chapters 3 and 4 present Origen's understanding of the sacramental character of Sacred Scripture as evidenced in his homilies. The final chapter suggests the practical import of Origen's approach to Scripture both within the context of his larger theological thought and contemporary biblical exegesis.

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Recommended Citation

Smith, Richard Gerard, "The sacramental word: Origen's Eucharistic exegesis" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3563413.