Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, - download pdf or read online

By Anthony Grafton

whilst early Christians started to research the Bible, and to write down their very own historical past and that of the Jews whom they claimed to supersede, they used scholarly equipment invented via the librarians and literary critics of Hellenistic Alexandria. yet Origen and Eusebius, students of overdue Roman Caesarea, did way more. either produced new different types of books, during which parallel columns made attainable serious comparisons formerly unenvisioned, even if among biblical texts or among nationwide histories. Eusebius went even farther, developing new study instruments, new different types of background and polemic, and a brand new type of library to aid either study and ebook creation.

Christianity and the Transformation of the publication combines broad-gauged synthesis and shut textual research to reconstruct the types of books and the methods of organizing scholarly inquiry and collaboration one of the Christians of Caesarea, at the coast of Roman Palestine. The booklet explores the dialectical courting among highbrow historical past and the background of the e-book, whilst it expands our knowing of early Christian scholarship. Christianity and the Transformation of the booklet attends to the social, spiritual, highbrow, and institutional contexts during which Origen and Eusebius labored, in addition to the main points in their scholarly practices--practices that, the authors argue, persevered to outline significant sectors of Christian studying for nearly millennia and are, in lots of methods, nonetheless with us at the present time.


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Additional info for Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of Caesarea

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Caesarea boasted erudite rabbis. Some of them had to make difficult accommodations with the Jewish population, many of whom prayed not in Hebrew but in Greek; yet a number of rabbis were able to attract circles of students. At the same time, Caesarea was a center of Christian learning and scribal culture. Jews and Christians regularly 19 in t rod u ct ion met, and both regularly encountered pagans, some of them learned. Members of different communities tried to convert one another, and sometimes succeeded.

The Hexapla was perhaps the first book—as opposed to official documents—ever to display information in tabular form: in columns intended to be read across rather than down the page. Modern scholarship on Origen tends to emphasize his spirituality, his philosophical—or rather, theological—insight, and the originality of his thought. But he was no impractical religious genius, receiving inspiration from on high. Rather, he was a meticulous, energetic scholar who drew heavily on long-standing traditions for the study of authoritative texts.

7 Philosophical learning, Origen implies, is precious, but foreign and therefore dangerous. It must be purified of the taint of its pagan context, and refashioned after a Christian model, in order to serve Christian purposes. Porphyry agreed that Christianity could not be reconciled with philosophy. ”8 Both Origen and his critic portray the distinction between Christianity and philosophy in ethnic terms. 9 The emphasis, intriguingly, is not on content, but on origins. As we shall see in the next chapter, one of the most important differences between Origen’s practice as a scholar and that of contemporary philosophers was precisely his commitment to the study of a “barbarian” literature—the Hebrew Bible—in its original language.

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