Origen, an esteemed Christian theologian, still causes many men to shudder in pain. Why?
#110813. Asked by star_gazer. (Nov 16 09 3:27 PM)
Thank God that it was a misreading.|
But this is possibly untrue.|
"Eusebius reported that Origen, following Matthew 19:12 literally, castrated himself. This story was accepted during the Middle Ages and was cited by Abelard in his 12th century letters to Heloise. Scholars within the past century have questioned this, surmising that this may have been a rumor circulated by his detractors. The 1903 Catholic Encyclopedia does not report this."
"This essay, as Basil Studer commented in his introduction to Markschies' presentation at that conference, deals with Origen's famous 'special problem', that is, the tradition concerning Origen's self-castration. In 'Kastration und Magenprobleme? Einige neue Blicke auf das asketische Leben des Origenes' (p. 15-34), Markschies provides a thorough Stand der Forschung on the topic of whether or not Origen did in fact castrate himself before moving on to the topic of self-castration in its ancient medical, philosophical and juridical contexts, finally offering the conclusion that the historicity of this particular tradition must be questioned."
This Georgetown theology professor wishfully thinks it's untrue, arguing there is no evidence he did and that Patriarch Demetrius of Alexandria had motivation to malign him:
(Apparently Dr. Karlson is no longer at Georgetown.
"Combing these two lines of reasoning, that is, it seems to contradict Origen’s hermeneutical principles for him to take the Gospel passage literally and that the source of our information on Origen’s so-called self-castration is a biased source who could not prove its truth, it seems to me that this rumor was nothing more than malicious gossip."
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