A history of psychology: Ancient and patristic.Progress of the Christian doctrine in the Alexandrian schools (II).
AbstractThis chapter discusses the progress of the Christian doctrine in the Alexandrian schools. The discussion focuses on Origen's views on the soul. In the main Origen continues the work of Clement of Alexandria, but his method of exposition is that of a commentator or a controversialist. The basis of Origen's speculations is Stoicism. He adopts the dualism of nature and soul: he classes the functions of the soul as imaginative and impulsive in Stoic fashion. The Stoicism which proved vain in face of moral problems returns to assist in the transcendental physics of the soul. Origen is an idealist; for him the soul is immaterial, a rational nature and in itself eternal. He finds the Greeks are in the main more akin to his thought than the Christians. Origen's views on freedom and inspiration are also discussed. Origen's mysticism is described as an able defense of the reality of an inner life, the reality that is of reflection and of the insight into the meaning of things which comes from the earnest striving after truths that outlive sensations. The author states that Origen is one of the greatest writers on the psychology of religious experiences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)