Origen was a theological and exegetical superhero for the early Christian movement. He was nicknamed “Adamantius,” the “Man of Steel,” by the first Christian church historian, Eusebius. Origen brought the best philosophical views of his time into conversation with scripture—the former being subordinate to the latter—and his goal was to improve the lives of his fellow Christians. After his death around 234 CE Origen eventually fell into disfavor among church authorities and was labeled a heretic during the sixth century. In spite of his deep commitment to the Bible, the Man of Steel sunk in the eyes of the church. In spite of his heretical status he maintained a lot of influence in the West, but his influence in the East was largely extinguished.
You can’t keep the Man of Steel down; he’s made a big comeback especially in the eyes of modern scholars who study early Christian interpretation of the Bible. One of the most exciting—though by no means uncontroversial—academic developments in church history during the past century has been the renaissance of interest in early Christian biblical scholarship in general. This renaissance is the focus of an upcoming lecture sponsored by the Maxwell Institute’s Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (CPART).
Why did modern scholars become so interested in early biblical scholarship? What are the current research trends? What does future research hold?
Peter Martens will address these questions in his lecture “The Bible in Early Christianity.” Martens specializes in the exegetical cultures that emerged around the Christian Bible in late antiquity. He is author of Origen and Scripture: The Contours of the Exegetical Life. ((Published in 2012 by Oxford University Press.)) We hope you can join us.
Lecture: “The Bible in Early Christianity”
Peter W. Martens
Friday, March 27, at 11:00 AM
Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University