By Alan Scott
From the times of antiquity to the time of the center a while, intellectuals have largely assumed that stars have been alive, a trust that gave the cosmos a major place not just in Greek faith, but additionally in discussions of human psychology and eschatology. within the 3rd century advert, the Christian theologian Origen integrated such Hellenistic theories at the lifestyles and nature of the celebs in his cosmology, a concept that may have vital implications for early Christian theology. relocating via a variety of Greek, Latin, and Oriental resources from antiquity to medieval instances, this can be the 1st thorough therapy of Origen's biblical theology. the second one e-book within the new Oxford Early Christian experiences sequence, Origen and the lifetime of the Stars offers a brand new examine the roots of early Christian thought.
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Extra info for Origen and the life of the stars: a history of an idea
Following t h e views of E u d o x u s , Aristotle believes that a series of c o n c e n t r i c spheres a r e respons ible for heavenly m o v e m e n t . These spheres w e r e m a t h e m a t i c a l concepts for E u d o x u s , but Aristotle believed e a c h o n e was a body (ad>na). Aristotle refers to this substance as 'the first body', or 2 3 1 De Philosophia frag. 21b ( = Cicero DND 2. 16. 4 4 , trans. Francis Brooks (adapted)). The original is as follows: Nec vero Aristoteles non laundandus in eo quod omnia quae moventur aut natura moveri censuit aut vi aut voluntate, moveri autem solem et lunam et sidera omnia: quae autem natura moverentur, haec aut pondere deorsum aut levitate in sublime ferri, quorum neutrum astris contingeret, propterea quod eorum motus in orbem circumque ferretur.
And also Graser, 'Peri Philosophias', 16. This would mean that frag. 21b (see above n. 1) could not be Aristotle's after circumque ferretur, as Effe notes, Studien, 131. For De Caelo see W. D. Ross, Aristotle's Metaphysics (Oxford: Clarendon 1924), 1. cxxxiv. Mot. Anim. 6 9 9 3 2 ff. Metaph. 1 0 7 2 3 - 1 4 . 2 6 7 7 , with W. D. Ross's commentary, Aristotle's Physics (Oxford: Clarendon, 1936), 727f. 2 6 7 6 - 9 , cf. Metaph. -Arist. DeMundo 397 24ff. This poses something of a problem since Metaph.
There is n o passage in t h e a c r o a m a t i c corpus w h i c h unambiguously t e a c h e s this, but in t h e De Generatione Animalium Aristotle suggests t h a t within t h e pneuma in h u m a n sperm t h e r e is a psychic material w h i c h is m o r e divine t h a n t h e elements a n d analogous t o the substance of the s t a r s . This is sometimes t a k e n as a later, m o r e cautious version of t h e identification of soul with ether in fragment 2 7 of De Philosophia. The difficulty h e r e is t h a t this claim of a material basis of h u m a n psychology (since e t h e r is a body) is contradicted by n u m e r o u s 1 6 17 13 a b 279 33- 3.